Later, I returned to the other part of the mall to find my mother. The people in the store acted grim, and then said my mom was dead. She had been in an accident driving to her new job across the mall, and didn’t make it in the hospital.
On another floor was the piercing parlor. I was instructed to scar one of the piercers. This new trend involved punching holes in the skin with a square shaped die. I didn’t have training. In the process I fell in love with him. Then he scarred me as a sign of his love for me.
"No one's answering the doorbell," the neighbor said.
"Well that's absurd. Mom never locks the door except at night," I told her.
She removed glass from the living room window so people could get inside the house. The door was jammed shut. Mom had been subletting the basement to a drummer from a metal band, who was so drunk, he rammed into the door with his head, and collapsed, unconscious. His wild drinking binges had caught on with mom and her boyfriend, who were so hungover, they didn't even know what day it was.
"The fish must be real," someone said in the midst of our wax fight. "They smell like fish." But they had merely been scented, and were as hard as wax, if not wood painted with wax, or even steel coated in wax and varnished.
"This makes me uncomfortable," one of the women said, a scrawny type who no doubt was uncomfortable with food regardless of its authenticity.
"Cucumber," she says, pointing to the same picture of the duck, except now the duck is gone and there's a pickle on an oak table. She's half right, which is, she's not as wrong as before, but still wrong.
"Dulcimer," she says again. I want to put the blindfold on her, maybe that will help, but it seems like she's already blind.
I wasn't amused.
"Yeah," she said, smuggly. "First I'm going to stay with you guys, and then move around a lot for the next five years."
"How long?" I asked.
"Probably a month but maybe longer, it depends."
I grew angry. "Well, I think we'll have to talk about the cat situation," I said.
"Oh, yeah, I'm bringing the cats."
I became violent. "There better not be another incident with your cat pissing on my bed!" I shouted. You better get that cat fixed before you come back!"
I'm a two-dimensional, shit-faced brick with a ballpoint pen poking out of me, on a one-way trip to the moon. Oh, and I have one of those things that's either half-hard or half-flaccid, depending on how you perceive the world. And this is getting too personal.
In the back, there's a staff quiz going on about who sang the song "Sister Christian". No one remembers, but it encourages a discussion about favorite hair bands.
I met up with Marci, went to the grocery store, and realized she knew someone, but she took her time asking the guy if he had any to sell.
Steve grew impatient. I played for time, but went out, forgetting his number.
I asked the dealer if he had the number for someone Steve lived with.
This guy, his wife, and Marci, were all really high. I had to drive us around. I got lost on the highway and ended up driving us around inside a mall.
When the group of explorers gathered, I was part of it. I went with them to explore the tower and the legend, in disbelief that I was involved. I knew the Birdman was still there, hidden inside the darkened chamber, waiting for more interlopers to prey on.