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you break it, you buy it

February 17, 2011

Sometimes, the people we dream about are obvious: friends we see often, family members we care about, celebrities we follow. Then there are those days when we dream about people we thought we’d forgotten, like that one weird guy in your 9th grade gym class, or the man who played Mr. Wizard in the newer Nickelodeon incarnation of the show. I can’t help but wonder what kind of sparks are flying through your brain when you remember people you forgot you ever knew, and your dream gives them life, a voice, a purpose, and an outfit.

I can’t remember the longest part of my dream, but it involved babies, possibly in space, with pens that are actually knives. There was a space preschool being run at my house, and my friend Emily was a teacher there. She kept getting annoyed at me because everything I did was directly contrary to her teaching philosophy. All the babies were newborn-sized (and shaped, if you get me), but they could do things that toddlers can do. They also had a thirst for blood (what with the knives, and all). Pete was afraid to hold them, and I couldn’t really blame him.


I am pushing a shopping cart through a very cramped specialty store. Instead of shelves, the displays are all on small tables of different heights; there are no aisles, per se, just groups of tables and knickknacks, arranged very closely with one another. As I locate the exit, I realize I will probably not make it through to the door, because two small tables covered in trinkets block my escape. I try to push my cart between them (not sure why I can’t abandon the cart, but I can’t), upsetting one of the tables and its treasures in the process. The only thing that falls off is a slab of geode, like a shimmering blue tree trunk, which a fellow shopper picks up, attempting to show us how to count its rings to see how old it is (I don’t think it works that way with geodes, but what do I know?). At any rate, I’ve broken a piece off the geode, so the owner approaches me to pay for it.

I look in my wallet: there are two one-dollar bills, a fifty, and a seventy-dollar bill. The crazy geode counting lady is one of those frequent yard-salers, and pops up behind me, wearing a straw hat. She offers the woman thirty dollars for the broken geode. The owner won’t accept it, and needs me to pay at least fifty dollars more than that. I give her my fifty, but she spots my seventy. I give her that, too. In exchange, she gives me a fifty-dollar gift certificate good at her store only. I mumble that it’s a rip off, because I never want to come back again. I let the yard sale woman take the geode, and I sulk out of the store and into the food  court.

As I walk through the halls of the food court, I notice that people keep stopping to stare at me. I look at my reflection but see nothing out of the ordinary. KP* walks by, saying, “You know, it’d really be better if you poured ice cream on your head. What is going on with your hair?”  I imagine liquid ice cream settling on my head marshmallow topping, turning into a sticky helmet of goo. I keep denying that there’s anything wrong with my hair when Lyndsay approaches me. “Why do you have your part like that?” she asks, but I still have no idea what she is talking about. I tell her that KP suggested ice cream, and Lyndsay finds the idea inspired. I grow annoyed, because I see in the mirror that nothing is wrong with my hair! We all sit down at a table with a bunch of people from my past (people I cheered with in 6th grade, people I was best friends with in elementary school, people I was never friends with at all, like Shana Wickham) and begin a conversation about how time is funny, and how we’re all still the same, at heart.

*KP is one of those people from the past I was telling you about. I’d place her at 4th grade.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 25, 2011 4:32 pm

    interesting part about the breakage of the geode! Once in Spain I broke something, a Lladro figurine actually. I pretended I didn’t speak or understand Spanish when the store lady told me I’d have to pay for it. She made me pay for it anyway.

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