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Lucid dreaming

You’re at work. At least, you think it’s work. The chairs and tables in the room are organized in much the same way as those in your workplace, as are the doors and lights. Yes, this is definitely work… but it would appear that it’s aboard a cruise ship. For some reason this doesn’t faze you. A cruise ship… whatever.

A shivering, naked woman is walking through the room; staring blankly into space. She’s cold, and her hair is wet. She looks an awful lot like Maria Bello, but with a softer jaw. More than that she looks lost and upset.

You
Are you OK? What happened to your clothes?
Her
You
OK, uh… let’s find you something to wear.

You take her out the back and start looking for some clothes. Not that you’d expect clothes to just be there, lying around, but you never know; stranger things have happened in your workplace–at–sea, mute naked women notwithstanding. Finding a sheet, you wrap her in it like a makeshift toga. Oddly, as if being dry and clothed were the salve to her problems, her cheeks warm up and her skin loses its pallor.

Her
Thanks.
You
What happened to your clothes?
Her
I got a phone call from my ex–boyfriend last night. He’s found out that he has herpes, so he’s calling everybody he’s been with to let them know he could’ve infected them. Now nine of his ex–girlfriends have moved in with him.
You
That’s a shame.

That doesn’t really explain where her clothes went, though; herpes or no herpes. It could be simplex, for all you know. Why in the hell have nine of his ex–girlfriends moved in with him? Are they building some kind of herpetic love nest, or what? The questions boggle the mind, but they don’t seem so important right now. The scene has changed. You’re sitting on a picnic blanket on a grassy hill, under an azure sky streaked with cirrus. There’s a light breeze coming from the right. The right could be any direction, really, but you assume that it’s West, if only because the breeze is cool and you’re accustomed to having sea breezes come from the West. The sheet has gone now, and she’s wearing a dress; something of a plain, countrified smock. Her hair isn’t blonde anymore, either, and she’s started to look more like Claire Danes than Maria Bello… but without the dimples. You can’t help but smile.

Her
What are you smiling at?
You
You. You’re beautiful.
Her
Thanks.