I’ve shown up at Laura’s house in the middle of the night in my pajamas. Someone has brought the kittens from the henhouse inside, and they’ve all grown up but one. I pick that one up and take it to bed with me. Tammy is there, and then I hear Gina as well talking about two other people who are sleeping in the back bedroom. I realize that Laura’s been entertaining and hasn’t been to bed yet and didn’t invite me to the party. I decide to leave and tell her that I have to get ready for work.
I’m in my house in Iowa, and the place is a mess. Apparently I haven’t been taking care of things for a long time. I decide to clean up, starting with the kitchen. I load dishes into the dishwasher and then try to close it, but it won’t start. Somehow it tells me that one of the glasses is too tall, so I take it out. Then I’m trying to figure out where to put the soap in. There are a couple different compartments in the plastic. I try one first, and it doesn’t fit. I rub away the leftover soap and see that it says Refill. I insert the soap, a compressed square wafer, into a slot on the inside of the machine and watch it get sucked in with a little mechanical noise. I get the door closed with some struggling, throw the latch to lock it, and puzzle through the retro analog knobs and dials. Everything seems to be set for halfway, and I turn it all up to maximum. Then I turn to the rest of the room. There is the largest bag of garbage I have ever seen, overflowing. I pull it together and pick it up to take it outside, go out the front door and find two people approaching. An older woman is chaperoning a kid who is selling magazine subscriptions for the homeless. I interrupt the spiel to say I have nothing to give them. We’ve gone inside the house, and the woman must be off in the bathroom, because I’m there with the kid. He’s been in the room off the kitchen that’s filled with all my treasures, mementoes, and papers and pictures, piled up, waiting to be organized someday. He asks what all that is, and I’m embarrassed and say, Never mind, herding him toward the front door.