In two days, I have two dates at a dental office. It’s with my friend Dara (whom I used to go out with). I’m obviously more touchy-feely compared to the other patients — it’s a strange situation as I wouldn’t announce we were dating (Dara never thought of it like that anyway) and who goes on a date with a dentist multiple occasions to work on one’s teeth? I can’t remember if we made out at all, what with all the work being done on mouths there. Weird thought.
Inside a white office drawer under a counter, I find a drawer full of photos. I make it my task to clean them out. Unclaimed property and all that. I almost disrespect the person by default for leaving all their memories for someone else to deal with — then again, I don’t know the circumstances of how they were left.
I’ve been dealing with photos for awhile when I find one taken by Dara, one that was mentioned. It was taken at a seashore with craggy spikes, flamingoes, a 1950s wood-sided family car. Different areas of the photo are shown as I turn it in the colored lights — the flamingoes in the corner only show with the pink, for example. This is how I know it was the one mentioned, taken by Dara.
After doing the work with the photos I come into possession of an old blue suitcase. Not by my own choice, in fact — it was practically thrown at me. There’s a small group who are plainly coordinating with one another, trying to pull a scam of some kind. With feigned nonchalance, I’m asked to read aloud the address handwritten on the inside of the suitcase. It’s in Chicago with a zip code that someone insists “checks out”. Though I’ve been aware of there’s some scam, I’m starting to suspect it’s an actual curse — something that has to be passed on to an unwitting host.
I perceive, beyond just the curse-related suitcase, that the layer of fabric lining a nearby fence is named Malcolm (a very human name for fabric, isn’t it…).