I was walking with a man — could be my brother, could be my husband — in a dystopian setting. Everything was dead or destroyed. After ages of wandering around, what was driving my actions more than hunger or thirst was the desire for social interaction. We came onto a wall made of debris — chunks of concrete, refrigerators, old machinery and the like. We didn’t know what was on the other side, but we had to see. There was a divot in the wall — a low part of the clutter barrier. We found it was an upside-down car, the chassis covered with tar.
I climbed across it, fearing what I’d find, but anything would be better than this. Like a cave opening it opened into a room. It was dark and I cautiously explored as my eyes adjusted. What looked like a tinted window, the size of a garage door, looked out on a broad street. I figured it might be a mirror from the outside, protecting whomever lived here from being seen, while enabling him to look out. His living space fronted what was once a grand town center.
Something stirred in the corner. A cowboy dressed in all-black (jeans, riding boots, shirt and a black cowboy hat) was bent over in close attention to something small he was fixing. I stealthily moved closer, but he didn’t move. To see his face I had to bend over, and as his nose appeared from under the rim of his hat, he looked away, over my shoulder, as if I wasn’t there. He got on his feet and slowly moved across the room to a door that opened into the street.
All I wanted to do was follow him. Leaving my partner behind, I intuitively let Cowboy in black lead me onto the street. From the outside, the garage door window looked like a sheet of very badly patched fiberglass — the kind lightweight rowboats are made of. I was shocked to find myself in a somewhat clean place populated with folk moving in a similarly calm but focused manner to that of Cowboy. My lust for people being suddenly met made me forget all my worries, but I was also terrified of the complexities bound to social interaction. Still, I followed Cowboy and slowly discovered what it meant to be human again.