In a kind of hotel room with my parents. My father is telling a joke. Earlier we were going for a walk next to cliffs made of sand. The joke my father is telling is, It's like rape or bad weather, you can't do anything about it, so you might as well lay back and enjoy it.
Stop saying that, Dad. That's not funny. Stop it.
What are you, the word police around here? It's a joke.
It's not funny.
My father turns around and starts telling the joke to my mother. She starts laughing. I pick up everything I know will smash and throw it at the wall --
It's a joke, my mother says. It's just a joke. All you have to do is laugh. It's easy, see? Watch.
But it's not funny. It's not funny, right? It isn't.
--tea cups, cocktail glasses, framed photographs. The last thing I throw is myself out the door.
This is one of those weird dream hotels: hallways of hallways, rooms spilling into other rooms. I hear their voices everywhere. Punch and fucking Judy. Staircases that don't go up or down, just around and around. I run, ripping open door after door after door looking for one, just one, one goddamn door without you behind it.