we’re getting out of class and we’re all pretty excited to be back together again. on the bus we’re reminiscing. we’re trying to remember what a few kids would sing on the way home and kristy belts out an “ooh oh wee ee ohh oooh” and we remember. yes! that’s right, she’s got it! we laugh all the way to our own stops. earlier we had all been sitting around an empty room in our ripped jeans and adult bodies. there are new people too. i get off at my stop and run up the stairs. my mom had told me that there was a cleaning lady and she had the key to a secret room that she found. i get to the top of the back stairs and wait at the locked door. she opens it not expecting to see me. i tell her that i know she has the key and she is in fact just pulling a bike out of the room. from what i can see of a corner, it looks big and empty with large marble-patterned tiles. she closes it and leaves. she is thin with long blonde hair, about my age. she looks innocent enough, but why should she have the key to the secret room of my first house? i decide that i will ask for it. i should have it, not her. she’ll have to give it to me, since she works for my family. i suspect that there is a secret drawer in the wall by the stairs that she doesn’t know about, but i’ll check on that later. i walk on through to the regular stairway and look out the second story window. there is a restaurant/bar there. i am shocked. this place used to be surrounded by trees and cornfields. how much has changed since i left? i ask seth if it’s any good and he says that it’s alright. i think that maybe i’ll go there for dinner, i might as well get to know the place again since i’ll be staying there. i go outside into the wet parking lot and look at the signs through the fog. it’s chilly, but comfortable. just the way i like it. i think that i should go to the library and ask for maps of sterling and rock falls with borders so that i can reorient myself, i have no idea which direction i’m facing. i decide to go exploring and find myself in the basement of my home. i go out the door into a set of underground pedways. i think that it is quite convenient despite my surprise. there is a bustling business center down there. at first i only see secretive, dirty, thick and heavy basement doors with small reinforced glass windows and peeling notices for the hospital. they go to the gynecology department and to the verification of records department and to the testing center. but then i find myself in a large foyer that is teeming with people and markets. in the center is a table covered with a huge pile of wet, cooked white rice. 2 cups for a dollar they tell me. the young girls, who look so much like my maid but in druid garb, ask me to watch. they reach into a bowl and put handfuls of cinnamon on the rice. then they start to mix it up, but it’s not working so well so they poor milk right on the table from a pitcher. it splashes and soaks in and drips off the edges of the worn unfinished wooden table. the girls work their hands through it mixing the rice and cinnamon together. a young man is with them and flashes a well-practiced smile at me. 2 cups for a dollar, it’s a great deal, they remind me. i think that it is a great deal and i have a dollar. but something’s not right. just thinking of the sweetness makes my stomach turn and i think that they shouldn’t use cow milk, they should use coconut milk. i’m beginning to sense a trap when my alarm scares the hell out of me and makes me jump up wide awake. texturally, the most vivid dream in months.