Imagine running up Labor in Vain Road, and encountering R——. The road is foggy; it's hard to make out who you're talking to. Lights wink in and out at us through the murk. R—— is trudging in the other direction. She is smiling, but in a pained way and too broadly. She betrays how false the expression is. Her voice is hollow as she tries to be cheery.
"Where ya headed?"
I have slowed to a trot, but I can't stop running, in that I am not allowed to by controlling physical realities in this state.
"I'm getting somewhere, I promise. I'll shoot you an email when I'm done. What are you working on, R——?"
The shrug, the well-remembered half-hearted joke.
"I don't know."
She maintains the image we have of her, even if there are cracks showing, doors left closed for long periods.