On a boat, minding my own business reading. Three lavatory cabins sit on the left of the boat, bobbing widely up and down in the spray. I’m friendly with the boatman, and we take a 15 minute break on a shoreline so I can get up and stretch my legs, and take a pee break outside those challenging lavatories. I watch as a water pressure rocket shoots into the sky.
Asking a girl I know out on a date. (As it happens, this girl will later become my crush.) We’re at a college, riding around on student buses, among huge institutional buildings with wide lawns laid out on a grid. I point out to her the many little groups of animal sculptures placed on balconies of an incomplete building, supposedly a tradition in Arabia and the Emirates. One group of wolves, though, is alive, and we watch enthralled as they stalk across the empty road outside our bus windows.
We go somewhere inside a big university building, a place with high-ceilinged two-story elevators. A maintenance man actually points out how they’ve recently made them nicer. There’s somewhere I think would be nice to take her for a date, but when we get there it’s a student mental health clinic (maybe we mis-navigated, maybe they moved the location). I figure this out looking through forms over the light of a desk lamp, politely decline their services, and take her somewhere nicer.
We find a plain rectangular room with a bed. I ask her directly if she’d like to have sex. Her reaction is everything: she ponders with her finger pressed to her lips, eyes cast upwards, gently scratching her now bald head. It’s a subtly amusing overacted display of thoughtfulness, and I take the time to evaluate her unique beauty. Finally she turns to me and pronounces a simple, conclusive “yes”. I smile, but realizing we haven’t actually had any regular fun yet I change tack. We snuggle up back-to-front and proceed through a card I have, a written series of jokes and responses, and she quickly picks up on it. We start to form a bond.
Again I’m a young kid, reading on a bus this time. Keep my tiny fuzzy rat Pierre under my fuzzy sweater, with the waist tucked in. My reading is interrupted by a bus guard (seem like a lot of rules on this bus) who scans me with handheld detector. But I feel uncharacteristically fine about it, and don’t worry about Pierre. My dad sits in the seat next to me. While I’m reading, the left lens of my glasses comes loose and blows out the window. I quickly try to remember the street, 45th I think, so we can go back and get it. However, the next street is 11th and the street after that is labelled 11:11.
I attempt to improvise, putting a grid of various colored glitter-water into a cat-eye-shaped lens and frame. Remarkably, the lens is the correct size, yet has a crunchy ice texture that makes it useless for reading through — but fascinating to look at. I study it intently and wonder what I could use it for, my reading forgotten.