All Night Laundry - Updates 2021-05-10T22:32:34.098502+00:00 python-feedgen In which there was never really a question 2021-05-10T22:32:34.310493+00:00 <img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Of course,&quot; says Twelve. Not surprised.<br /><br />They really were <em>terrible</em> liars.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Around her, the chunks of the universe pop and sputter, like logs in a fire. <br /><br />Time to go. 2019-12-21T00:00:00-04:56 In which she sends them on their way 2021-05-10T22:32:34.310248+00:00 &quot;What do you know Thirteen&#8230;&quot; says Twelve. &quot;You were right.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Guess we&#39;re not that bad after-all.&quot; 2019-12-22T00:00:00-04:56 The End 2021-05-10T22:32:34.309986+00:00 <img src=""/> 2019-12-23T00:00:00-04:56 In which we're not quite done 2021-05-10T22:32:34.280308+00:00 Bina is tired and kind of fuzzy. She couldn&#39;t get her laundry done yesterday because she was held up at work and she&#39;s out of clean clothes. She decided to come to this laundromat because it&#39;s open all night.<br /><br />She&#39;s just about to go inside when something weird happens.<br /><br />A small yellow shiny thing just appears out of nowhere, right in the middle of the sidewalk.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Of course, it DIDN&#39;T just appear out of nowhere, that&#39;s not a thing that things do. It must have blown or tumbled there, like any other normal piece of trash. <br /><br />Right?<br /><br />But when she looks closer. It&#39;s not a piece of trash.<br /><br />It&#39;s a piece of lego. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />A four-piece, the kind that always manage to escape when you&#39;re putting things away and lurk, vindictive, in the patterns of a carpet to strike at unprotected feet.<br /><br />She picks it up. <br /><br />Later, she&#39;s not really sure why.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />In her hand, the tiny piece of plastic feels wrong. The shape is familiar, the plastic smooth and unmarred, but it&#39;s <em>heavy</em> and strangely fragile - an eggshell made of steel.<br /><br />Her mind has just enough time to think &quot;it&#39;s not a cube - it&#39;s a box&quot;, which is a very weird thought to think, before it does what boxes do.<br /><br />It opens.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Holy shit,&quot; she whispers, and there is an echo to that whisper. Multiple echoes. &quot;We made it&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />Her hands unclench, reach down, and pat the front of her jeans. &quot;And I have knees!&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;We made it and I have knees!&quot;<br /><br />She laughs, more then a little hysterically, and jumps around in a circle like a little kid.<br /><br />Then she stops.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Oh&#8230; crap!&quot; she manages to say, before the ground rushes up and tackles her.<br /><br />&mdash;<br /><br />There is a soft thud from outside, barely audible over the hum of the fluorescent lights inside the laundromat. <br /><br />Gregor Petrovich might have ignored it, if it weren&#39;t for his dog, pawing at the door.<br /><br />&quot;What is it Piotyr? Is it another mouse? I have told you before, they do not like it when you chase&#8230; them&#8230;&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/> 2019-12-24T00:00:00-04:56 In which Bina wakes up, but not alone 2021-05-10T22:32:34.264488+00:00 <img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />The first thing to emerge from the darkness is a sound.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />It is an irritating sound, a tiny little needle of a noise, disrupting the soothing stillness of the dark.<br /><br />Maybe it will go away.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />It does not go away. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Why won&#39;t someone turn it off?<br /><br />With reluctance, other things emerge from the depths. More discomforts. There&#39;s a body out there, and it&#39;s <em>itchy</em> and a throat that&#39;s thirsty, and somewhere there are hands and feet and&#8230; and it all feels like too much work.<br /><br />But the beeping won&#39;t go away.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />After an interminable period of irritation, the emerging lumps of proprioception cough up the location of <em>eyelids</em>. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />This hurts. Why does this hurt?<br /><br />Right yes, teeth and tongue and lips and throat. Those are things too.<br /><br />&quot;H-hello?&quot; <br /><br />The voice is dry as dust, weak as tissue.<br /><br />Another voice, strong and familiar, anxious and hopeful, cuts across the infuriating beeps. &quot;Bina!?&quot; it asks. &quot;Bina!? Are you awake?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />This isn&#39;t right. She&#39;s can&#39;t be here. She&#39;s in Toronto&#8230;<br /><br />&quot;Lash?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Yes! It&#39;s me! Oh my god! Oh my god you&#39;re awake!&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Bina?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Nurse! Nurse? She&#39;s awake she -&quot;<br /><br />The familiar voice fades out. More voices, muffled by distance.<br /><br />&quot;- not sure if - God - is that dog back again!?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;How does it keep getting in here!&quot;<br /><br />Another familiar sensation. Hot doggy breath, a tongue like a piece of wet leather, paws on her chest.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Grab it!&quot;<br /><br />There is a scuffle. Things are knocked over. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />The paws disappear, but the smell lingers. Darkness wells up again, drowning those newly emerged islands. <br /><br />Even the beeps drift away.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />But not for long this time&#8230;<br /><br />&quot;Bina?&quot; asks another voice, also familiar, deeper, male, calm, and professional. &quot;Bina? Come on, you with us?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Emmie?&quot; she croaks.<br /><br />It&#39;s easier this time, though her throat still feels like she&#39;s tried to swallow the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag. <br /><br />&quot;Oh thank god,&quot; says the voice, the professionalism cracking a bit. &quot;Can you open your eyes?&quot;<br /><br />That seems like it would be a bad idea, but she gives it a try.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;It&#39;s so bright&#8230;&quot; she croaks.<br /><br />&quot;Lash? Can you get the curtains?&quot; asks Emmie.<br /><br />The light dims, the hurting goes away, at least a little.<br /><br />&quot;OK,&quot; says Emmie. &quot;Can you try again now?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;How do you feel?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Horrible?&quot; Which is true, but doesn&#39;t, in any way, adequately describe how she feels. Bina feels horrible in the way that oceans are &#39;damp.&#39;<br /><br />Somewhere in the room, Lashya, who can&#39;t be here because she&#39;s in Toronto, makes a sound that&#39;s half way between a laugh and a sob.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Heeeey,&quot; says Lash, holding her hand with very solid feeling hands for someone who is five hundred kilometers away. &quot;Welcome back.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;H-how&#8230; are you here? Toronto&#39;s&#8230; so far away.&quot;<br /><br />She makes the noise again, and wipes a hand across her face. Bina wants to reach up, to touch her, to make sure she&#39;s really there - but her hands feel like they weigh about a billion pounds. With enormous effort she manages to squeeze the hand that Lash is holding. <br /><br />&quot;I flew dummy,&quot; says Lash.<br /><br />Oh, right. That&#39;s&#8230; that&#39;s a thing people can do.<br /><br />&quot;Your parents are here too. Your Mom just brought your Dad back to the hotel to shower. They&#39;re going to be so mad that they weren&#39;t here when you woke up!&quot;<br /><br />Bina feels questions and confessions and just a whole lot of crying pile up behind her lips. She tries to figure out what to say, but her body picks for her.<br /><br />&quot;Thirsty,&quot; says her lips.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Oh!&quot; says Lash, who flew here, and is here, and that&#39;s nice. &quot;Of course - we have a - here, drink this.&quot;<br /><br />A straw is put to her lips and oh thank <em>heavens</em> there&#39;s water on the other side. She drinks and the flat distilled water tastes better than anything she&#39;s ever tasted.<br /><br />&quot;H-how long?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Five weeks,&quot; says Emmie.<br /><br />That seems like a really long time.<br /><br />The darkness starts welling up between the cracks again.<br /><br />&quot;Bina? How are you doing?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m just&#8230; really tired.&quot;<br /><br />Lash squeezes her hand again.<br /><br />&quot;All right,&quot; says Emmie. &quot;We&#39;ll let you sleep in a second, OK?&quot;<br /><br />There is rustling and other noise as Emmie fiddles with something on the bed. <br /><br />&quot;Lash? I know you want to be here, but I need to do some tests. Could you -&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Sure - yeah.&quot;<br /><br />Bina feels the brush of familiar lips against her cheek. &quot;I&#39;ll be right outside, OK?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Okay&#8230;&quot; she whispers.<br /><br />More fussing with the bed. Bina tries to stay awake, which is like trying to get out from under a duvet that&#39;s too large and heavy.<br /><br />&quot;&#8230; is she - is she going back to sleep?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Yes, but real sleep this time. She&#39;s been in and out for days, but I think the bad part is over.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />A hand on her arm. &quot;OK Bina,&quot; says Emmie. &quot;I&#39;m going to have to shine a bright light in your eye now. Can you look right at it?&quot;<br /><br />That sounds like another absolutely horrible idea. &quot;Uhh&#8230;&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Owww!&quot; <br /><br />&quot;All done. It&#39;s good, it&#39;s all good,&quot; says Emmie. &quot;We&#39;ll get you in for an MRI later today, but pupilary action is good. That&#39;s a good sign - and you don&#39;t seem to have any aphasia. Can you squeeze my left hand?&quot;<br /><br />He&#39;s talking but he&#39;s not saying anything.<br /><br />Not the important things.<br /><br />&quot;What happened?&quot; she asks. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Before I answer that - can you answer a question?&quot;<br /><br />She considers trying to nod, but thinks better of it. She says, &quot;Okay&#8230;&quot; instead.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Which one are you?&quot; 2019-12-25T00:00:00-04:56 In which Bina takes the air 2021-05-10T22:32:34.237736+00:00 &quot;Yes! Hurray! Outside!&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Woah - hey, careful with the standing OK? You&#39;re still supposed to be in bed, and if you topple off of there, <em>I&#39;ll</em> be in trouble.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I just want to feel the wind a bit,&quot; says Bina, breathing in the air and smiling contentedly. &quot;I&#39;ll be good.&quot;<br /><br />Kendra rolls her eyes. &quot;I&#39;ll believe that when I see it.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Ahhhh&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />After being inside for almost two months, the sun on her skin feels like a hug by an old friend.<br /><br />Kendra leans against the railing beside her, smiling at her obvious pleasure. &quot;So,&quot; she says, eventually. &quot;How are you dealing with it?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Hmm?&quot;<br /><br />She knows what Kendra is getting at, but would rather talk about almost anything else.<br /><br />&quot;The memories,&quot; says Kendra. &quot;For me, it&#39;s still really weird - and I only have one set of extras, and only for about maybe a month of subjective time.&quot;<br /><br />Ugh, they&#39;re having this conversation.<br /><br />&quot;It&#39;s&#8230; it&#39;s OK,&quot; says Bina, not able to look at Kendra. &quot;I guess,&quot; she says. &quot;I&#39;m still mostly me.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />She sighs, and leans on the railing, feeling the sun-warmed crackles in the paint where water has gotten in. &quot;I mean - I&#39;m all me, they&#39;re all my memories, but -&quot;<br /><br />This is not an easy concept to put into words.<br /><br />Beside her, Kendra doesn&#39;t say anything, giving her time to work it out.<br /><br />&quot;I still <em>feel</em> like Thirteen I guess,&quot; says Bina eventually. &quot;The others are there - here - in my head, but there&#39;s a sort of&#8230; boundary between us. Like I&#39;m looking at them through glass. I can see them - I can see them perfectly - but&#8230; the glass is still there.&quot;<br /><br />Kendra nods, as not surprised. &quot;I felt like that too,&quot; she says. &quot;At least at first. So did the others, I think. Amie especially. Like - we were us, but also had this other bundle of memories sort of attached to us.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;That faded,&quot; she says. &quot;Took a few weeks, but&#8230; it faded.&quot; She pats Bina on the shoulder, and suppresses the urge to wince at how thin that shoulder is, how close the bones are to the surface. <br /><br />&quot;I think I did that on purpose,&quot; says Bina. &quot;Like - Three did. At least. To sort of delay how the memories were released. If they happened all at once well&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />She makes an exploding noise with her mouth.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Kendra laughs, &quot;And you couldn&#39;t make it so it didn&#39;t fuck us all up like that? Or like - <em>not</em> have it effect everyone all at once? It was all very well for Amie and Emmie with their whole &#39;sleeping in a bed like a reasonable person&#39; thing - but I was at work! How bad would you feel if I&#39;d banged my head open on the sidewalk after everything we went through? And then you went and got yourself a coma for two months and made us all worry!&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I - it wouldn&#39;t - we - I - that&#39;s not fair!&quot; says Bina, frowning. &quot;Do you know how hard it was to make the danged Lego thing work at all!?!&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I actually don&#39;t,&quot; says Kendra.<br /><br />&quot;Well it was very hard!&quot;<br /><br />Bina folds her arms over her chest and glares out at the city. It had been <em>very hard indeed</em>.<br /><br />Kendra bends down and Bina can feel the tickle of her lips on the top of her head. &quot;I am extremely glad that you are alive,&quot; she says.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;You too,&quot; whispers Bina, unclenching a bit. The others are being so reasonable about the fact that they arrived as memories in their own heads, and not as fully separate people that it&#39;s making her feel <em>very guilty</em>. They&#39;d all only been unconscious for a day or two, and it had been the only way to make the ridiculous device work properly - but still&#8230;<br /><br />She looks up at Kendra, who is leaning against the railing again, looking thoughtful. Bina&#39;s eyes flick down to her hand on the railing.<br /><br />&quot;Oh!&quot; she says, &quot;And um - congratulations! On your engagement!&quot;<br /><br />Kendra starts, lifts her hand and looks at the ring on it with a combination of surprise and happiness.<br /><br />&quot;Hah!&quot; she says, embarrassed, running a hand over her braids. &quot;Yeah, Emmie uh - yeah. He - yeah, I&#39;m still trying to get a handle on the idea myself.&quot; She fiddles with the ring, as though unsure of how well it fits. &quot;It&#39;s not something that I ever really thought I would do but&#8230; well&#8230; you know&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />She sighs and gestures at the sky, &quot;Love.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Well,&quot; says Bina, smiling at her friend. &quot;He&#39;d better spoil you rotten.&quot;<br /><br />Kendra laughs, and then leans over the railing and points. &quot;Speaking of love - isn&#39;t that your young lady over there getting off the bus?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Huh?&quot;<br /><br />Bina looks down, eyes wide and spots Lash on the sidewalk, heading up the towards the hospital. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t know if she&#39;s &#39;my young lady&#39; but -&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Bina,&quot; says Kendra. &quot;That girl just spent the entire summer in a hospital waiting for you to wake up. She certainly appears to be under the impression that you are <em>her</em> young lady.&quot;<br /><br />Bina hunches up again, blushing. &quot;I know&#8230; I just - I don&#39;t know if I, like, deserve - &quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Ow!&quot;<br /><br />&quot;You keep on like that, I&#39;ll do it again,&quot; says Kendra.<br /><br />&quot;You&#39;re not allowed!&quot; says Bina, outraged. &quot;I&#39;m recovering from brain damage! And a coma!&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Bina,&quot; says Kendra. &quot;You just defeated a <em>god</em>. You&#39;re not allowed to have low self esteem!&quot;<br /><br />Bina hunches up even further, her eyes following Lash as she walks up the drive. &quot;Fiiine,&quot; she mumbles. &quot;I guess she&#39;s my girl&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />This makes Kendra look, in Bina&#39;s opinion, indecently pleased with herself. She nudges Bina in the shoulder again and says, &quot;Good! Because she&#39;s very sweet, and if you&#39;re mean to her I&#39;ll beat you up.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I still have <em>brain damage!</em>&quot; says Bina.<br /><br />&quot;I know,&quot; says Kendra. &quot;Which will make it very easy for me to beat you up!&quot;<br /><br />They stay there for some time, and the sun and the wind do not go away.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Can I come to your wedding?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;You&#39;d <em>better</em>.&quot; 2019-12-26T00:00:00-04:56 In which Bina guesses a name 2021-05-10T22:32:34.164172+00:00 &quot;C&#39;mon!&quot; <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Argh! Come on! Why are all the vending machines in this place - Aha!&quot;<br /><br />The bottle, teetering on the edge of the poorly designed shelving system finally gives way and falls into the slot. <br /><br />Bina bends down and, with as much grace as she can muster in the unfamiliar wheelchair, retrieves it.<br /><br />She&#39;s just leaning back into the uncomfortably slick fake-leather of the chair when the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Are you&#8230; OK?&quot; Bina asks.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Oh my god,&quot; says the woman, like someone who&#39;s been stabbed. &quot;Oh my god, you&#39;re real.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Uhh&#8230;&quot; says Bina. &quot;I&#39;m sorry. I don&#39;t&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />She trails off, unsure.<br /><br />&quot;I looked in the summer,&quot; says the woman, stepping forward. &quot;I looked, but I couldn&#39;t find you. I&#39;d given up when a friend suggested I check the hospitals.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m&#8230; going to call the nurse,&quot; says Bina. <br /><br />&quot;No no, I&#39;m fine,&quot; says the strange woman, who does not look fine at all. She leans on the wall, and she is unable to hide the fact that the hand that is holding her bag is shaking. <br /><br />&quot;Your name is Bina, right?&quot; asks the woman. &quot;Bina Miryala?&quot;<br /><br />Which is right, but she says the name wrong. The syllables, when they come out, are more like &#39;Binna Miryayla.&#39;<br /><br />Distorted.<br /><br />No, no - not distorted, <em>second hand</em>. An old shirt, nearly worn through.<br /><br />The buzz of the overhead lights is very loud.<br /><br />&quot;Yeeeees,&quot; says Bina.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m Bina Miryala.&quot;<br /><br />The woman puts her hand to her mouth, holds it there for several long seconds. <br /><br />&quot;Can you tell me&#8230;&quot; asks the strange woman, her voice trembling with an emotion that Bina finds hard to place. Awe maybe. Or fear. &quot;Can you tell me what my great grandfather&#39;s name was?&quot;<br /><br />Which is an absurd question to ask of someone who doesn&#39;t know you, has never seen you before, who has spent the last five minutes fighting a vending machine so that she can get a bottle of soda for her girlfriend who has fallen asleep in her hospital room.<br /><br />It is an absurd question&#8230; but she knows the answer right away. Later, she&#39;s not sure how she made the connection, because the woman does not really look very much like him at all.<br /><br />&quot;I didn&#39;t get his full name,&quot; she finds herself saying.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;&#8230; but I think, if he&#39;s who I think he is, he called himself Leo.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;He was a good man,&quot; says Bina. &quot;He tried to save me.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Oh my god,&quot; says the woman, again. &quot;Oh my god.&quot;<br /><br />&mdash;<br /><br />It&#39;s a bit later, and Bina has managed to get the woman, who introduced herself as Pamela Bouvier, to sit down and accept a bottle of water she manged to wrestle out of the vending machine.<br /><br />&quot;We always thought he was a bit, you know&#8230; touched,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier. &quot;He believed in ghosts, and time travel, and - oh you know, just a bunch of stuff.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I never met him,&quot; she continues. &quot;But my dad did, when he was little. He died in 1953.&quot;<br /><br />Bina thinks about that for a few seconds. &quot;He would have been&#8230; about 70?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Seventy-eight,&quot; says the woman, with a small smile. &quot;Sharp as a tack, right &#39;till the end - or so I&#39;m told. This is all old family history you understand. This is him, and my grandpa in 1941, when grandpa was about to head off to war.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;That&#39;s the woman!&quot; says Bina, pointing out the third person in the photo. &quot;The woman he was always with. I thought they were a couple! I never caught her name&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Oh yeah!&quot; says the woman, leaning forward to peer at the old photograph. &quot;That&#39;s Granny Marseille. Hah - that was a bit of a to-do by all accounts. Him being a black man, and her being a white woman and all. And the times being what they were.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m glad they made it,&quot; says Bina, tracing her finger over the cool glass of the frame.<br /><br />&quot;You&#39;re really not lying to me?&quot; asks the woman. She doesn&#39;t sound mad. Her voice is flat, stunned. &quot;You really went back in time?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Yeah,&quot; says Bina. &quot;I really did.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;He said he worked at two factories at the same time,&quot; says the woman. <br /><br />&quot;One of them was a sugar factory,&quot; says Bina. &quot;Called &#39;Astre Sugar&#39;. They made sugar out of beets.&quot;<br /><br />Mrs. Bouvier laughs at that, a short sharp laugh, full of surprise.<br /><br />&quot;That&#39;s the story he told, and he never changed it. Granny Marseille wouldn&#39;t talk about it, never said he was lying, but just wouldn&#39;t talk about it. Papa Leo though - he&#39;d talk about it any chance he got - he worked at a sugar factory that never existed. He worked there for five years. He met his wife there - and then one morning he hadn&#39;t. One morning, he woke up, and he&#39;d never worked there at all.&quot; <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;He was working at a boot factory on the other side of town, had been there the whole time, had a different apartment and everything - and Granny Marseille, she was working in a florist, and the sugar factory didn&#39;t exist.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;So that&#39;s how it worked out,&quot; says Bina. &quot;I&#39;d been worrying about that.&quot;<br /><br />From the overhead speakers, a nurse calls out the fifteen minute warning for the end of visiting hours.<br /><br />&quot;He said you&#39;d worry. That&#39;s why he sent you a message,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier, rustling through her papers. &quot;He gave it to his son, my grandpa there in the photo, and then grandpa gave it to my father, and my father gave it to me. My father is still alive - but he has the Alzheimer&#39;s and he doesn&#39;t travel anymore.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m sorry,&quot; says Bina. <br /><br />&quot;It&#39;s horrible,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier, handing her an envelope. &quot;But it is what it is.&quot;<br /><br />She leans back in the chair, and it squeaks a little. Bina is glad to see that her face is less pale, and her hand has stopped shaking.<br /><br />&quot;I didn&#39;t really think I&#39;d find you. Papa Leo said we shouldn&#39;t look for you until August in 2013 - I did look then,&quot; she continues. &quot;But I couldn&#39;t find you. With just a name, a name we&#39;ve been, apparently, mispronouncing and misspelling, and a drawing - it wasn&#39;t easy. I&#39;d pretty much given up when my friend Claire - she&#39;s a lawyer - she suggested I call the hospitals - and there you were. Here you are, I mean.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;A drawing?&quot; asks Bina. <br /><br />&quot;Papa Leo, he called himself a machinist, but he was really more of an industrial engineer - he built machinery for factories, and then for the Navy during the war, but he was also an artist. He drew this -&quot;<br /><br />She rummages a bit through her bag, pulling out an elderly cellphone, a package of tissues, and three paperback novels. Finally, she retrieves a picture frame from a side pocket and holds it up.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;My dad kept it on the mantelpiece,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier. &quot;Said it was a bit of family mystery. I think it&#39;s a pretty good likeness.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Hah!&quot; laughs Bina. &quot;He drew me pretty fierce.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I think you made quite the impression,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier, handing Bina a small folded envelope. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />The shape of the envelope chimes in her mind, another little plucked thread of synchronicity. <br /><br />A coincidence, it has to be, there are hundreds of millions of envelopes in exactly this shape&#8230; but still.<br /><br />&quot;The message isn&#39;t the first copy,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier, returning the drawing to her purse. &quot;The original got water damage from a leak in grampa&#39;s attic, so my father made a new one in the 80&#39;s on his typewriter. The words are the same though. That&#39;s the important thing.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Do you mind if I read this now?&quot; Bina asks. &quot;I don&#39;t want to be rude.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Please,&quot; says the woman. &quot;It&#39;s gone on a long road to get here.&quot;<br /><br />Bina opens the envelope. <br /><br /><em>Hello to the time traveler Binna Meeryayla, <br /><br /><br /><br />We lived. <br /><br />I want you to know that first. <br /><br />We survived whatever madness you came back to try to save us from, all of us who were there that day. We woke up in different lives, in different beds, in different jobs, our children in different schools, - but we lived. <br /><br />That is the important thing.<br /><br />You do not need to worry about the man either. His wife did for him. She is not, I think, a good woman, or a particularly evil one - but she is proud. She would not stand for being used, not by him or by the other thing. She won&#39;t tell me how she did it, but I know that he is dead.<br /><br />We have talked some, and pieced together what we know. It is from her that I know when to send this message. I suspect she remembers more than I do.<br /><br />The tablet that started all this, and the thing within the tablet, are gone - or at least, my wife and I have seen no sign of them. <br /><br />We will keep our eyes open, so you do not have to make a second trip.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Yours in gratitude,<br /><br />Leo Duval<br /><br />Note: This message was retyped by Thomas Duval, grandson of Leo Duval, on May 16th, 1982. The original was lost to rot. </em><br /><br /><br />&quot;Do you&#8230; understand it?&quot; asks Mrs. Bouvier, after Bina had finished reading through the letter for the second time. &quot;We could never really figure out what he was talking about.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I do,&quot; says Bina. <br /><br />&quot;Is he really talking about a murder in the middle there?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I think so, yeah,&quot; says Bina. &quot;Josephine was not a woman you fucked with without repercussions.&quot;<br /><br />The two of them sit there for a moment, Bina holding a paper that had traveled almost one hundred years to get to her.<br /><br />An unexpected, but familiar voice, intrudes on their contemplative silence. &quot;Bina! There you are!&quot; <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Hi Laash!&quot; says Bina. <br /><br />&quot;I woke up and you weren&#39;t there,&quot; says Laashya.<br /><br />&quot;Sorry!&quot; says Bina. <br /><br />&quot;Oh! Hello,&quot; says Laash, noticing Mrs. Bouvier for the first time. &quot;I&#39;m interrupting. I didn&#39;t realize you were in a conversation.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Bina, makes introductions. &quot;Mrs. Bouvier, this is Laashya, my girlfriend.&quot; She manages to get those last two words almost entirely without stuttering. Laash squeezes her shoulder when she says it, which makes her face go hot, and she tries not to feel bad about it.<br /><br />&quot;Laash, this is Mrs. Bouvier. She&#39;s uh&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />Bina trails off, unsure how to explain what&#39;s happening. <br /><br />Mrs. Bouvier steps in to help. &quot;I&#39;m just here to deliver a message.&quot; She gathers her purse up from the table. <br /><br />&quot;Would you like this back?&quot; asks Bina, holding up the paper. <br /><br />Mrs. Bouvier looks surprised. &quot;Oh no, thank you dear - but that&#39;s <em>yours</em>. Getting it to you was the whole point.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Um, don&#39;t you want to know the story?&quot; asks Bina. <br /><br />&quot;Desperately,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier. &quot;But it&#39;s waited for almost a century, so I think it can wait another few days. If you don&#39;t mind me saying - you look very tired, and&#8230; the nurses are about to kick me out.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Me too,&quot; says Laash, smiling at Mrs. Bouvier. &quot;But I gotta make sure this one is properly in bed before I leave, otherwise she sneaks out and does ridiculous things.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;No I don&#39;t!&quot; protests Bina.<br /><br />&quot;She does,&quot; says Laash, with a wink at Mrs. Bouvier, who smiles.<br /><br />Bina tries not to pout, as that would ruin whatever time traveler mystique she has managed to retain.<br /><br />&quot;Thank you,&quot; says Mrs. Bouvier, smiling at the two of them. &quot;My number is on the back of the letter. Please call me when you&#8230; when you have the time.&quot;<br /><br />Laash and Bina watch her go. She waves, only a little awkwardly, from the elevator. <br /><br />&quot;She seemed um&#8230; nice, but also kind of spooked?&quot; says Laash, pushing Bina back towards her room.<br /><br />&quot;She was,&quot; says Bina, as Laash pushes her back down the hallway towards her room. &quot;Both those things.&quot;<br /><br />Bina fidgets, realizes she&#39;s forgotten something. &quot;Oh!&quot; she says.<br /><br />&quot;Hmm?&quot; asks Laash.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I got you a soda!&quot; 2019-12-27T00:00:00-04:56 In which Bina visits an organization 2021-05-10T22:32:34.137806+00:00 &quot;&#8230; then I woke up in the hospital, and I guess you know the rest.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />The one who calls herself Noon nods and switches off the recorder. At least, the recorder that Bina can see. &quot;Thank you for coming in and making a statement Ms. Miryala. We know you&#39;re still recovering from poor health, so we&#39;re very grateful you made the time.&quot;<br /><br />Bina doesn&#39;t smile. &quot;If it gets you lot to stop phoning me all the time, it was worth it.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Will you keep to the cover story?&quot; asks the other one.<br /><br />&quot;That I had a brain aneurysm?&quot; asks Bina. &quot;Sure.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;In cases like this,&quot; says Agent Noon. &quot;The cover story doesn&#39;t have to be clever, just credible.&quot;<br /><br />The other agent looks around the room. &quot;Your dog didn&#39;t show up. I was kind of hoping to meet her.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t think she likes this place,&quot; says Bina. <br /><br />&quot;And you?&quot; asks Noon. &quot;Will you consider our offer?&quot;<br /><br />Bina is feeling tired again, and going over the story has left her feeling irritated at these people with their suits and their surface-level politeness. <br /><br />&quot;Sure,&quot; she says. &quot;If you tell me the truth about why you had me come in.&quot;<br /><br />Both of their faces go carefully blank.<br /><br />&quot;This wasn&#39;t about my story,&quot; Bina continues. &quot;You got most of that already, from Kendra, and the bits you didn&#39;t, you got from Amie and Emmie.&quot;<br /><br />She leans forward, and both of them shift very subtly away from her. &quot;This is about trying to figure out if I&#39;m the Botfly.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Are you?&quot; asks Noon.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;No,&quot; says Bina.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Well,&quot; says the other agent who&#39;s name Bina thinks was &#39;Halloway&#39;. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Glad we cleared that up then.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Thank you for your time,&quot; says Noon.<br /><br />&mdash;<br /><br />&quot;I&#39;ll walk her out,&quot; says a voice from down the hallway when Bina walks out of the definitely-not-an-interrogation room. &quot;If that&#39;s all right with you.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Elizabeth!&quot; says Bina.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Fine with us,&quot; says the one who&#39;s probably named Halloway.<br /><br />&quot;Thank you again Ms. Miryala,&quot; says the one definitely named Noon.<br /><br />&quot;Seeya,&quot; says Bina. They hadn&#39;t been unpleasant exactly, but there was more than a bit of the sensation of being a microbe on a slide trying to peer back up a microscope. <br /><br />Elizabeth pushes away from the wall and gestures down one of the nondescript beige hallways, which apparently compose 100% of the phenomenology spooks Quebec city offices. <br /><br />&quot;The exit&#39;s this way,&quot; says Elizabeth, leading Bina down another nearly identical hallway. <br /><br />&quot;They friends of yours?&quot; asks Bina, gesturing with her head back the way they came.<br /><br />&quot;Noon and Halloway?&quot; asks Elizabeth, glancing over her shoulder. &quot;Not really. Never met them until a few weeks ago.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;They stopped lying to you then, I suppose,&quot; says Bina. <br /><br />&quot;Yeah,&quot; says Elizabeth. &quot;They even bumped me up a pay-grade. I&#39;m officially a <em>special</em> agent now. Thanks for that. I guess.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />She doesn&#39;t sound particularly happy about the situation.<br /><br />They very few people in the hallways. The whole place is very bland, very beige, and very boring. <br /><br />Boring in a way that Bina finds <em>intentional</em>.<br /><br />Her cane, which she&#39;d brought because both Lash and Kendra had threatened her with bodily harm if she didn&#39;t, clicks against ancient linoleum tiles. <br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t get why they didn&#39;t tell you that this stuff is real in the first place,&quot; says Bina, mostly as something to say. Elizabeth isn&#39;t someone who does chit-chat.<br /><br />&quot;It&#39;s mostly not,&quot; says Elizabeth. &quot;And the stuff that is&#8230; well they&#39;re dangerous to have too many know about.&quot;<br /><br />Bina makes a non-committal grunt.<br /><br />&quot;You know what they call the place that I used to work? The front office?&quot; <br /><br />Bina shrugs, she doesn&#39;t.<br /><br />&quot;The mushroom farm.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Mushroom farm?&quot; asks Bina, confusion creasing her forehead.<br /><br />&quot;Kept in the dark and fed bullshit,&quot; says Elizabeth.<br /><br />Bina can&#39;t help but laugh at that one, and after a few seconds, Elizabeth joins in. <br /><br />&quot;Don&#39;t laugh,&quot; says Elizabeth, still laughing herself. &quot;It still stings a bit&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />&quot;So you <em>are</em> mad at them,&quot; says Bina. <br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Elizabeth&#39;s face twitches, &quot;Of course I am. Keeping me in the dark got me killed, by my count, about five times - and shot, and then it gave me brain damage.&quot;<br /><br />Bina winces at that last bit. &quot;How are you doing? You don&#39;t have any lingering symptoms?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Me?&quot; asks Elizabeth. &quot;No, I mean - I had what? A few days of duplicate memories? I had a nasty seizure, some lingering left/right aphasia - but that&#39;s mostly cleared up. They even gave me my gun back.&quot;<br /><br />They pass from the hallways into a large, bright, box of an atrium. The floor and walls are bare of ornamentation. The only color in the whole room is a small potted plant on the desk of the elderly security guard who Bina suspects might be asleep.<br /><br />&quot;How about you?&quot; asks Elizabeth, her eyes tracking down to the damned cane that Bina definitely doesn&#39;t need, and definitely isn&#39;t leaning on rather heavily after a long day. &quot;I hear you&#39;re on the mend.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;It&#39;s getting better,&quot; says Bina. &quot;I still have the tremors sometimes, and holy crap you lose a lot of muscle mass when you&#39;re in a coma - but yeah. I&#39;m getting better. I&#39;ll be fine.&quot;<br /><br />She says that to herself a lot these days, usually just after physical therapy when somehow every single muscle in her body hurts. At least she&#39;s pretty much figured out walking again. Pretty much.<br /><br />The door makes an unpleasant buzzing noise when Elizabeth swipes her keycard.<br /><br />Waiting outside is a small white dog.<br /><br />&quot;Piotyr!&quot; says Bina.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m OK!&quot; says Bina, as the little dog hurries over to her, making a chuffing sneezing noise. &quot;They just wanted to talk.&quot;<br /><br />She bends down to pat the tubby little dog on the side. &quot;Are you worried about me, or do you just want bacon?&quot;<br /><br />Elizabeth watches this with a complicated expression on her face. &quot;So she&#8230; really does just show up?&quot; asks Elizabeth.<br /><br />&quot;When she wants to,&quot; says Bina, rubbing the dogs ears, which make a soft flapping noise. &quot;Or when she wants bacon.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Bina laughs. &quot;Yes! I know, I said the word bacon! Here&#8230;&quot; She gives the little dog some of the little treats from her back pocket. Piotyr makes little snuffing noises as she hoovers them up from the sidewalk.<br /><br />&quot;Where does she go&#8230;&quot; asks Elizabeth. &quot;When she&#39;s not <em>here?</em>&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I dunno,&quot; says Bina, ruffling Piotyr&#39;s ears. &quot;I&#39;ve asked her, but she&#39;s still pretending not to understand people most of the time.&quot;<br /><br />Piotyr devours the bacon and then licks Bina&#39;s hand, hoping that maybe there might be more bacon there somewhere. <br /><br />Elizabeth pauses, looks out over the car-park, and squints. &quot;Is that Kendra?&quot;<br /><br />Bina stands up and waves to the tiny form of Kendra standing by her car across the parking lot. &quot;Yeah, she said she&#39;d come pick me up.&quot;<br /><br />Elizabeth nods, and then looks at Bina looking half embarrassed at what she&#39;s about to ask. &quot;They offered you a job, right?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Yeah,&quot; says Bina. They had. &quot;They want me to go to school first though.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;You going to take it?&quot;<br /><br />Bina sighs. &quot;I haven&#39;t decided yet. I think&#8230; Do you think they just want to keep an eye on me? Make sure I&#39;m not going to sprout tentacles or whatever.&quot;<br /><br />Elizabeth thinks about that for a few seconds as they walk across the car-park, with it&#39;s random scattering of down-market sedans in brown, beige, and maroon. &quot;Maybe?&quot; she says eventually. &quot;<em>Probably</em>. If I&#39;m being honest - but also, you saved the world Bina. There aren&#39;t a lot of people who can say that and have it be even half-way true.&quot;<br /><br />Bina just hunches her shoulders at that. &quot;Tell them, if I do come to work for them, I won&#39;t build them time machines.&quot;<br /><br />That surprises Elizabeth, enough to make her stop and look at Bina. &quot;You can still do that?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t know,&quot; says Bina. &quot;I haven&#39;t tried. I don&#39;t <em>want</em> to try.&quot;<br /><br />Elizabeth nods, and they walk the rest of the way in silence.<br /><br />&quot;Hey Elizabeth,&quot; says Kendra, as they reach the car.<br /><br />&quot;Hi Kendra,&quot; says Elizabeth.<br /><br />&quot;You ready to go?&quot; asks Kendra, looking down at Bina.<br /><br />&quot;Yeah.&quot;<br /><br />Kendra already has the door open for her, and Bina is feeling wobbly enough on her legs at this point that she hardly feels bad about that. Piotyr ducks past her and jumps into the back seat. Despite being able to show up wherever she pleases, she never misses the opportunity to go for a drive.<br /><br />&quot;Oh hey!&quot; says Elizabeth, as Bina is about to get in. &quot;You don&#39;t happen to know anything about these rumors of a huge purple creature living in Laval, do you?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Nope!&quot; 2019-12-28T00:00:00-04:56 In which there is a lot of cotton candy 2021-05-10T22:32:34.123984+00:00 &quot;So,&quot; says Bina. &quot;They eat&#8230;&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Cotton Candy!&quot; says Amie.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Also cookies,&quot; she continues. &quot;But we think cookies might be making them gassy, so we&#39;re dialing back a bit.&quot;<br /><br />Buddy, the enormous pink dinosaur, makes a mournful sound like a duck crossed with a foghorn.<br /><br />&quot;Don&#39;t give me that look!&quot; says Amie. &quot;I know you like them - but we agreed together!&quot;<br /><br />They&#39;re in a clearing in the forest, some distance into the woods and it&#39;s&#8230; very pretty.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Somewhere nearby, Piotyr chases butterflies.<br /><br />&quot;Not that I&#39;m judging or anything,&quot; says Bina, tossing her own cotton candy into Buddy&#39;s mouth. &quot;But shouldn&#39;t you be eating <em>meat</em>?&quot;<br /><br />Buddy makes a disgusted face. Amie rolls her eyes, &quot;We tried that, but Buddy here is an <em>imaginary</em> dinosaur. I gave them pretty much every kind of meat I could find, but they just didn&#39;t want it.&quot;<br /><br />Bina thinks about that as the two of them continue to feed the vast creature spun sugar and food coloring. The experience is extremely surreal and Bina keeps shooting glances at Amie to see if the feeling is mutual.<br /><br />It doesn&#39;t appear to be. Amie is very chill with this entire situation, which makes sense as she&#39;s been doing it for months now.<br /><br />&quot;Well,&quot; says Bina. &quot;I mean - I suppose that&#39;s good right?&quot; She thinks about it for a few seconds. &quot;Yeah. Yeah, that&#39;s good.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;<em>I</em> think so,&quot; says Amie. &quot;I&#39;d have to rent a refrigerator van, and those aren&#39;t cheap.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t suppose&#8230;&quot; says Bina. &quot;That you know how to get back to my grandmothers imagination?&quot;<br /><br />Buddy shakes their huge head.<br /><br />Amie frowns at her friend. &quot;Bina, you&#39;re not allowed to freak out about this.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m not freaking out about this!&quot; says Bina, who thinks she&#39;s doing a reasonable job of dealing with the everything right now.<br /><br />&quot;We&#39;re fine! Buddy&#39;s fine. I&#39;m fine. Right Buddy? We even found them a cave for when it rains.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Right,&quot; says Bina. &quot;Yeah. A cave. That sounds nice.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;It is nice!&quot; says Amie. &quot;Right buddy.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;See? Nothing to worry about,&quot; says Amie. &quot;You&#39;re still recovering. You&#39;re not allowed to freak out about this. We&#39;ll figure out how to get Buddy back where they belong eventually. Until then, they&#39;re safe here.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I&#39;m <em>not</em> freaking out about this,&quot; says Bina.<br /><br />&quot;You&#39;re a little freaking out about this,&quot; says Amie. &quot;Just relax. Enjoy the scenery.&quot;<br /><br />Bina tries. It is very nice scenery. The mornings are getting chilly and all the trees are wearing their fall finery.<br /><br />&quot;You don&#39;t mind having to drive all this way every few days?&quot; asks Bina, after a few minutes.<br /><br />&quot;Nah,&quot; says Amie, finishing off the last of the cotton candy. &quot;Gets me out of the city. Besides - Buddy&#39;s good company. And it&#39;s beautiful here.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;You don&#39;t mind Lash staying with us?&quot; asks Bina, eventually. &quot;For a while at least?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Nah,&quot; says Amie. &quot;She&#39;s cool. I can see why you like her.&quot; She looks at Bina with some speculation. &quot;How&#39;d she react when you told her about - you know - the whole deal?&quot;<br /><br />Bina rubs her arm, and looks away.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;You <em>did</em> tell her, right?&quot; says Amie. &quot;You have to have told her!&quot;<br /><br />Bina sighs and shrugs. &quot;Oh, she uh - she didn&#39;t believe me.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Oh&#8230;&quot; says Amie.<br /><br />&quot;She tried,&quot; says Bina. &quot;She really did, but it&#39;s sort of an impossible story right?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I guess,&quot; says Amie.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Anyway, she said she believed me, but I was pretty sure she thought - I dunno, that my brain aneurysm had made me hallucinate or I&#39;d had psychotic break or&#8230; something.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Argh,&quot; says Amie. &quot;That sucks.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Of course then I introduced her to Piotyr the magical teleporting dog and she changed her tune.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Ahh,&quot; says Amie. &quot;Well. That&#39;s good I suppose. Piotyr makes a compelling argument for lots of things.&quot;<br /><br />Piotyr is suddenly in her lap, a wet little nose inspects the situation.<br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t have any more bacon doggo. You ate it all on the way up here!&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Hey,&quot; says Bina, petting her dog and leaning on a dinosaur. &quot;You think Buddy would like twizzlers?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;We can give it a try!&quot; 2019-12-29T00:00:00-04:56 In which Bina does her laundry 2021-05-10T22:32:34.115610+00:00 &quot;Yes! I&#39;m going to do laundry.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Well, Amie didn&#39;t have time to do it today, so we swapped and she&#39;s making dinner.&quot;<br /><br />A garbage truck passes, loud enough to render cell-phones momentarily useless.<br /><br />&quot;Sorry? - Oh, no. I&#39;ll be fine. And you know I don&#39;t even need the cane anymore.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t!&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I haven&#39;t fallen over in like&#8230; almost four days! And the last time didn&#39;t count.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I&#39;ll be fine! I&#39;m already there - I&#39;ll -&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Excuse,&quot; says Gregor. &quot;I am walk dog?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;R-right,&quot; says Bina. &quot;Right. Yeah, sorry, let me get out of the way.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Wait&#8230; You are the girl?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;From sidewalk? In summertime?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Yes, that was me.&quot; <br /><br />A pause.<br /><br />&quot;Thank you. I think you saved my life.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Ah! I am glad you are OK!&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Another pause.<br /><br />&quot;You&#8230; are ok, yes?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Yes!&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Yes, still going to physiotherapy but yes. Getting better. Almost better. I had a brain aneurysm.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Ah,&quot; says Gregor. &quot;My uncle, he makes me go to therapy.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;He is very, uh, <em>intense</em> about it.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Does it&#8230; help?&quot;<br /><br />&quot;I think so. It is like&#8230; taking off coat.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Like taking off coat you forget you are wearing,&quot; he says, trying to clarify.<br /><br />&quot;Ah,&quot; she says. &quot;I&#8230; think I get it.&quot;<br /><br />Piotyr, this Piotyr, who is just a dog, barks. <br /><br />&quot;Ah-&quot; he says. &quot;I must walk dog or she will have accident.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;R-right.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;Have good day.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;What? - Oh, sorry. Yeah - yeah I&#39;m here.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Sorry&#8230; just - ran into someone.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;I&#39;ll call you when I&#39;m done OK?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;OK, I love you.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Ka-thunk! Ka-thunk!<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;You worried about me too?&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;It&#39;s fine. I&#39;m fine. We&#39;re all fine.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />Time passes in precisely the way it was intended to - one moment after the next. <br /><br />Dogs are walked. Coffee is consumed. Clothes are cleaned.<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;See? No trouble at all.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br />&quot;Yeah, laundry&#39;s all done, I&#39;m on my way home.&quot;<br /><br /><img src=""/><br /><br /><img src=""/> 2019-12-30T00:00:00-04:56