i am applying for a job at NU. i write to the hiring manager to tell her that I know there is a rumor about something I did but that, if given the time, I can explain how it was better for the organization that I did it.  This pisses off the President who happens to be Aziz Ansari.  He says that I shouldn’t know that they are talking about any of it! he thinks it’s incredibly inappropriate for me to even mention it.  I cry back at my office because they just don’t understand.  And Aziz worked with me, we used to be EQUALS he knows how hard I work! i get called in for an interview anyway.  the interviewer is a cross between Taneka at work and Jenny my old landlord.  The ask me to fill out some forms.  they don’t even interview me, they just offer me the job with a salary of $62000.  It’s perfect, it works with my student loan payment plan, i accept.  she tells me that they were never even considering anyone else.  that my application came through with a note that i had worked there for 5 years and had exemplary reviews, that i’m on my way to winning an award.  i don’t think that i have worked there 5 years.  i count back.  are they counting the time i worked at the hospital?  i guess it was still northwestern when i got hired there….
i go to tell my friends that i have a new job.  i go to their place in a hotel.  Karen and Mike are there.  Karen asks me about what job i had and i tell her.  she says “oh, that’s when i wasn’t talking to you for years.” and laughs.  i still don’t know why she didn’t talk to me or why she’s suddenly wanting to be friends like nothing happened.  another guy comes in.  he’s a lot like this guy Dan from high school.  he says it’s great that i have work and i thank him.  eventually Brett gets there.  at first he’s happy for me and excited but something changes his mood.  he tells me how Dan can’t fucking stand me.  that as soon as i leave he’ll start talking about how much he hates me.  he’s already said that he hates me more than anyone.  it’s the same old mind games and i know not to fall for it but it still hurts and makes me question everyone around me. Brett comes in for a hug while saying vile things.  i’m frozen.  Dan kicks him in the back knocking the wind out of him and dropping him to the ground.  i nod at Dan and say thank you before running out.  
at a coffee shop i find my little sister (about 8 years old) and my dad.  my dad is sitting inside a large blue fan/scallop shell.  he says it’s so humid, we might as well get in the water.  do we want to go?  jaimie is excited and jumps up ready to go.  but where? i ask him.  he says we’ll find a watering hole somewhere.  he asks a local where we should go.  the guy says we can jump into the stream right across the street.  if we go to the left it follows I-120, if we go to the right it stops by a field and doesn’t go very far.  i definitely don’t want to swim along the interstate so we go right.  my dad says he bets there’s a way to go further than that guy thinks. we wade through a wide stream that is more like a shallow river.  the water is clean and wide.  my sister dives in and out of the water getting her whole self wet but i am carrying my bag from the interview still so i can’t swim, only tread water.  they are going way too fast for me to keep up comfortably so i am always far behind and alone.  when we get to the first gate by the field, my dad shows us that people are swimming on the other side.  it might be dangerous, i think, but we go through the metal gate anyway.  the water is much deeper here.  and the way is narrower.  on either side of the river are giant rugs hanging from the sky with tags on them.  hundreds of them! i never knew this store was here, i think.  they are gorgeous colors and storeys high.  oranges and blues and deep plaids. all kinds of bold designs.  they twirl in the wind and swimming between them is like going through some magical car wash.  a girl tells me that i’m missing my skirt but i explain that it’s a swim suit so it just looks that way but it is whole.
when we are done swimming i run into Quinn.  he is showing me pictures of his place covered in powder and popped balloons and scattered game pieces.  he says that’s what parenthood is like.  always a mess to clean up.  but then he goes home to his clean house and carefully stages these photos of messes he creates.  it’s his art.  he shows me a balloon animal that his daughter brought home.  “i mean, what is that supposed to be?!” and i stare at the intricately tied thing and I know what it is.  “It’s a mosquito,” i tell him.