we are watching tv at my mom’s. we love to do this because she not only has cable, but she has a huge tv. an infomercial comes on while the boy is on the phone with the presenter. they seem to have come to some sort of agreement and the host is one of those very smart boys from mchenry. this portion of the infomercial is a special deal, just for us! he tells us that for $240 he can get us a 150 inch tv and they’ll even take off the $120 cost of flying chris out here to set it up. i don’t know who chris is but the boy has already agreed and i can’t deny that it’s a great deal. but i don’t know how i’m going to get $240 either.

i’m walking through detroit. the sidewalks are a little wobbly and i’m glad i’m only holding a light plastic bag along with my purse. but soon enough, i crash through and am in a dirt tunnel beneath where the sidewalk should have been. there is a hispanic man and a little girl walking ahead of me. they look back, but don’t say anything. i follow them back up and they go into a house. i follow the now sturdy sidewalk but cannot get out of this section of housing. there is a chain link fence everywhere. i even climb up on someone’s cellar door to see if i can climb but there is electric fence at the top. it’s a lot of security, but i feel reasonably safe. i go back into the tunnel and climb back out where i had fallen and walk around the fence and along the street. there is a business man in front of me. i ask him if there is a number i could call to for the city. he looks at me like i’m crazy. i say, you know, a hotline i could call for information or to make complaints. they sidewalk fell in back there. if they don’t fix it, they are going to get sued. he tells me to call 3333 and sarcastically says “good luck. whenever i call i don’t get anyone to answer.” so i text my message to 3333 expecting no answer but angry and not willing to stay quiet. i get an immediate response that Doyle (the sherriff) saw me at the vet the other day. i perceive this as a threat but i’ve got nothing to hide.

waiting under the train tracks for a bus i see lots of people. they live in mobile homes and out on the street but they are all in a joyous mood. it feels like a holiday. someone recognizes me and says hello. we embrace warmly. it is angie from high school and she looks terrific and happy. she leaves abruptly for her train but she smiles genuinely before saying goodbye. i wait for my bus clenching my bags and thinking that i don’t need the tv.