The symbols meant that people were thinking about what they wanted to say while somebody was talking. We all understand this phenomenon and it is a form of reality that has consequences. Lower market consumption is one. The numbers I was chalking up on the blackboard went along three sides of a classroom. The final equal sign, if I ever got there, would produce a number that meant lost sales.
I was halfway down the second side of the room. The equation was like a wall built out of bone cuts and fire sticks from the evolution of how to reason. Of course, I had to hold somethings constant which put the whole thing in doubt, but that didn’t matter with mental fictions. As I looked at the progress of the equation I thought about the different levels of the equation and how I had to scaffold ideas up, down and forward and there were little Mexicans swinging on the lift, laughing as they drilled screws and hammered nails, talking about their villages back home and how they were going to go to the dance that night and pick up the gringas.
One of my symbols reminded me of someone. She had chipped front teeth, unpleasant body odor, and the breath of cigarettes and beer. If you could get by that, she was stunning and she always waited on me in the little bar. I imagined going home with her and she had described her bedroom more than once to me. It was at the end of an alley up the hill and it had a good view of Tegucigalpa. She had a kid that she left with her mom most of the time, but she didn’t seem to mind. “I hate his father,” she’d say, “and they look alike.”
There were some Somosictas drinking at the bar and I knew one of them. I was trying to hide behind my ear, but eventually he saw me and came over with his friends. One of them immediately didn’t like me and then they said let’s go to a whorehouse and so off we went and within a few hours I was in bed with a half-dressed girl standing over me. She asked if I was having fun and I said yes, but only because of her. She wanted to know about my friends, and I told her they were not my friends. A few weeks earlier the Sandinistas had come to town and picked up three Somosictas and took them to a fancy hotel and tortured them to death with pliers, so I was not in the mood to be associated with people like that.
In the street the guy I knew the best said, “Let’s go to the funeral home. We just put a few men in there and I want to check on them.” The place was open 24/7 and looked like a cross between a Hindu and Mayan temple but with a lot of plate glass and yellow lighting. Inside I got to talking to one of the night staff and he told me about the cremation option and how I could be put inside dog bones from China. They were made from plastic and were for people who didn’t believe in God. He showed me the dog bones. They were painted with stripes of bright colors. He said they had prepaid plans and if I died, they guaranteed cremation within 48 hours. I told him if I died there was no way he was going to get my body inside of 48 hours, but I might be interested anyway, particularly in the dog bones since I had worked as a clown in the circus when I was younger.
As I got to the end of the third wall and the termination of my mental fiction, my professor came into the room. He went to the beginning of the equation and walked along, nodding and looking over at me and then he suddenly turned around and left the room. On the way out the door, he said, “It’s nonsense.” Yeah, I thought you’re right and then I put down the final equal sign and wrote the answer as “.66 r”. There were a few other students in the room waiting for a new class to start and one of them said, “Hey is your girlfriend Jewish?” His tone was snarky, almost hateful. I said yes and then I thought about her tiny round black glasses and how her warm, prickly breasts were the best things to come my way in a long time.