I was watching boys I’d known in high school performing at my college, which confused me. That they were playing the part of dogs controlled by a man at center stage confused me more, but as an audience member I responded enthusiastically.
One of them, TL, called me over and handed me a request to pick up his medication. I began wandering the labyrinthine halls of a rundown Gothic building with scratched wooden doors that were missing locks, trying to find what I guessed to be a formulating pharmacy. I understood that this errand wasn’t important to the boy and that he’d wanted me to go away, but I also knew that the request was for asthma medication. I kept hearing, “Asthma: Life or death.”
Finally, after having almost blundered into a secret research lab (one of the doors without a lock), I came away with two bottles of medication. The only bathrooms I could find were filthy. I thought about a couple of people I’d seen and wondered how they could have come to be here. They shouldn’t and couldn’t be here, but here they were.
I looked up to find DK staring at me as he was coming down an incongruous escalator, but in an epiphany I realized I no longer cared and that somehow I had earned a graduate degree in political science. I couldn’t remember a single course. I’ve done it again, I thought, squeaked out a degree without having learned anything.
At some point, now or earlier, I was walking along a highway and up a ramp toward home. The ramp suddenly blended into a grassy, rock-covered hill with no signs of highway or pavement in any direction.
I felt more lost than ever.