The waterproof planetarium floats in water and contains a bright light that projects out into the room, or even into the tub itself when flipped over. This is the latest in home lifestyle goods from Japan in Sega’s famous “toys for adults” series for creating relaxing atmospheres using ambient lighting. Sold at Japan Trend Shop.
Audrey Hepburn and her pet fawn Pippin. Photograph by Bob Willoughby, 1958.
Hendrick was the type of man that always said he’d brush his teeth, but never actually did when it came down to the 11 o’clock hour each night. He was a Listerine man and was well aware of all the plaque that was building up on the enamel of his teeth, like a life-to-do-list that slowly became permanent.
Hendrick had a nice smile, the kind where his eyes wrinkled at the corners, but you always knew he was smiling genuinely when both his eyes were smiling too. That’s when you couldn’t tell his eyes were hazel. In fact, usually, you wouldn’t be able to tell what color his eyes were at all. The man smiled all the time.
He drove a navy 98’ Toyota Corolla. His license plate still held his alma mater frame—Washington State. A couple of the rusty screws had come out over the years. Whenever he closed his trunk too roughly, which was almost always because Henrick was heavy handed at everything, the frame rattled—he was sure that day would be the day the darn thing would fall off.
What he missed most about Seattle was the rain, and the way strangers would share their umbrellas with him when the storm had overturned his in the middle of the street. Hendricks was a big guy, most people had to outstretch their arms in order to fit him under. That always made him feel uncomfortable, but never once did a stranger make chagrin of it.
Hendricks stopped smiling. His laugh lines looked less like laugh lines and more like wrinkles that held the hands of a frown. He stopped Listerine and he stopped playing the guitar.
He was never really good at playing the guitar.
He realized he was never really good at anything.
But he realized that his subconscious was good at coming up with dreams where his teeth fell out.
He also realized that he forgot how to smile because she made him feel insecure about his teeth.
And his weight, and his paycheck, and his choices. That was a long time ago—he reminded himself.
He packed a week’s worth of clothes and the most durable (only) raincoat in his closet. By six pm the following evening, he had a seat reserved on the Costal Starlight.
He ordered an overpriced Corona and a bag of Dorritos. On the way to his seat, he passed two African-American men talking, a mother and child, a group of pretentious college students, and a young woman, with too much luggage, crying while texting vigorously on her cell phone. He began to crunch on his chips. When he sat down, he could see the ocean from his seat, drowning in itself, darker hues of blue and violet. He just missed sunset.
He closed his curtain and dreamt again of lost teeth.
He wasn’t sure how long he’d been on the train—enough to grow stubble and feel insecure about the layer of deodorant under his arms. He chewed on a piece of spearmint gum. He opened the curtain to a sky of muddled grey.
This would be his beginning.