I was standing with my father and his work buddy somewhere in the Southwestern US at dusk. The moon was gigantic. We could see the moon and the Rockies as if they were on a gigantic HDTV.
My father was telling his work buddy about my trip to Chicago (I think to explain to him why I've been drinking so much), making fun of me for chasing after this college ex-girlfriend of mine. "He was hoping there'd be a--what's the word I'm thinking of, Steven?" He was looking at me like I was in on the joke. "It sounds like the name of an exotic bird, I think it starts with an 's'..."
I finally got fed up and threw a rag in is face. "Why do you have to mock everything I ever care about?" With that, I stormed off, wishing I could enjoy this majestic evening in the field behind the power plant.
Later, I got out of bed to go to the bathroom. The bathroom was like a camp bathroom--it had rows of urinals and curtained-off showers--and it was hospital green. There was a boy in a big t-shirt at one of the urinals, and I started toward him thinking it was my brother. I wanted to complain to him about our father.
But it wasn't my brother. He looked like my cousin David, but he was much thinner and didn't recognize me. I backed off and went to a urinal at the opposite end of the bathroom.
A second later, I heard him coughing very intensely, and from the corner of my eye, I could see that fluid was flying from his uncovered mouth.
After hesitating a little, and without looking right at him, I asked if he was okay. He said "Yes, I'm fine" very indignantly.