Three times during the night’s dreams I find myself in a situation where a young girl expresses her attraction to me: one Scottish, one Japanese, and one American. Though hypothetically sketchy, I don’t sense any impropriety. I’ve been acting like my usual self (perhaps in a slightly better mood) and me being a target of infatuation seems like harmless fun all round. It’s also odd and sort of a running joke that it keeps happening; not sure what else I should do but take it in good humor.
One girl, memorably, sees we’re alone then smushes her undie-clad butt against the diamonds of a chain-link fence. Looks a little like the pillowy pattern on a sewn duvet? Maybe an elaborate pie crust? Ridiculous.
As a candidate, President Biden famously enjoyed traveling on the campaign tour bus. Now, a new All-American Travel Bus is made based on that design. One even meets presidential limo standards set by the Secret Service.
I show up to one of my regular classrooms as usual, though I quickly discover it’s officially an “optional” day — I didn’t need to show up but now I’m already here. The unfortunate reason (though unacknowledged) is obvious: there’s an Xfinity company rep sitting in the middle of the classroom joylessly disgorging some scripted promotional presentation. The class is mostly locked into a semi-trance in the projector-lit darkness. This ill-conceived sponsored pitch on its own is boring, mildly offensive even, but as the dowdy sad-sack shill drones on I begin to detect creepy undertones of propaganda. Militaristic, imperialist narratives seemingly weave through the dullest possible fabric — hypnotic, odious, uncontested.
I completely disengage, deeming it more effective than causing a scene. Since there’s nothing more important in class today, I set about searching high and low for my missing spice jar. It feels like part of the problem is I can’t remember the name, almost like I could simply call for it. Tactically, I interrupt the creepy droning corporate lump to ask if anyone can closer recall the name. The drone, in reflexive boorish overconfidence, wrongly declares it as “Erizetti”, then pairs it with an incorrect and simultaneously insulting definition. Seizing my opportunity (and also just fed up) I attack them on everything I can think of, with as much conciseness and authority I can summon. When I’m done Ms. Xfinity ignores me again and plows ahead exactly the same, but I can tell her incantation isn’t really working anymore. She can only run out the clock.
While I’m distracted still searching for the jar, class gradually empties out. My fifth grade teacher (Mrs. Plescia) returns, emerging from a back room now that the sponsored nonsense is over. We have a friendly relationship and can joke about it a bit. Behind the projector screen, I find a curious set of nesting jars with parts that interlock on both top and bottom. Not the jar I’m looking for, certainly close enough to evoke it though.
There’s a ledge above the screen that I can examine, barely, if I scoot along the counter on tippy-toes of one foot. No jar here either, though for some reason there is a little toy alligator. I realize, standing extended as I am, that the blue snowflake-patterned boxers I wore this morning (it is in fact June) are longer than the shorts I’m wearing. They’ve likely been peeking out all day — when I greeted Mrs. Plescia, while I ranted to the corporate drone, perhaps even earlier. Exasperation. Resignation.
Looking back at Mrs. Plescia I’m tempted to ask, on account of how class went today, where I would’ve found out that today’s class was optional. I half know, half dread that she’d probably just say “the syllabus”.