It’s third grade, and I’m starting a painting assignment in the last period of class — a massive mural-sized map. At first I paint on large paper at my desk, then moving to the walls of the classroom. Making the land using smooth strokes of light red against red. Switching to a dark purplish blue for the seas, and aged vintage yellow for other empires of the world beyond my knowledge. The border of the colors is arbitrary, artistic. I experiment, blending darker parts into the sea to make it look deeper. The recommendation was to use blots of red, but it blends terribly.
The teacher leaves through a side door to grab something. Since the door is in my row I have to move aside. As she comes back, I hand her a pair of sunglasses I found lying on the ground there, telling her she dropped them. She claims not to recognize them.
During quiet time at the end I survey my finished work, with the goal of convincing her to let me seal it. I only need to ask her the finish: matte, satin, or glossy. Her car is parked inside the classroom, and I circle around it, noting its make as a Capri, a “Capri Sun.” I look up the car on a website; it’s related to a ’94 Tirder, which is Scandinavian-style word for fending off collisions. She won’t let me ask about either, as it’s still quiet time.
A girl complains in the front row — which now appears opposite of where it was — and tries to impart how worldly she is; needing to tan, that she’s only slept with 10 people. Teacher proclaims “if you’re 9 and have already slept with 10 people, how do you feel about a visit to the school psychiatrist?” This elicits a sigh and shuts down the complaining. The girl acts as if she was talking about her dog sleeping with 10 other dogs.
I’m floating/wandering through a simulation of my neighborhood. It’s 4th of July, nighttime, and I have a special appreciation for its uniqueness — the colors of lights flashing everywhere as I pass through corridors, watching them reflect off windows of closed-up music shops and grocery stores. There’s one large simulated power station which draws energy from the physics engine (in the same way a real-world power generator would). I recognize it as a facility I’ve made a delivery to before. I witness as one of the explosions spawns inside the locked-up doors and begins an explosive chain reaction. I’m the only one right there, and I happen to know how to get inside, and mount rescue efforts even though it means I might be destroyed in the simulation.