I needed to go to the bathroom, but the room labeled for women was behind a barrier so the door couldn’t be opened outward. I used an ornament to jury rig it open somehow. When I came out, a handsome but frightening vampire who I understood to be my prospective husband accused me of stealing the ornament, which seemed to be in pieces. I returned the ornament, although I had thought it was a gift, but he still claimed part of it was missing. He seemed to want something from me, but I proved that nothing was missing and left with my friends. Jeanne drove much too fast; there was no traffic, and we were almost flying.
I came upon my brother, who was using a rag and a couple of fingers to scrub the kitchen floor. You could see how yellow it had been compared to the snow-white patches he had already cleaned. His motions looked effortless, but I could imagine how hard the work would be on my arthritic knuckles.
I walked into my old elementary school to look around, but thought I should check in at the front desk out of courtesy. At first they welcomed me, but when I told them I was a former student, they demurred politely. I could, however, use the bathroom. As I turned to leave, they asked me my interest and my age. I answered, “English,” but I couldn’t think of my age. Then I said, “32,” which didn’t seem right. Only later did I remember that I should have said 47. I also mentioned my degree and university. They seemed most impressed by my age and acted as though they might change their minds because of it.
The bell rang, and hundreds of girls ran for the bathrooms, which were small, domed, tent-like enclosures into which they crawled. No matter where I stood, they would get into them before I could. I wondered if they would let me in if I mentioned that I was 32.