. . . I met a woman while waiting in line at a vegetarian pizza parlor. The line snaked through room after room, upstairs and downstairs. It was a never-ending labyrinth, and we were getting more and more frustrated. We’d had enough. “Screw this,” we said. And we hopped on our bikes and went riding through the streets of SOLSBURY.
My new friend quickly found a job at a bed-and-breakfast arranging toiletries in the guests’ bathrooms. The owner told her to look on the bottom of each bar of soap, and whatever price was written underneath, that's what she'd be paid. (The soaps were those fancy round rose soaps, the kind you buy wrapped in carefully creased tissue paper.) The first one she picked up was $31.95, not bad for a day’s wages. I left my friend in the bathroom to do her work, and I fell asleep in a drafty bedroom at the end of a long hallway. When I climbed into bed, I felt an arm reach out to touch me. It was her, the woman. It was like she was in two places at once. I tried opening my eyes. I couldn't. I tried climbing out of the bed. I couldn't. I was paralyzed. She coiled her fingers around my wrist and whispered, “Don't be scared. I'm your friend.”