The Partridge Family was performing in an auditorium. I liked the music, which was new. When I saw people with signed CDs, I decided to get one, which required going on stage during the performance. I felt shy, but steeled myself to do it.
To get to the stage, I had to work my way across two narrow ledges and pick up a magazine with each successful step sideways. It was harrowing and time consuming, and I wanted to quit, but it was the only way to get the CD that I now wanted badly. In addition, this ledge crawl appeared to be the only way to get to the bathrooms.
As I made it from the right side of the first ledge to the left and was trying to figure how to take the step up to the next ledge to work my way back, I became aware of several things. First, the audience perceived me as a mentally deficient child who couldn’t do such a thing, so they mocked me. Many of the magazines in my hand were duplicates, which seemed unfair, and the next one was a silly fashion/celebrity publication in which I had no interest. I lost track of why I was stuck on the ledge.
I looked up and could see one of my objectives, but not the bathrooms, which had become unlabeled, moving targets. David Cassidy looked the same as in the television series, even to his hairline and style, but sometimes his face was worn with the ravages of late middle age. Danny was still a child as though decades had not passed. Was that Danny Bonaduce? It looked exactly like him, but surely he could not be stuck in perpetual pre-adolescence.
The CD had “19” in the title, and I never knew how I obtained it or whether it was worth it.
I was with some friends in a contraption at the bottom of a steep hill. By the use of pools or some form of mechanical leverage, we were able to extend our physical strength to “walk” the contraption beneath us up the hill. We soon found that it was surprisingly easy.
As we progressed, to the left and right we could see prisoners performing day-to-day activities and tasks. Some wore white long johns with yellow polka dots, while others sported different patterns in various colors. Some were lined up at what appeared to be a general store, which seemed to be an unusual haunt for prisoners. Others appeared to be taking care of houses or gardens. As we passed, they would stop what they were doing to stare at us. It was then that I became aware than I and the other women were naked, which now seemed to have been a foolish idea on my part. I couldn’t understand why we had, at my suggestion, done something that would leave us surrounded by prisoners, nor could I imagine why they left such a vulnerable group alone. Suddenly I was afraid.
At the top, I realized that getting down the hill would be the harder task. How could we control the contraption’s descent on that steep decline?
A man offered an elephant to help us. I did not trust the elephant, who looked at me with preternaturally human eyes. I said that one kind of elephant has gray eyes, while the other has brown — but then I remembered a third kind, which made my neat point ridiculous. The elephant continued to eye me in a meaningful way; I could not read its thoughts, which at the least seemed to bode further difficulties for the group but especially for me. I didn’t know what to do, and again I was afraid. Somehow we began our descent.