"Fred, don't you think so?" he asked, and the room began to empty. I made my way to the door, but hung back to listen.
"Joe, I have to tell you something. I'm a...Republican."
The look on Joe's face was the same stricken horror that a lot of college guys get when their life-long best friends admit to being gay.
"What? You mean....how could.....This whole time? You can't be! What about all those vegetarian dinners? What about all that illegal music downloading? You can't be! You've always been so liberal!"
"I was just doing it because I didn't want you to hate me, Joe."
I walked out smirking. I went into another common room where recursive was sitting at one of the tables in front of a huge book. I sat down and he went into a very animated, recursive-like discourse about the classes he was going to take next quarter, saying that he wanted to take astrophysics, and then he wanted to take something light like Weimar history to balance it out. I asked him for a couple of pictures of himself, and he handed me two saying "They're not very representative." I looked at them. Each one was a picture of one of his hands.
He put his hands on the table and said "See? I've broken one of my fingers. Guess which one."
The middle finger of his right hand twisted like a salamander and was perhaps half the diameter of the other fingers. I was on the point of asking him what happened when idunno3 came in with a plate of food. It was something lumpy and white in a tomato-y sauce.
He put it down and started eating while recursive and I started talking to him. We finally asked him what it was he was eating, and idunno3 said that it was brains. recursive asked whether it was pig or calf brains, and idunno3 said that it was human brains. recursive and I started laughing and calling him "Creutzfeldt-Jakob Boy."
Then I had to leave. I was moving some furniture with the help of pirateguillermo and a contraption that was like the bed of a flatbed truck, only about three feet wide and six feet long, just long enough to hold the two big chests I was moving.
We started down the highway. The two of us had to sit in the back holding onto the furniture, which was only loosely tied down. At one point, one of the chests came loose and fell into the road and we decided to get off the highway. I realized that there was some sort of mass migration going on because not only were all four lanes of the highway full of people moving in their Ford Expedition conestoga wagons. Even the four lanes that would have been used for oncoming traffic were full of people leaving the city. It didn't occur to me to wonder why, though.
We turned off the road and were immediately on the side of a barren mountain, on a road so tiny that our three-foot-wide conveyance filled the entire trail. Even if someone had wanted to pass us, there was nowhere for us to pull over. We finally came to a place where the road widened and a guy went flying past us on a horse.
He turned into a compound that looked like a small town a hundred years ago, except that the whole thing was behind a huge fence with a wrought-iron gate. Just then, pirateguillermo fell sick and said that he was going into the compound to get some medicine.
I waited with the driver of our conveyance, and when pirateguillermo didn't return, I went into the compound. The place had a store, a post office, a clinic. There were women and little girls everywhere, but I only saw one or two men, neither of whom was the man who had passed us.
I asked around and finally found pirateguillermo lying passed out and trembling in the man's office. The man was the patriarch of a polygamist group, and the other men were his sons. The various women were his and the son's wives, and the little girls were their children. It was only after convincing the man that we hadn't come to stay that he gave us some medicine.
Once again, I have no idea what this could mean.