Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dream Theater: The Second-Hand Store

Photo by ThorNews.com
I was driving to a large party, at a house somewhere in the suburbs of a big city. But a few minutes after arriving I decide to leave and buy a pack of cigarettes. 

I ask for directions to the nearest store, but no one seems to know where one is, so I strike out on my own. I walk a few blocks and find myself in a commercial district, near an advertising agency where I have some kind of job. But instead of the high-rise where its offices should be, the agency is now located above a second-hand store. 

Inside the store it's a mad jumble of old furniture, decorative items, housewares and clothing, books and dolls and toys. Looking around, I realize that it could be better organized and more successful than it is. 

My job at the agency doesn't keep me very busy. I'm not one of the more popular or well-regarded employees. So I have some time on my hands. I wander through the store's many rooms until I find the manager, tucked away in a small office in the back. 

She's a timid, older woman, and I've interrupted her lunch. But I tell her I want to volunteer at the store, and rearrange all its merchandise. By color. I tell her there will be a blue room, a green room, and so on. She's not convinced that my plan is a good one.

In the meantime, A_____ and several of my coworkers at the agency have returned from their own lunches. They come into the store, laughing and talking, and sit down at a kitchen table in the front. They show me a new trivia game they've all downloaded to their phones. 

I play it with them, and it turns out I'm good at it. Really good.