2.5- Downtown Ohio Industrial City (Rubber)

La Renarde could drive and had a car, so she took us there. She expertly parallel parked on the busy Main Street, and then we got out and walked down it. It wasn’t all abandoned factories and warehouses and toxic waste dumps like I thought. There were actually a couple stores and restaurants, and no Realities robbed us right away.

“How do you not know how to drive yet?” La Renarde asked me.

“I’m afraid of things that I have to make move.”

“But don’t you need to?”

“I guess not.”

“How do you get to school?”

“The General takes me.”

“What about going out?”

“I stay at home.”

“What do you do there?’

“TV.”

“What about hanging out with friends?”

“Sometimes The General & The Admiral come over.”

“What do you do with them?”

“TV. Also board games about War.”

“You can’t like War so much if you’re gonna be a Reality Traveler. It’s like the least Reality Travel thing there is.”

“Oh.”

Then she smiled and suddenly grabbed my hand. Her fingers fit very nicely between mine. And it made me start to reconsider my thoughts on things like War.

“C’mon,” she said.

Then we kept walking and La Renarde kept seeing things that reminded her of her many Travels.

“This is the nightclub I snuck into with a fake ID,” she said. “And that over there is the park where I did Acid Perception once. And that apartment building just ahead is where I made out with a random Downtown Reality.”

“I wanna be a Reality Traveler,” I said.

“Yes, that’s so Reality Travel! But not everyone can be one. You have to be Called Upon by The Gods.”

“How do you know if you’re Called Upon?”

“You just know.”

When we got back to her car she gave me her copy of Catcher in the Rye.

“If you are a Reality Traveler,” she said, “you’ll need to study every one of Holden’s moves. Let me know when you’ve finished it and then we’ll go Traveling again.”

“Alright,” I said.

When I got back home I read the whole thing in one night.