i have Layla’s baby, Katrina (but really it is Alex’s 10 month old girl).  our houses and streets are modern, but we are all dressed like we’re from The Little House of the Prairie and I am on the street my grandma lived on.  i’m selling something.  i never talk about what it is (potions i think), but I know that having a baby in my arms will make business with the neighborhood ladies less obvious to onlookers.  after taking the child across the street and to a stream in the woods and feeling comfortable with her soft weight, i walk into the neighborhood and enter a cafe.  there are two women there who recognize me at once and coo over the child.  they ask me to go downstairs and we sit in a booth.  one side of the cabin basement is exposed and floor to ceiling windows let the sunshine in.  it’s very bright and i put a red and black lightweight flannel blanket over the baby’s face.  she curls up in it and i look down to see she is a yorkie puppy resting comfortably in my lap.
in a tiny motel room with my mother, i point out the beverage options.  they have liquor here, which is risky.  there is a laminated sign that says with a purchase totaling $89 they will send someone to our room.  I laugh at it and my mother says “oh, they’ll only send a maid only if you spend that much?!” i do not correct her.  we unpack and try to not bump into each other in this cramped space which is already full of odds and ends.  it’s busy outside, but safe in here.  my mother suddenly exclaims “oh! they don’t mean a maid!” and i shake my head and chuckle at her pious disgust.