For some reason ever since I was a little girl I’ve had this fascination with celebrity people. I remember in third grade, Maudie Gleason’s mother won the blue ribbon at the county fair for her prune jelly and after that I just had to be Maudie’s best friend. I wouldn’t take no for an answer, even though she always called me Julie and my name is July, but I didn’t hold it against her.
And when I was in high school the girl who sat right behind me in algebra, her name was Serena Eden. Yes, she had the same last name as that actress, Barbara Eden, the one who was a genie, she came out of a bottle. So I told Serena she could copy off my paper anytime she wanted, though of course she never did. I wasn’t exactly mathematical. But still, I did offer. Because she was practically like a movie star herself, you see?
And once, back when I was waitressing at Bucky’s, out on Rt. 6, you know it?, this really famous country singer came in. I shouldn’t say who it was on account of her privacy but I can tell you this much: it was not Dolly Parton. Though if it had been her I would have felt so proud. But anyway this other lady, she was all by herself and it was late at night and I gave her an extra squirt of cherry syrup in her coke. She has such a pretty singing voice, I wish she would have sung something but she just drank her cherry coke and ate her cheeseburger, and I noticed that her hair was every bit as long as you’d expect and she was wearing real fancy pointy-toe boots like they all do. The thing is, she only did leave me a quarter tip so she might not have been that famous country singer after all. But I heard the richer you are the cheaper you are, so who knows?
Hey I never did ask: are you a celebrity by any chance? I didn’t really think you were judging by the way you’re dressed. No offense, it’s just that celebrities on the whole wear makeup and jewelry and sunglasses, day and night. And I guess they don’t take the Greyhound much. But still, no harm in asking, right?
You want to hear a dream I had? You might find this kind of interesting seeing as you’re reading a book. I dreamed I was going to go to Yesterday University. That’s what they called it because it’s a place you go to learn about the past. I was ready to sign up on the dotted line but all of a sudden I had a terrible feeling like maybe there was going to be a gas leak. So I shook myself out of that dream and got up off the bed and went into my kitchen to sniff around, just to be on the safe side, and luckily everything was okay. But anyway that was funny about the college, wasn’t it?
I heard a dream can be a warning of something about to happen, usually something bad.You ever hear that? Yeah, it is scary to think like that. My Aunt Irma, she had a dream that a spider got up on top of her TV set and you’ll never believe it but just two weeks after that dream there was a big mud slide and her whole house caved in. It was simply awful. She lost everything. She lost all of her clothes and her photography albums and her dog Henry and of course she lost that TV. If only she’d have known what the dream was trying to tell her, right?
And speaking of spiders, I know this man whose friend went on this trip where they told everybody “Stay on the path, whatever you do don’t take one single step off the path.” So this fella, for some reason, nobody knows why, he walked off the path and he steps right on a butterfly and he kills it. Squashes it on the ground. Dead. So when he gets back home from his trip everything is different. Absolutely everything. The people are all dressed different and they talk in a different language and the government’s gone all bad, you know, it’s gotten real mean. And it’s all because of the dead butterfly. Which isn't the same as a spider but, you know, it made me think.
What are you telling me, that’s a story from a book? With the man and the butterfly and all? Are you sure about that? I could have sworn someone told me it was a true story. I never heard of no one named Ray Bradbury, he sure wasn’t the one who told me. Could it be King? I knew a Raymond King once, but that was a long time ago and he wasn’t any relation to the royal family, and they don't even a king now, do they? But anyway, he’s not the one who told me about the butterfly. That’s kind of disappointing, it being made up and all, but if you say it’s in a book then I know it can’t be a true story.
You sure are a big reader, aren’t you. Okay, no hard feelings, you just go right ahead and finish reading then. I’ve got the window seat, I’ll be fine. I was just about done talking anyway. It’s not like you’re some sort of a celebrity. Right?