we’re in some sort of cafeteria, but the floors have the cheap carpet of our library and there is a fundraiser of some sort going on.  i don’t know exactly what it is for.  and the only thing up for bid is a paperback book of watercolor medical illustrations.  i can’t really afford it, but i want it.  they want $24.97 for it. it sits on a countertop in the middle of this big underused space.  i decide that i’ll think about it for a while and if no one buys it, i will give them $40 for it.
Someone has brought stacks of cds in plastic sleeves.  one of them is a friend of a friend’s band and i listen to it.  it’s not really my favored style but it’s good old school rock. i’m bored so i go back to the kitchen to wash my mug.  there isn’t any food, but there is a tv and it shows a Lush reunion.  I had forgotten how much I loved a few of their songs and recognize the guitarist as the guy from the cd I had just listened to it.  they all look pudgy and older and not really into it, but it still sounds good.
i go back out and kick over a mug on the floor accidentally.  the table i had been at has been moved.  they are lining tables up for a meeting and placing packets at each seat.  i lay paper towels over the spilled coffee and complain to jaimie that someone has taken my mug from the table when they moved it even though this wasn’t true.  it still had coffee in it, i tell her. the clerk apologizes and offers to get me a fresh cup.  i see someone leaving with the book and ask if it sold.  she says it has. i’m both disappointed and relieved.
my cousin and i are at a mall and in the bookstore we sit down and he puts his hand against mine, our fingers spread out like alternating brown and pale turkey feathers. we just stare at them like that for a while.
i take a man out for dinner at a stucco diner that looks lonely and closed on an otherwise boarded up and empty street. he is a man in his 30s or 40s.  he is wearing stained black and gray stripes like a cartoon convict, his face is covered in silver facepaint that is buried beneath layers of dirt, he stinks of body odor and is unshaven, his hair is thin, curly, and greasy.  he never speaks. he carries with him a cardboard man wearing the same clothes as his own and it has a crudely drawn face.  it’s the only way he’ll go anywhere.  i know it will upset people, but the man has to eat.