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In the Virtual Bank Line

I was working at a department store in some managerial capacity. This particular store housed the working offices for the whole chain, up on the top floor. It was the only part of the upper stories that had windows (partly because what's an executive office without a window and partly because it was next to the employee entrance). I was there at about 7pm with the Baby Goddess and we were standing right outside the president's office when she announced that she had to use the restroom. The only restroom on that floor was directly on the other side of the president's office, whose door was slightly ajar. Without going through her office, we would have to traverse the better part of the entire floor to go around the long way and she had to go NOW.

I decided that we'd just go through the president's office, since it was probably just the cleaning crew tidying up her office. Except that it wasn't. She was there with her grandchildren, and while I braced for a bawling-out, it never came. She totally understood my emergency and introduced me to her grandchildren.

I put the Baby Goddess into a bathroom stall, setting down my things with her. She wanted privacy, so I went outside and talked to a coworker for a bit. The coworker didn't know that I was there with the BG, and said something like "Isn't it getting late?" And I realized that it was long past dinner time and I should be going home. Only after I was in bed for the night did I realize that I had left BG in the bathroom at work.

I panicked and thought "I left my phone with her. I can call and make sure she's okay." The only phone I had to call with was my old cell phone, which was terribly complicated. One had to flip up a panel that clicked the number keys into place in a configuration different than regular phones, the screen was then not visible, and one had to push three buttons in a certain sequence to send. But I kept getting the phone number wrong because I was shaking, and once I got it right it didn't connect because the old cell phone was 408 and the new one is 831, and I had neglected to put an area code in at all.

Then I realized that the BG was with her father, so it was fine. I had nothing to worry about. I was suddenly at a religious retreat with pirateguillermo. It was out in the desert at a very large building whose outside was all whitewashed adobe. The inside was very modern and well-appointed, and out in the back, beyond a huge swimming pool, was a rock garden filled with impossibly white sand and perfectly round white rocks ranging in size from tiny pebbles to boulders big enough to sit on. People would go out into the rock garden and meditate and rearrange the stones, so there were always patters of whorls and paisleys in the clean sand.

I was in the shower and realized that someone out side was trying to get my attention. I dressed and went outside and someone pressed a DVD into my hands whose cover was plain red with silver letters that said "CRW-1 LINK." The words didn't mean anything to me, but the person who handed me the DVD said that it was a porn video starring one of the men I worked with.

As I stared at the cover, the person told me that the library in the retreat center was full of these porn videos, and they all had the same kind of names - "LBN WORK," "X25 TRANSIT," etc. And the covers were solid colors with the printing on them, and nothing else. There would be no way to look at then amd know that it was porn. I tried to feel curious or outraged or anything, but I couldn't. I couldn't even be sure that this person was telling me the truth. I decided that it just didn't matter. It didn't do anything to change my relationship with the people with whom I worked, and I was just going to pretend I had never heard any of it.

I went to leave, realizing that I had promised to visit my brother on the other side of town. I discovered that I had no idea how to get to my brother's from where I was, so I called my mother. She said "There's a big footrace being run on that side of town. If you just follow the racers, it'll pass by two bus stops. We left your motorcycle for you by one of the bus stops."

I went outside into a large intersection, and it looked like there were at least three footraces being run, all going in different directions. A woman I knew went jogging by with a group of friends and said "Oh, follow us. I think there are bus stops along our way."

I followed her and inadvertently leapt over a turnstile into a subway station, neglecting to pay my fare. Klaxons sounded and I jumped back out again wondering how I was going to find my motorcycle. I wandered around the city for a while before spotting it on a side street nowhere near any sort of bus stop.

I got on it and had already started on my way when I realized that I still didn't know how to get to my brother's house. I decided that I would just call my mother en route. On my motorcycle. On the freeway.

Thank goodness I woke up then.