I chased a man who took something from and hurt me. Maybe he killed somebody I loved. He ran into a classroom with two doors. Another man, one who helped me, stood by one door and I the other. We ran into the classroom and caught the man who hurt me. He gently smiled and I felt some sympathy. Killing him wouldn't bring back what I lost. But still, I pulled out my laser gun and shot him right in his temple. Without waiting around to see what happened next, I ran out.
I ran down and through a series of hallways, deeper and deeper. I knew that the further back I went, the less chance for me to be found. I saw the double closet doors, two layers of them. I would be safe behind them. I went through and the first person I saw was Jay Leno. He said, boy oh man, he was gonna like living back here. How gross, I thought as I ran past him.
I kept running until I found a young, red-headed girl. Maybe she was who I lost? This was a tearful reunion. Here we could be together and I could raise her. I was so happy and we had a room here to live. I wrapped my laser gun into a blanket, tied it with a red cord and put it up on a high shelf.
There was another woman bathing a baby and a toddler in a sink. I'd seen them before on the outside. They weren't her daughters, but she wanted to raise them and here she could. This all seemed so nice.
I walked through a busy Target store, trying to figure out how much time had passed. When was now? I looked at the items on the shelves. Lamps and wooden phones. I thought about what I could buy for the little red-headed girl. I worried that someone might recognize me. Had enough time passed? Maybe being there wasn't safe.
I walked through the back, through an employee door and kept going back, back to where I first ran. There was a fancy conference room with wooden phones in front of each chair. Fancy bathrooms with black toilets, glass walls and no privacy. I kept going back and found the red-headed girl. Now a teenager, she was in a room with hair salon sinks and a naked Courtney Love. I didn't like seeing her with Courtney Love. They were both getting their hair done and talked about hair products and cosmetics. The red-headed girl tried to talk Courtney out of some kind of lip gloss. I realized that it was a long time since I made any effort on my appearance so I took two cosmetic samples. I tried talking to the red-headed girl and realized things changed. She was older, didn't belong here anymore and resented me for it. She'd try to leave sometime soon and I worried that I didn't prepare her for the real world. Would my attempt to protect her, in the end, fail her?
I went into another room and spoke to the hairdresser, an older woman. I decided that maybe it was time to get my hair done too. Maybe I hadn't had my hair done since I got here. Yet my hair seemed to have not changed or grown. Time really goes fast here, I said. The hairdresser didn't agree. She didn't live here in this protected maze. She comes and goes. On her schedule talks and other events were marked.
She couldn't do my hair until the following week, but had time to give a consultation. She asked what kind of person I was. I said wacky. She pointed out that now that I'm older, I might not be able to get away with hair like the red-headed teenager because of my roots. I said that I liked my red hair and its worked well for me. I pointed out the three shades of red currently in my hair. I told her my hair used to be purple. See, I'm wacky! I was afraid she'd make me a mousy brunette.
A man with a cheesy mustache came in for his appointment. I got up and left.
I walked around the huge maze of this place while eating a bag of sour cream and onion chips. How much had I explored, I wondered? I went into a huge, fancy cafeteria full of fancy people. It was a large room full of tables in the center and on each side there were large ships full of restaurants. I walked around, still eating my chips, and looked in the windows, at all the different types of chic and fancy people eating, noticed how the table were set, some with candelabras. I expected to see ________ (fancy, wretched celebrity poet), but didn't. I was very conscious of how I looked, with my old hair, potato chips and wondered what this sour cream and onion was doing to my breath
The boats started to rock. Everyone looked nervous. I stepped back, not sure what would happen next. I felt like I needed to put some distance between me and the rocking ships. Then there was a huge explosion on the other side of the room. Chaos. Everyone got up and ran. I shoved a handful of chips into my mouth and dropped the bag. I followed the exit signs, found an exit door, placed my hand on it to make sure it wasn't hot. It wasn't. I went through and ran down the stairs. Others ran too. Where would this take us? Where would it let out?