I’m driving; Chrissy’s sitting passenger; we used to date.
“Where should I go in Tokyo?” she says. “I’m nervous.”
“Candace,” I think. I make a left turn that is wrong and irreversible; the drive to the restaurant is now ten minutes longer.
“What did you do when you went to Tokyo?” Chrissy says.
“What?” I say. I don’t want to talk to this person, yet I have agreed to eat dinner with her. I feel strange.
“What did you do in Tokyo?” she says. “Where did you go?”
“I don’t know,” I say. “I feel strange.”
“Did you eat in Tokyo?” Chrissy says.
“What are your twenty favorite foods?” I say.
“Why twenty?” she says. “Why not ten?”
“You have a passion for human psychology,” I say.
She doesn’t hear me; she is making a kind of noise that is very loud. I don’t know what is happening. I have a passion for human psychology. I am the one with the passion for human psychology; not her. I am a good person. I hate Tom Hanks. I sort of hate Tom Hanks. I work at the movie theatre Candace works at.
I’m in bed at night. “Kafka,” I think. I laugh out loud. The light is on; I want it off; I don’t want to move. “An ant’s heart is hard and soft,” I think. “Hard and cold.”
“I want a heart transplant with an ant,” I think.
“Soy beans,” I think. “Tofu. Seaweed. White rice.”
I drive to a shopping plaza.
I walk the aisles of this all-night supermarket. I touch cereal boxes. I bring a package of steak to my cheek; I feel its coldness. I lick it. I go to seafood. I pick up a fish. A real fish; two feet long. I am about to laugh out loud. I stop myself. I go to my car. I am depressed. I drive directly to my apartment. I check my e-mail. Chrissy has e-mailed. I laugh out loud. “Wait,” I think.
At work I sell tickets in the box-office.
"You’re very enthusiastic today,” my manager says.
“I am okay,” I say.
She stares at me. “Remember to smile whenever a patron looks at your face,” she says.
“I know,” I say.
In my apartment I crawl to the kitchen. I eat four bowls of Frosted Flakes. I drink orange juice. I eat a box of cherry tomatoes. I am about to vomit. “Shut the fuck up,” someone outside shouts. “People are trying to sleep.” I stop moving. I am sitting on the floor by the refrigerator. I am about to lie on my bed.
I’m looking at the butter machines; my manager points me toward the box-office.
“You look like you’re about to cry,” she says. “You look disgusted.”
I go in the box-office.
A woman stares at my face.
“Three for Pokemon,” she says.
“Make the transaction,” I say out loud by accident.
My manager enters the box office.
“Go on break,” she says.
I go on break.
I walk to my car. I rip my side rear-view-mirror off my car. I carry the mirror and set it on another car’s trunk. I grin. My break is over. I go back to the movie theatre; I realize my break is not over. I have used about 10% of my twenty-minute break, which means I have been on break for about two minutes, which is not true, which means I have to go back to the beginning to rethink everything, since any one thing affects every other thing, which also means something.