Good morning, everybody.
My view was floating somewhere, maybe over the passengers of a kind of large tour bus, maybe from the front of the bus to the back of the bus. My mother and I may have been on the bus somewhere, although I may have been a pretty, young, copper skinned woman with black hair.
I was hearing a discussion in my head between myself and a woman, possibly my mother. We were talking about how, when you draw characters, if you draw characters using a grey cloak, you don't have to give them any personality. This didn't just have to do with the color grey. It was like the character was actually wearing some kind of cloak of grey that zipped over its entire body. I thought this cloak made drawing easier, because it erased personality and emotion from the character.
But I then realized I was wrong. The grey cloak didn't erase any personality or emotion from the character. No matter whether I drew the characters in full color or with the cloak over them, I still had to use personality and emotion.
I walked into a place I supposed was a movie theatre, even though it looked like a really big classroom. The room was dark, but maybe with disco ball stars spinning around the room. At the front of the room, high up on the wall, was a rectangle of light, coming from a projection room high up on the back wall.
There were a lot of rows of desks. And all the desks seemed to be filled with old friends of mine. At the back of the room was some long table that sold items related to the event taking place: maybe some kind of film festival. A lot of people still seemed to be coming into the room and filtering up into the desks.
I had read the program for the event. A lot of films by Pedro Almodovar were going to be shown. I was excited about that. I pointed out the fact to one of my female friends. My friend said, "Oh, yeah. Almodovar is one of the top three directors ever in Spain."
My friend named some director I'd never heard of as being the best director in Spain. The director had worked alongside Almodovar in the 1980s, and his films from that time period were apparently incredible.
I was walking up, trying to find a seat. Somebody up ahead of me mentioned the third director in the group. Even though I hadn't seen any films by the director, I at least knew his name. So I called it out, something like "Ittryia" or "Attyra."
I was already ashamed that I hadn't known the first director. So I just pretended to know about Ittryia. I said a fact I'd known about him: that he'd worked as a kind of assistant to Almodovar on a number of films in the 1980s, but that he'd then gone on to make his own films. I then mentioned one of his films, which was playing here, and even though I'd never seen it before, I went off on how good it was.
Even still, I wasn't happy with myself. People knew Almodovar, and people who knew film adored the first director. But Ittryia was really obscure and not of great interest to many people at all. So, even lying about what I knew, I knew I wasn't really impressing anybody, or even giving them information they'd wanted.
I now sat down in one of the seats and began talking with some of my friends. But my view suddenly shifted. I was laying on my back in bed. Somebody like a combination of a police officer and a postal worker barged into my room. He threw an envelope at my stomach, said that I'd better pay attention to it, and stomped away.
I picked up the envelope and looked at it. Through the cellophane window on the front of the envelope I could see that the contents were a bill that actually looked something like a paycheck. The right side of the bill had the figure of $750 on it.
I could faintly remember owing that amount of money. Maybe I'd had to go to the hospital for something, like I'd been taken into the hospital because I'd been too drunk (which happened to me in 1997 and 2006). Or maybe I'd even been arrested for something that I couldn't remember.
I could faintly remember a police officer telling me that people often get stuck with fines because, even though their crime or stupid action wasn't bad, they needed to pay a lot of money to remember never to do something like that again.
But now I looked over to the left side of the window. As I passed along the window, I'd gotten the feeling that I'd actually owed the $750 for a while now, and that I was now getting in trouble for never having paid it. On the left side of the window was another figure: $283,000.
$283,000? How could that be? For some reason, something about the figure reminded me of the speed of light. It was too much money! But the sum came, I knew, from interest fees as well as exorbitant fines that the police put on late payments -- ostensibly with the goal of getting people to pay.
But I couldn't pay. And I think the police counted on that in most of the cases like mine. The letter was really a subpoena, so that I'd have to appear in court regarding the $283,000 I owed. And I'd probably be sent to jail.