G and I arrive at our new home. The dirt at the front door is muddy, so I move a flat rock into place for a step. As I open the door some loose stucco around the doorjamb falls off. "I knew you would do something like this," she says. Inside, the house is actually much larger that it looked from the outside. There are several more floors below ground level. I look behind me and notice that the doorway is now tall and wide, big enough for a horse and rider. I lead G back outside and down some stairs to show her the lower floors. Instead of the house, however, we enter a large underground shopping mall. The way back into our house, it seems, passes through a narrow, airport-style bar. A small Asian woman sits on a stool by the entrance with a white towel spread on the floor in front of her. "You want beers? Two beers!" she hollers. We protest. We only want to get through. The owner steps up, looks at our bare feet and whispers to her: "Let them go. They're from Afghanistan." We leave the bar and walk up a carpeted ramp. We find a small table next to the wall and sit down next to each other. There are some shopping bags and boxes full of plastic trinkets under the table. Former girlfriend, P, appears and sits down across from us. She explains that her plan is to sell the stuff, somehow. Getting up, I tell her we have to go look for our front door because we left it wide open. Now she is following us. I wish that I hadn't said anything about where we were going because I really didn't want her to know where we live. Finally, we find the entrance to our lower level, which now, it seems, is guarded by stucco walls that form a kind of moat filled with wild animals. From above, I can see a mountain lion pacing and a wild boar, who chases down a deer and eats it. "Great. They're pooping in our house." G says. Apparently, I no longer need to worry about someone getting into the place. We move on and sit down at a high bar table out in the main mall. A friendly young black waiter arrives and attempts to guess what each of us will order. I order a martini, gin, straight up, with an olive. G and I now share a single bar stool and are facing each other. We are not wearing pants.
V.22 No.30 | 7/25/2013