I was at home in a room next to my mother’s. It was very odd because either her room or mine seemed to open onto a courtyard so that part of it seemed to be outdoors.
I used the far stall in the bathroom, which was supposed to be the dirtiest but was in fact the cleanest. All I noticed was that the water was a little high but for some reason this seemed to indicate cleanliness rather than a backed-up toilet.
I found myself at a large hall, although ultimately my destination was elsewhere. I discovered that a childhood friend was to be remarried. I wondered what happened to her husband and children as I had never heard anything about a divorce.
The hall was large, white, and packed with people. There were few decorations, which seemed unusual. Everyone was drinking while waiting for the wedding, although the gathering looked more like a reception. I was wearing a long, elaborate dress, which made me think of bridesmaids. I looked for and saw women who must have been the bridesmaids; they were all short, stout, middle-aged, and remarkably coarse and ugly. I thought that these must be her new friends from work and that they had displaced me and her other old friends.
She came along and offered me a drink, but first she held her champagne glass under a nozzle. Outside the walk-in box that this apparatus was in, someone was pumping a button to fill her glass. She went out and pumped for me, although then she started to hold the button down. When I realized how it all worked, I didn’t want it.
Outside the box, the crowd was thinning rapidly. Someone spoke, but was inaudible. The minister tried to speak, but his voice was hoarse and squeaky. Someone commented that he shouldn’t be a minister with a voice like that.
I spotted some people from high school and risked walking over and trying to talk to them. I was surprised that I recognized them so easily and remembered their names, but when I addressed them they would look at me oddly. None of them knew me. My excitement faded, and I wondered when the wedding was to occur, who the bridegroom was, and where the first husband and children were; it was almost like they had never existed. I also had a nagging feeling that I was supposed to be on my way to another place, somewhere outdoors or away from wedding halls.
I found an exhibit of mannequin-robots who represented the presidential candidates. All of them looked young and fashionable, and the only one I recognized was Barack Obama. He would speak now and then, and people were gathered in front of him, sharing their excitement. I noticed his neck looked mechanical, like two bundles of cords covered with plastic skin.
The hall was nearly empty now; even most of the classmates had left. I still waited for the wedding.