fistula

I’m driving a station wagon filled with all of my worldly possessions covered over with white sheets. I’m in an unfamiliar town and turn off the road to pull into a gas station but stop when I realize that the driveway I’m pulling into is only for the mechanic and is blocked off from the fueling area. I can’t see how to get there.

We’re staying in a ramshackle motel or inn and leave the room for breakfast. When we return two ladies are cleaning the room and have packed up all of our stuff. I go past them to the bathroom. I’m trying to keep everything orderly, but the toilet has been moved. Someone tries to come in while I’m in there, and I pull the door closed again.

I’m dozing in a chair in a sitting area with a bunch of women I don’t know. One of them asks if I’m looking at her, but I let my eyes glaze over until it’s clear I’m falling asleep. I’m toppling over in my chair. The woman starts talking to the other women in the room and showing them the fistula she has in her breast. She tells them she can reach in all the way down to her knee and then demonstrates. I get up and move to a chaise longue that’s been vacated so I can sleep more comfortably. I’m holding a kitten and set it down before I sit. It takes over the seat, so I sit down anyway and make it give way. It does so only grudgingly, so I’m half-sitting on it and trying not to crush it. It’s long-legged and has silky fur. Another kitten is on the floor and reaches up and is playing with mine, then a third comes over– but I realize it’s the mother cat. She’s a big tabby– one kitten is black and white and the other is grey and white. She gives them a sniff over and then walks a few feet away and flops down gracefully with her back to us.

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