I spent a week in Djibouti one Saturday night. They spoke French; I could manage. A woman (I suppose we could call her a private eye) sought Daffy Duck Hitler, who had reincarnated as a surprisingly creepy Lebanese teenager. He looked white. He spoke like someone’s idea of a 1990s inner city gangsta. The girls at his high school all hated him.

I am home again, but about to leave on a space ship. For some reason, Greg from work is the pilot. He wears some sort of coverall/spacesuit garb, and I don't know if he's about to rocket to another world or clean the toilets.

We're strapped down in our seats. It's dangerous to be loose during flight. Only the attendants can move about, and they must wear expensive black tights that cover all of their body, and recall more than a little the black Spider-man outfit. These suits allow them to move about safely while we warp through spacetime.

Some kid gets loose, endangering himself and everyone aboard. The attendants work fast, spraying him with the same substance which forms their black suits. It hardens into a ball, which will keep the little idiot immobilized and safe until we reach our destination.

The space station has been made from a yellowish metal. From the docking bay, we can see that we're in orbit around a brilliant gas giant with many colorful moons. I feel like '’m viewing spherical rainbows against the endless night. The view briefly becomes an inverted lake with small mountains in the background, and then returns to space.

I stroll the corridors. The wealth and power of whoever built this station is evident. The corridors are needlessly wide, deliberately occupying space. I look down on the swimming pool, and then the library. Everyone can read pretty much everything on digital pads, but they have a library here, with rows of antique books.

Someone speaks of D-Wing. D-Wing is where the wildest parties happen, an endless hedonistic fest which nearly everyone who lives on this station visits at least once.

Back on earth, in some earlier time, perhaps the Great Depression, I head to a small town. I've been unfaithful, but not really. An ex who became an actress of no real fame was at the party. She leaned her head on my shoulder and rested it there and I let her. Her eyebrows left a mark. It made N sad, and I feel sad because of it. And now I'm driving to a small Depression-era town to meet with the Baldwin Sisters.

These aren't the ones from The Waltons. These spinsters have their heads together, and they're terribly involved in their community. I've been asked to bring them books, because they're putting together a library for their impoverished town. I've been told, I tell them, that this is the best place for a library. Daffy Duck Hitler said as much.

They're happy for the donations, but they correct me. "Daffy Duck Hitler," the one sister insists, "said the town's the best place for a library—for a shithole." She quotes this as though sipping tea, but it's clear they really don't like Daffy Duck Hitler. I'm pretty sour on the bloke about this point, too.

I look about. It's a nice little effort, set in the quaint house they've inherited. I tell them I'm glad I missed the full context of Daffy Duck Hitler's statement. Then again, I feel like I would have brought them the books anyway, crossed half the country to do so, just to spite Daffy Duck Hitler.

The sisters beam and take my books. Across the street, barefoot children eat homemade ice cream.

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