Hanging out at summer camp when Dusik's grandkid Ricky came running in, all panicked about something. He had come from home, and something was wrong. It wasn't that he couldn't get the words out, but he wouldn't speak up enough for us to understand. Dusik was pissed; a "there better be somebody dead when I get there" kind of reaction. She barked at Megan and me to come with her in case she needed "help," and we both registered how grisly that sounded. I ate a square mint.
My tanning club card said my membership had expired on May 2. Looking at the card, reading and re-reading the address and the name of the company, I tried to remember ever going there, and couldn't. But here was there office right in front of me, so I walked in and up to a desk that looked likely. The pretty woman behind it yelled at me to STOP! so I did. She apologized and said she was just afraid I would bump into the chairs and wires and boxes stacked in front of the desk. I assured her I'd seen them.
To renew my membership, I had to call a secret number which she wrote on the back of the card. She winked at me and sent me along. Outside, looking at the number, I felt as if new information were being injected into my brain - suddenly I possessed a flat, simple memory of lying in a dark room with a low hot blue light radiating into me.
At the funeral someone's bright idea of a tribute had been to hang multiple copies of the same Barbie and Ken from strings, dangling in front of our faces. I don't think the other ends were attached to anything. At the end of the funeral the dolls would rise and circle each other and disappear into the sky. The job of all the funeralgoers was to bend the dolls' legs to make the effect more, I don't know, more aesthetically nifty. I gave up on mine and took out my camera. Everyone else was getting frustrated, yelling, "you're doing it wrong" "no, YOU are!" and getting close to rioting around the grave. The girl behind me grabbed my camera, wrist strap still attached to me, and swung it around at the crowd. I screamed in her ear IT'S NOT A VIDEO CAMERA but she didn't care, she just wanted to watch the viewscreen changing.