A voting station is located at a sunny plant-lined street corner in my neighborhood, near the Five Markets grocery. A older mom is setting a bad example by parking herself in her camping chair too close to where voting is happening, advocating her causes, believing she’s not breaking the law because as an experienced mom she only has good intentions.
I’m volunteered/recruited to serve in an official capacity on a committee fulfilling the protocols of French justice. We’re brought into a long narrow indoor space with all manner of investigatory equipment stowed away in compartments. One such instrument activates a reenactment of the perpetrator’s statement. It’s a gray-haired Jewish lady, older but not elderly, who appears very evidently happier locked away and isolated in her own boxed-in world. Inconveniently, the transgression she is accused of committing seems both 1) intended to have gotten her locked away, and 2) not serious enough to merit such “punishment”. An ethical conundrum thus results for we judicial volunteers.
Inhabiting an odd communal outdoor space comprised of a large wave pool interspersed with metal tool lockers as tall as a man. Periodically other men and I rummage around in the wire-walled lockers to fetch tools for one job or another. I’m less experienced than most of them and might be doing an apprenticeship. One of the friendlier and artier guys demonstrates his solution to moving audio between distant parts of the wave pool, crossfading between top speakers and bottom speakers, creating an illusion of living sound.
I’m assigned a certain one of the locker-tops close to the wave machine, where sea creatures like starfish and barnacles crust heaviest. I am to use the roof for lounging and my home base. A teenage girl named Megan is randomly paired with me to share it. She’s lanky and skimpily dressed, stylishly suntanned, with a breathy unpolished voice. On first meeting she’s immediately suspicious of my maleness, giving a speech about how we’ll never sleep together and don’t get any ideas, et cetera. She says this to me while laying on her stomach in a bikini, sunglasses pushed down her nose, gazing at my shirtless torso. We’ll be sharing this intimate little room-sized island for several months… and this is the first thing she says to me. Whether Megan realizes it or not, the two of us having sex has become an immediately apparent eventuality. I respond to her haughty pronouncements with only a wolfish grin.