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Conrad looks like a surfer and talks like a Midwesterner and smiles like a friendly boy. All are true. He has long honey-wheat hair and a goatee that does not look dumb. He has one vertebra less than he should and his back is not over the trauma yet but he still gets up to hug me hello. While he is up he shows me the scar from surgery, a little pink wormy line leading down to his green boxers. I knew they would be boxers but I did not know they would be green.

He tells me about his ex-girlfriend who has almost the same first name as me. Once he calls me by her name and does not notice but I do, and instantly I think it means something. Really I know it doesn't, but he has such a good face and such a good car, a wide boat with fins. He knows all about the music I don't know anything about, and, better, he knows how to explain it to me without making me feel massively stupid.

Conrad used to work where I used to work. Now that we are both gone we can share the ways we used to scam the store, and how we are continuing to scam it. Conrad is not average. He sits and listens to us tell this week's dreams. He says his are never as exciting. I ask him what his have been and he says Well I dreamed I was in a dirigible that was tipping sideways which worried me a little but gravity tipped too, so I didn't fall out and it was ok. And I dreamed I was my mom for a while. And I dreamed I was in a clocktower running down all the hallways collecting microscopic gears. He does not see anything beautiful there, only wants to hear about Gullet's dreams some more. Gullet does not tell the Mr. Peanut dream but I wish he would. I tell about the one where I am all the flowers and Conrad is charmed.

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