Good morning, everybody.
I may have been reading the news on the internet when I saw that Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan had been murdered. Some sort of "news flash" with the same news may have been announced over the internet -- like the internet was a radio or a television set. I may even have seen a male news anchor (with a bowl-like haircut from the 1970s) announcing the news.
The person who had killed Corgan had been stalking him for a long time. Apparently the person had some strong opinions against Corgan. It was like he thought Corgan was a sell-out, so that he had to kill him.
I remembered that in some internet forum I'd made a joke about how Elena Anaya looks like Billy Corgan on the poster for La Piel Que Habito. I thought that, at the very least, my joke would now look disrespectful and distasteful. But I worried that the joke could also get me pinned as having had some connection to Corgan's killer. I may even have wondered something like whether the killer, having seen my joke, would try to take refuge with me as a sympathetic character.
It was a winter day. I was inside an office building, but I could sense (maybe after having seen through some big windows?) that there was a lot of snow outside and that the sky was grey. The light inside and outside was blue-white.
My old friend ES had sat my mom and I down in the lobby of the office building, then went off to get somebody. Apparently I was here for a job interview. The person ES was getting would interview me.
The lobby of the office building looked more like a living room in a really nice house. The place felt very spacious, but sparsely furnished. The floors were made out of some black-brownish, thickly polished flagstone with blackish material in between the stones. The walls were white. The floors kind of jutted upwards in places to create "platforms" that ended up being convenient as seating places. There may have been a fireplace somewhere.
I sat against one wall. The platform I was on went from the wall out to the middle of the room. The big front window was off to my right. My mom sat on a platform or chair that backed against the opposite wall. Off to my mom's right, running along that wall, was some small, dim area that looked like a really nice kitchen.
My eyes felt really fuzzy. It was hard to keep them open. I kept almost falling asleep. But then I heard something, like it was coming from some speaker in the ceiling. At first I thought it was background music, like waiting room music.
But when I listened closer, I got excited. I could discern Orson Welles' voice. Orson Welles was narrating some sort of story. Welles would give a bit of story. Then a little boy would speak for a while, as if he were living out the story. I think I sat forward excitedly and told my mom, "It's Orson Welles on the speakers!" I then tried to listen closer, so I could discern what story I was listening to. I had no idea so far.
But then ES brought in her friend. ES then went to sit, I believe, by my mom.
The woman brought a black-framed, orange-vinyl-padded chair to the far end of my platform. She sat down in it. The woman looked to be maybe in her early thirties. She was tall and skinny, with crimpy-curly, pale-blonde hair and glowingly tanned skin. She wore a pale-blue sweater of soft fabric and a pink shirt of the same kind of fabric under that. She had a bunch of canvas bags all around her chair. The bags may have been full of children's books.
I went to the end of the platform to meet the woman. Somehow I knew that this woman was interviewing me for a position in a company called Orange. This place was the office building for Orange, even though nobody was here except for ES and the woman.
Orange was some sort of investment or research firm. ES had become a Senior Analyst here, covering an industry and providing investment advice for people. The woman was also a Senior Analyst, covering a different industry, possibly something consumer-related. ES and the woman were going to share me as an Associate.
I shook hands with the woman as I sat down. We shook hands really awkwardly, even as we were exchanging pleasantries in almost a surprised kind of way. I found it easy to be really positive and outgoing with the woman. And the woman was just as positive and outgoing to me. But we shook hands fully almost once. Then I fumbled so that I was doing a guy's-style "bounce-back" handshake. Then I went in for another one or two handshakes and, each time, only grabbed two or three of the woman's fingers.
I prepared myself for some kind of interview. But the woman barely seemed engaged in the interview. She smiled, said it was nice to meet me, and basically gave me the indication that everything she needed to know about me she already knew.
I was a little shocked by the brevity of the meeting. I looked over to ES for support. But ES herself looked a bit shocked. For some reason, ES, wearing khaki slacks, had her feet up on the seat, with her knees drawn up a bit. I could see ES' crotch pretty well outlined by the slacks. I was really turned on.
The woman stood up. I followed. The woman said something to imply that I already had the job. But then she said, "Well, all I have to do now is go through the final two or three candidates, to make sure none of them have anything I want more. But I will say, you have more experience than any of them. It's nice to have someone to work for you who was around when people were using selling tactics based on growing in a growing market, not predatory selling tactics."
It seemed to me like the woman was already trying to come up with reasons why she wouldn't hire me. I think that ES was starting to worry about the same thing. The woman had spoken about my experience like it was something ES had mentioned to her. But it seemed obvious the woman was already trying to excuse herself for wanting a more conventional person to work for her. But I tried to keep positive, thinking that the woman's comment about my experience had been a compliment.
The dream may have ended here. But it seemed to go on. Time slipped a bit. My mom was no longer in the lobby.
The woman, ES, and I all stood in the kitchen, closer to the refrigerator. The refrigerator had, I think, been white before. But now it was brushed steel or stainless steel. I stood on the right (my right) side of the fridge. ES stood on the left side. The woman stood right in front of the fridge.
The woman was explaining to both ES and I that I would probably be taken on with Orange, and that at first, I would probably be working for both ES and the woman. But the woman felt like, for her industry, I was probably not the ideal Associate. She wanted to keep interviewing people. She was sure she could get somebody better.
I had backed so far along my side of the fridge that I could no longer see ES. The woman explained that once she found a new Associate, I'd probably be shifted over to working only with ES. I was kind of happy about this, since I liked ES a lot. But ES only gave a dull grunt -- and it sounded like her mouth was full of food. It sounded like ES was both surprised and disappointed by what the woman had said.
I began to suspect that ES had assumed that eventually the woman would take me completely, instead of ES having to take me completely. I realized that ES really didn't want to have me completely on her team, because (this is very far from the reality of waking life!!!) I was so good at what I did that I'd outperform her. I knew that ES wanted to help me. She wanted me to have a job. But she really didn't want me working with her personally.
I began to feel stressed out by the whole situation. I was thinking that I'd come into this situation and eventually have an industry of my own to cover. But it was looking like that might not turn out. I had a friend who didn't want me to outperform her. And I had a woman who was only taking me on reluctantly -- based on the suggestion of my friend.
I also started wondering about all the people in the office. I'd worked in small offices before. And if one person had snobby ideas about you, eventually everybody would. I hoped it wouldn't be the same thing her. But I was starting to have doubts.
But I wanted to put on the best face I could. So I stared at the side of the fridge while I told the woman, "I really like this place. The building seems really nice. The atmosphere seems really nice. I'm really thankful that you're giving me the chance to work here like this. I'm a really hard worker. So I'm going to do my best. And I hope that I won't disappoint you."
When I looked over at the woman, she was just scowling at me bitterly. But she wasn't the same woman -- if she was a woman at all. She was blonde and tan, but she had a square jaw now. Her hair was done in a short, boyish style, with the top swept up in a dramatic, mohawk-like wave of brown and black hair. She wore a greenish-tan, button up shirt, kind of loose, like a man's style, with black stripes.
ES was now gone. I could tell the man/woman didn't want me around at this job. And I suspected ES didn't want me around at the job, either. But I began to get the idea that ES did want me around in her life, and that she did want me in this town (whatever town Orange was in).
I told the woman (who may now have looked like she'd looked at first), "Can't you tell ES something, maybe? Like you and I had a conversation, and that I told you that I'd be happy just being around ES here, even if that meant that I was in some job where I wasn't getting paid very much money at all? I could work at a Starbucks nearby, if all ES wanted was for me to live near her."
I started picturing the life with fondness: me, working at a warm, cozy Starbucks just down the street from Orange. I would live with ES. And at the end of the day I would come home to ES and live as her boy, or even, possibly, as her adult baby.
It was a sunny summer day. I was out in some backyard, possibly like my family's backyard. There was a trampoline to my right. I was looking down at the ground. I was planning to go inside.
But then I suddenly noticed that there were "geese" in the yard. But they didn't look like geese. They were about the size of hens. But they were covered in shaggy black stuff halfway between fur and feathers. Some of the "geese" had black heads. Others had red heads, like heads made entirely out of the crests (or waddles?) of roosters. For a moment I told myself that perhaps these animals weren't geese, that perhaps they were vultures.
But whatever they were, it was a bad sign that they were here. They could spread disease or become violent and hurt you. I hoped they would go away soon. I couldn't walk out of the yard, because that would make them violent and make them come at me. So to get away from them, I got up on the trampoline.
Two geese flew up onto the trampoline with me. Now they really were like geese. But they were like young geese, like goslings. There was one gosling on my right side and one on my left. The gosling on my right side had all black feathers, and he looked as sleek as a cormorant. The gosling on my left had feathers patterned more like those of an adult goose.
The gosling on my right began talking with me in a nice, little boy's voice. While he spoke with me, he bit down softly on my right index finger. The gosling's voice wasn't impeded by this. It was like the gosling's speech was a completed thing coming through the gosling's throat, not something that depended on his bill to form the words. I can't remember what the gosling was talking about, but I think it may have had to do with getting confirmation from me that he was "such a good boy."
The gosling on my left now bit down on my left index finger. I think he may have begun speaking, too, but not as much as the gosling on my right.
Now my whole family was coming outside. There were a whole bunch of geese, too. The yard seemed really crowded with people and geese. My mom may have said something like it was time for lunch. This meant that all the geese had to go away. But a head goose may have also said something about it being time for lunch for the goslings, too.
The goslings had to let go of my hands. But the gosling on the left clamped down on me extra hard for a moment, asking, "See how much I hold onto you? Doesn't that make me a good boy?"
I could see the gosling's drool (???) all over my finger. And when the gosling had finally let go of my finger I could see that he had clamped down so hard on it in the last few seconds that the middle knuckle on my finger was bleeding a tiny bit. I thought about goose crap, and about how maybe geese eat their own crap. I didn't want goose crap and goose saliva in my blood. So I decided I better go wash my hands.
I was now in my family's kitchen. It was kind of small and dim, with yellowy summer light coming in through a couple of beige-curtained windows. The walls were yellowy, and the floors had some kind of red tile on them.
There were two big, metallic double-sinks, like restaurant-sized sinks, in the kitchen, along the back wall, separated from each other by about a meter or so. I was about to go to the sink on the right to wash my hands. But I could see now that it was all the way filled up with water, kind of a mucky, greyish water. Not only that, but the water was still rising in the sink -- even though the water wasn't on and there was a whirlpool in the sink that would indicate water was going down the drain!
The water started flowing over onto the floor, seeming to go down the circular metal grating of a drain in the floor. But, again, the water may really have just been accumulating on the floor.
I figured I'd go tell my mom that all this was going on. But first, I thought, it would be best to wash my hands after the goose had drawn blood on my finger. So I'd use the left sink, which seemed to be working.
But now I looked over to see that the left sink was also not working! It was full of water, too. This water may have been dirtier than the water from the right sink. It may have been full of pinkish and tannish material, like old, soggy cereal had been vomited back up into the sink from the garbage disposal.
I walked into a cafe with my ex-girlfriend H. The cafe was split into two sections. H went over to the left section. I went off to the right. The cafe was warm and full of people. The section on the left was set a step or two lower than the section on the right. It had couches and stuff, where people seemed to be relaxing and talking and having a good time.
I sat into a table by the window. I seemed pretty stuffed into the chair I sat in, like I was wearing a huge thick jacket and had a bunch of stuff with me. I may have been huddled in pretty close to some book that I must have been into. I think I felt pretty warm, if not hot.
At some point I stood up, either to grab a drink or to go look for H. I turned around to see two girls at the table behind me kissing each other. Both girls looked kind of cute, but also a little boyish.
One of the girls, a blonde girl, saw me looking at the girls kissing. She asked me, "What? Does it offend you to see two girls kissing?"
I wanted to reply no, that it actually turned me on, even though the girls weren't exactly attractive to me. But I decided that saying anything at all to the girls would get me in trouble -- that all they were really looking to do was make trouble and cause a scene. So I decided to ignore them. I walked away for a moment and came back to my seat.
During all the time that I was in earshot of the girls, I could hear them both (I think the other one was kind of short and skinny, with olive-colored skin and short, black hair in a squarish, boy's cut) talking about me, saying things like, "Oh! He's so offended by two women kissing that he pretends like we don't even exist!"
After I'd sat back down, a tall, kind of big (though a little doughy), young white man slammed himself down in my seat. It was like, instead of sitting at a chair, I was sitting at a booth-style seat, like a small, two-person booth at a McDonald's.
The young man smashed himself into me pretty hard, trying to get a violent reaction out of me. When I didn't do anything, the young man began crying out, "Oh! He really doesn't like gay people, does he? Are you a homophobe? What is it? You don't want to admit that you're really attracted to boys like me?"
I suddenly realized that this boy was the girls' friend. After I'd effectively ignored them, they'd sent the boy to taunt me even worse. They really wanted to get a violent reaction out of me.
Somehow I managed to stand up out of the seat. I went looking for H. I had a feeling that the next thing I'd see was that H was making out with some girl. I thought that the girls must have set up something like that, as well, to try and get a violent reaction out of me. But I knew that wouldn't get a reaction, either. I'd already suspected H of liking girls, if not of actually carrying on affairs with girls. Seeing something like that would be more of a relief to me, since I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. Besides, we weren't even together anymore.
But I looked all around the left and the right sides of the cafe. I couldn't find H anywhere.
I suddenly remembered that there was also a lower level to this cafe. It was actually a karaoke bar. I'd gone to the karaoke bar before. I decided that I'd like t sing a little karaoke. So I'd go down to the bar, partly to look for H, partly to sing.
I got down into the bar. It was narrow and long. There were mirrors on all the walls. Everything seemed to gleam with pink glimmers, like from pink spotlights somewhere. There may also have been silver tinsel hanging from the ceiling.
I saw my old friend EI, who tended bar at an old karaoke bar I'd go to, walking away from the bar and into a second room which looked like a small theater. I also noticed that my second oldest nephew stood to my left, wearing a dull-colored jacket that was way too big for him -- it went down to his knees.
When I saw EI, I told my nephew, "Look! There she is! She's a really good friend of mine. I'd like to introduce you to her."
But it now seemed like EI was way too busy for me to try and introduce her to my nephew. But I still needed to talk to EI. I wanted to sing a couple karaoke songs, and I wanted to find out where H was.
But when EI came back from the small theater room, she seemed to anticipate what I wanted. She said, "Oh, I don't think we can do any karaoke today. They're putting on a big performance back there. It's going to start pretty soon. So we can't have any noise out here. Maybe you could do one or two songs before that show starts. But I'd have to get the equipment all set up and taken down for that. I don't know if I could do it.
"But you could go to the show, if you want! It seems like a pretty good show."
Somehow I got the idea that the show was some sort of campy remake of The Wizard of Oz, with a lot of people in drag. But I also got the idea that the show was actually a number of shows. The shows all had some kind of transgender or gay, or at least extremely sexually uninhibited, feel to them.
Now there were a whole bunch of people all filtering into the lower level. It was just like a normal theater atmosphere now. Everybody knew each other, everybody was acting all cheerful to see everybody else. There were all kinds of tall, beautiful people. Everybody acted cooler than everybody else. Everybody acted like they knew more than everybody else. But everybody was part of everybody's club. Except for me. Somehow I didn't belong.
Somehow I'd gotten hold of a few gaudy, glossy, postcard-sized flyers for the shows. One of the glossies may have confirmed that one show was some sort of transgendered, burlesque-style Wizard of Oz. Another glossy may have shown some Hedwig-style transvestite posing with one arm up in the air and one knee raised pretty high, before some yellow background that looked like yellow chains morphing into liquid gold or yellow flames.
I may have thought at first that I would stay for the show, if only to show EI that I wasn't so self-centered that, if I couldn't do karaoke, I would just leave the bar. But then I began to feel more and more unwanted, more and more like an outcast among all these people. I knew that whoever I sat by at the performance would make the entire time miserable for me. So I just decided I wouldn't go to the show. But before I left, I thought, I'd at least want to say goodbye to EI.