I enter the shop and trip a chime and it’s the same tone on my phone that wakes me: new message. I wrote this in my sleep.
I’m walking down the row of cubes, at work, naked. There’s people in my cube: visiting delegates, my boss, his boss. I sit on the carpet and look down, realize I’m nude, try to cover up. My boss looks down at me and winces.
The hairdresser just got a deal with William Morris, is flying out this weekend to New York, expects to come home with a contract. I’m jealous and can’t hide it. I like him, but I want what he has and it doesn’t seem fair. It’s what I tell my six year old about life.
I wind around the off-ramp from the interstate, where we always see the old man with the sign. I haven’t read the sign all the way through, but it’s carefully written and says something like, “Just an old man who needs help.”
The others in the van have their heads back, drooling to the sounds of NPR. Or, their heads are fixed forward on their phones, glowing. It’s the first scene in the film Alien: the face reflected with lines of code, tattooed in green.
I give the old man five dollars. He doesn’t really smile or say much, but I don’t care. He has to ask for money, and that can’t feel good. It’s maybe the price of humanity, of feeling human to one another, is why I did it.
I can go back and edit this and I just did, edit out my dreams and life and no one will know what really happened in between.