6.10 – Introductions

I could feel a coldness starting at my furthest body parts and working its way in until I was a completely frozen statue in the middle of the crowd of Adults. They were all in the middle of their own private conversations and had their backs turned to me. Sometimes one would accidentally look over their shoulder, notice my Uniform, and make a face before going back to their conversation. I was thinking about finding a hideout, somewhere I could see all the Realities of The Wedding, but they couldn’t see me, and I could learn all about them from afar and only come out to MeToo when it was a sure thing.

Then suddenly another hand grabbed my shoulder from behind.

“Let go, you Planner Ant!” I almost said, but when I turned around I noticed it was actually one of the Adults. He was wearing a tuxedo like everyone else, and he had gray hair, and intense hunting eyes.

“You alright?” the grabber asked.

I didn’t know how to answer, so I just stood there frozen.

“Hey,” he said, “you’re the guy who drove all the way from Where-ThePlains-Meets-TheMoutains, aren’t you?”

I nodded.

“Wow,” he said, “I heard about you from Wolf&Lamb. Man, that is some Traveling! Let me shake your hand.”

Then we shook hands, and his grip was so hard you couldn’t get out of it even if you wanted to.

“I’m Old Wolfy,” he said. “Wolf’s father.”

I’d heard about Old Wolfy from Wolf. He was a Salesman Traveler who MeToo’d via products. He would Travel up and down The East Coast selling the products to New Realities and hadta become an expert in things like handshakes, looking you in the eye, and handing out business cards.

He handed me his card, and it was bright white and made of a firm material. It said “Old Wolfy – Sales” on it with his contact info and a little Wolf logo in the corner. It made me think of my Bluebird sticker, which I realized was still stuck to the inside of my jean jacket.

“That’s a nice coat you got there,” Old Wolfy said and pinched the collar. “What is that? Tweed?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Isn’t it a bit warm tho? It’s the end of May for crying out loud.”

I hadn’t realized it til he said something because I felt so frozen inside, but the sun was really bright that day, and it was warm. I was already sweating a lot. I looked around at all the Adults, and they all knew what time of year to wear what fabrics.

“Don’t worry about it,” Old Wolfy said and gave me a pat. “Ya look great.”

“Thanks,” I said.

“So is your date around here somewhere?”

“I don’t have one.”

He looked confused.

“Ya mean you’re here all alone?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, why didn’t you say so? Let me introduce you to some people.”

“That’s alright, you don’t have to.”

“Oh, I know, as a Reality Traveler you probably meet a hundred New Realities every day, right?”

I didn’t say anything.

“Well, why don’t I get you a head start anyway?” he said. “It’ll make me feel like a good host. Come on.”

“Alright.”

Then he put his hand against my back and pushed me forward at an unnaturally fast SalesMan pace.