Steps

I step off the train and find myself at a train station that curves, winds, twists, bends, and leaves me disoriented and ontologically estranged.

This isn’t my first time in a big city, but it’s my first time in a train station that looks like a giant maze with so many people that I’m not sure for a moment where I am or how long I have to live. The platform on the second floor of the train station reaches like latticework into shopping malls, bookstores, tourist stations, some old, some new, some that look like they’ve suddenly sprouted out of nowhere.

My suit and briefcase melt down into sneakers and suddenly I’m running with a big smile on my face, much smaller than I was before. I’m surrounded by giant lizard people. They’re all eyeing me and their tongue shoot out to get me, but I’m running and I feel like I can slip into a new world any minute. One of the lizards chases me into a men’s clothing store where I see a suit and tie. The store manager is someone I vaguely remember. He could be my father, or he could be someone else.

“Quick,” he says, “get in the suit before they find you.” I look back and see that one of the giant lizards is approaching. I get into the business suit, put on the tie, and before I know it I’m a child in a man’s body walking to a business meeting. The lizards are gone, but I know they won’t stay hidden for long. If I can keep up this disguise, if I can take a few more steps through the latticework, maybe I can convince them that I’ve always been an adult.

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