In third grade, a girl hit me in the face with a tetherball and knocked me down. Her name was Vanessa and she had three ponytails. After she and her friends called me a bad word and walked away I stayed where I was, lying on my back and looking up at the sun through the fingers of one hand. The color of the sunlight going through my skin was pretty great. It was the color of ripe papaya flesh, but I didn’t know that yet. It was almost the color of one of my least favorite Crayola colors, Atomic Tangerine. I never liked that crayon because when you draw with it it looks nothing like the wrapper. From where I was, lying on the tetherball court, I could see the kids from first and second grade walking to the cafeteria for lunch. They were sideways and small. They sounded like windup toys. I have never been in a fistfight but I think I would like to be.

Dream: Someone has made me very angry. I go up to him and poke him in the chest, twice, in his ugly blue shirt with its embroidered logo that says “Golfing!” I tell him to get out of here, but we are standing in the middle of nowhere, in a brilliantly hot desert on a hill above a blue sea. If he gets out of here, I will have to watch him walk away to make sure he really leaves. “If you think you can tell me what to do,” I say, but before I have a chance to issue a threat I see him swimming far off in the sea in all his clothes. He is the size of nothing, but I can still see him, no matter how far away he swims. He waves his hands at me and I wave back.