Moving into the luxurious but crowded dining room, I spot one of my acquaintances wearing a floral-patterned white dress, her hair dyed slightly red and flowing down her back, and surrounded by hopeless bow-tied suitors from all corners of the young professional world. Their Vineyard Vines and Hugo Boss match their aged scotch, and they pretend to not be distracted by her womanly strength as part of a ridiculous game of hard-to-get. She smiles, happy just to be here. Not having any romantic intentions, I come up to her and get back in touch. Naturally, I ask her about her current occupation. All of a sudden, the cheery decadence of the restaurant becomes frozen, like a fly doused in hairspray, and only she moves, her face morphing from a glistening visage to one piercingly austere.
"Why are you asking me this? I don't understand."
There are some social cues that come to me quickly, but this one just wasn't clicking right away. "Pardon, what are you up to nowadays?"
The communication gap was widening. A gentleman to my left is giving me a look of incredulity, as if he was mildly embarrassed for me. I just realized her new position is in the advanced military research structure--a post very rare for a person straight out of undergrad--and that she is restricted from giving the most minute details of her job as part of her security clearance.
I am ashamed, and feel even more worthless than when I entered the restaurant in the first place.
"Oh okay. So this is the first preliminary measure?"
After embracing, she disappears. Left alone, I realize I have been duped into being the caretaker for this mansion while the owners are on vacation at a Vegas resort. I am angered, knowing another day of my young and limited life has been taken away for something very insubstantial. The clock ticks with my frustration, and I get lost in a dark stupor. I spot the one dollar waste bin I had just purchased and mistake it for the urinal.
The businessmen in this auditorium are very nervous. Shinzo Abe is sitting askew across the legs of his staff members in the most awkward fashion, although he is otherwise serious and concerned. We are being addressed by security agents, and I can't help but notice the strange activity in the rear set of seats, where some suited gentlemen are given eye exams as if pulled over for a DUI.
To the left, I see a group of three or four villainous people I would imagine to appear in a Quentin Tarantino space thriller. (Yup, that's Lucy Liu right there.) A flamboyant member of this crüe wearing the garb of an ancient pharaoh uses a plasma umbrella to effortlessly bypass the electronics controlling the lock, all while grinning treacherously. They gather at the front below the stage and unveil a strange alien-like creature. This golden, furry monstrosity consists of wings, claws, eight tiny spider-like eyes and a vacuuming siphon of a mouth. It begins flying and in my horror, I see it attach itself to the eye of a man with surgical precision. The man screams as his eye is systematically gouged and removed, where bionic mechanisms in the animal's head removes the optic nerve and solders seven pins in an ordered pattern. The eye is moved to the animal's blue gut for storage, and the monster moves on to its next victim.
I somehow escape outside, where I see a black woman crying next to her grey sedan. There is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Some time later, I see a horrible machine of Wicker-man-like gruesomeness, consisting of all the harvested eyes arranged on a vehicle in a hexagonal array like a mobile radar. I feel the displaced organs contain the trapped souls of those who knew a little too much.
On my way home from the fundraiser, walking through Boston, I reach a crosswalk near the Common. I am aware of the roving marauders that have been terrorizing the city the past few weeks, so I make sure to watch my surroundings.
What? I am at another restaurant. My sister has regressed in age and is riding a lone kiddie carnival ride installed on the western end of the facility, accompanied by a mysterious young woman. Apart from this odd furnishing, the place appears to be scarcely decorated and the three islands of booths are illuminated with brutal fluorescent light. After my sister is done with the ride, I lead her to my family's table, where the restaurant has garnished the seats with dried yellow kelp for good luck. The waitress lays down four empty, ovular plates and hands us menus.
"Some of these will require a microwave," she says, "but we don't have one."