busy beavers

I WAS UP to my waist in green swamp water. It wasn’t murky or silty and at no point was I scared or did I sense any kind of natural dangers. No water moccasins came swim-slithering by. Instead, I came upon some branches downed in a storm and began tossing them in the direction of some cypresses. A few beavers had taken refuge there and were busy building something. Building, building, busy beavers. I can’t say they were the most endearing of creatures. Big teeth, paddle tails, semiaquatic rodents. They were grateful for the donations though, and went at once to work diving and building and chomping. As for me, it was time to ramble on. I crawled out of the swamps and got on a white bus bound to somewhere. I was interviewing a German scientist in the back. Sandy-haired, looked like a thinner, kinder Dolph Lundgren. He had done his postdoc at Universitäten Neustrelitz. A chemist by training. I went to check my recording device and when I looked back, he had changed appearances and was now African American. I kept blinking at him, but he couldn’t understand what had happened either. Had I been hallucinating? How does that happen? The bus finally arrived to its destination, and I could see the publishing house was having a street party. There were bins of books and long tables covered in white tablecloths. Baskets of calzones and fist-sized falafels. Floppy Neapolitan pizzas with runny melted mozzarella. Women in summer bonnets. The academy instructors were there. Everyone was talking.

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