One. It is my job to take care of a cageful of different animals. One of my chief tasks is to clip their nails. I am nervous about it and that makes me clumsy. There is an endearing turtle; I clip gently at his nails but I nip him underneath one and he crawls away to hide. Later, he bravely and sweetly comes to me again, trusting me for a second chance. I take great care, but after filing a bit, I nip him under a nail again. He crawls off and hides between the wall and the cage. I am sad.
Two. I have to organize a last-minute photoshoot of a girl I used to work with. It's for Playboy; it's also a high school project requested by my art teacher. I'm at home, running around in a hurry, gathering materials. I've already got five images in my mind. The shots will take place in a sleazy motel room, and I can visualize her, jaded and bored and smoking--she's not too thrilled about this, so that will fuel the mood--in various skanky poses I've come up with. One of them is an almost headless shot of her body with her legs splayed, both hands over her privates. She's a heroin-chic skinny fake blonde. With this in mind, I'm at my house, making a mental shopping list: pink light bulb, film, cigarettes. I'm also gathering props from my own things: a long skinny scarf, a bunch of mirrors, a wine glass for her to throw, possibly a sauce spoon, and other things. My parents are helping me. My father, quite disturbingly, finds a fuse box in my closet and suggests I take some fuses in with which to pretend to electrocute her. I say no with deep disgust. I think he goes on to suggest they could be used on puppies. When I get to school, I'm incredibly anxious because I have no camera. "I have no camera!" I say to my art teacher. "You know I have no camera, right? You have a camera, right? I think I remember you saying you had a camera." She has a camera. I prepare for the shoot.