Three girls enter the gallery and squeal the moment they see the Monet painting of the waterlilies
with all its blobs and smears. Blue and green, white and purple. They take turns posing in front of it
and taking pictures with their phones. The tallest wears a very short black dress covered with pictures of peonies. She kicks her leg out and I look away but not before I catch a glimpse of her underpants.
Last night I dreamed I was in Japan, riding a train toward the airport. Out the window I could see a
series of flashes and mushroom clouds billowing up from the horizon. I kept looking at my watch, convinced I was going to miss my flight, and the numbers kept flipping and swimming. The waterlilies are just a backdrop for these girls, images frozen in paint. The girls seem so full of life, so
happy to be twirling about on this planet, in this room filled with sunsets behind haystacks, sailboats
in the Seine, workers toiling merrily in the brightly colored fields. I look at my watch. The numberskeep flipping and swimming. I still hold some very small hope that I will catch my flight.