Good morning, everybody.
I was possibly in an office. The office was dim, lit mostly by colored spotlights, like a stage or a dance club. There was some special event going on to honor the members of a company. It was like the company was the client of the company I was working for. But we weren't celebrating the company just because they were our client, but because they had passed a serious milestone in their history.
I sat in a cubicle in a central area of the room. I had a computer, and probably some boards of technical controls. Before me was a wall. But most of the wall was cleared away, like it was supposed to be a window wall. I could see another cubicle on the other side of the wall. I could possibly see another few cubicle. It was like I sat in a column of cubicles in the center of this office-like room, like this central column was a supporting pillar for the building.
Along the walls of the room were booth-seats. People sat in the booth seats. These people were more important than the people in the cubicles. Another man sat in a cubicle to my right. He was giving a big toast, mentioning everybody in the company he thought had really contributed to the company's great achievement. He would say a person's name, then give a brief description of the person, either what kind of person the person was or what the person had done for the company.
I knew there was one woman in particular, a blonde woman in her late forties, who I felt deserved a lot of praise. She was one of the company's co-founders. I felt she should have been among the first to receive praise. But the man listed a few more people, then conspicuously stopped. I realized he really wasn't going to mention the woman. I looked at the man's face (apparently I had an open wall to my right, now, too). He was glowering bitterly at the woman.
I had a feeling the man had just blown off the woman because he didn't like the fact that she as a woman was so powerful in business. I felt like I needed to stand up for the woman. But the man who had been announcing things was a key figure in the company. So he was also a client, and therefore not subject to criticism.
But I couldn't help myself. I stood up and called out, "You forgot to honor somebody, didn't you? You forgot to honor her. Why don't you say a few words about her at least?"
Everybody in the room gasped. I knew I had done something stupid. If I made this guy mad, he could pull out his business. We could lose our client. But I still couldn't help feeling like it was right to have ignored the woman.
I went about my work like nothing had happened, even though everybody now seemed to be staring constantly at me. I went into some other cubicle and began hooking up a computer system. The cubicle had no lights on, but a grey-white fluorescent light was shining through a window-like space. I had to set a CPU in a specific place, then loop the cord around the edge of a desk. This seemed like a really clever technical task to me.
I then stood up. I walked to where the woman was sitting. I asked her to come with me. I was going to force the man to say something about the woman by having the woman stand face to face with the man. I was pretty angry, but I tried to hide my anger. I tried to make the woman feel good about herself. I asked her, "What's it like, you know, watching this thing go from a little baby into a fifty billion dollar company?"
As we passed my desk, and I threw a white towel on it, the woman replied, "Oh, it's pretty surreal. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we actually did it."
We walked around into the man's cubicle, which was now completely dark. But when I approached the man and demanded he say a few words to the woman, a purple spotlight appeared on the man's face.
The man set his jaw tightly in anger and said, "I see you in the future, going to another business, making a quick 4.5 grand," (which meant $4.5 billion) "but not without a good amount of debt. But even after the debt, you'll be in good shape. You'll probably spend the rest of your life with that money..." the man then mentioned something he thought the woman would do, something the man thought was absurd, like donating to charity or art funds, or even becoming an artist herself.
I walked back to the booth seats with the woman. I thought to myself that that idea had backfired on me. I'd tried to get the man to say something nice to the woman. All he did was imply a few indifferent and negative things about her.
The room of booth seats was now filled with natural light, like there were windows over the seats and it was daytime. The room also had a hazy feel to it, like I was very bleary-eyed. I saw my old boss CR off in a booth seat to my right, talking and laughing with a couple clients. The woman sat down. I sat down to the woman's right. The woman seemed upset. I couldn't blame her.
The man now came and sat to my right. He was wearing a white, beach-style shirt with multicolored floral prints and khaki shorts. I thought he was going to say something nasty to me. But he muttered in my ear, "Hey, man, tell your boss he's gotta watch his hair. Otherwise he's going to start poking the people around him."
I wondered what the man could be talking about. I looked over to my boss. I saw that he had run his fingers through his hair, and that thick, swirled, spiky locks of hair really were coming about one or two inches off from his head. I realized the guy was trying to joke with me, even though he had sounded a bit sullen when he'd made the comment.
The man started talking to me a little more freely about the company. But something about his attitude, maybe the fact that he still wasn't regarding the woman, made the woman stand up and walk away. I sat frozen, not really knowing how to react.
The man said, "Do you feel like going after her? You want to defend her. I can tell. Do you like her? Would you like to be with her? I think she'd be with you, if you wanted. She might like you, too."
I started feeling a little shy. I hadn't realized the woman liked me, and I hadn't really thought about whether I might like her.
I was out in some open area, near the top of a hill, with my mom. The area around us was like a dirt lot, or like land that had been cleared for development. The sun was shining behind some thin clouds, giving the sky a silvery-white appearance.
We had just departed from my grandfather (who died about four years ago IWL) and my step-grandmother. They were down at the bottom of the hill. They were both getting in a car to drive away. They may have been planning to go back home. I think my step-grandma was driving. She may have gotten into the car first.
Before my grandpa got into the car, he called to me, "When you get over to my house, you'll see a huge pile of dirt in the yard. Make sure you shovel all that dirt to the very front of the driveway, so people in the neighborhood know they can have the dirt. Also, give your aunt a call and let her know that she can have some of the dirt if she wants it."
My mom and I turned and walked away from the slope. We may have been heading to a car of our own. I was thinking that I really didn't want to have to talk to my aunt. But I knew I had to listen to my grandpa. I wondered how I'd get around this problem.
My mom and I were now in my grandpa's house. We had a huge load of pale green towels. We were going to take them to the laundry. Each of the towels had its own name. Each name had the word "life" or "living" in it.
We were now in a laundry room. The room was all white, with bright, white sunlight pouring in through the windows. The washing machine was in one section of the room. My mom and I were in another section of the room. The two sections were divided by a wall that seemed to be made out of wooden beams and transparent, but foggy, plastic.
A Latina woman stood before a huge washing machine. My mom and I spoke with the woman around a doorway. The woman offered us some towels, like they were towels she found had gone missing from our last load of laundry.
We traded her the towels we had for the towels she had. But one specific towel, which was meant for my mom, was goldenrod-colored. This towel had the name "think." I thought it was weird that my mom had gotten a "think" towel instead of a "life" towel. But I didn't worry about it too much. We did have a few goldenrod towels in the load of towels the woman had just given us. But the majority of our towels were still green "life" towels.