i was 18, but i'd already been working at some interesting job. i was a character of my own design, and this was a universe in which people generally believed in me and trusted my decisions. my hair was long and curly, like Daine's in "The Immortals Quartet." i was very pretty and capable.
my friend (who first appeared as my a guy i know named Tyler) and I were sitting on the hill outside my parents house (a large plot of land with lots of people congregating on it for various purposes) talking, and we decided to run away together. whatever his lot was in this universe, it wasn't nice like mine.
as we were inside the trailor, getting ready to leave, my mom (some eccentric dark-haired lady) came in with Inara from Firefly, her close friend and advisor. i feared they might try to talk us out of going, but instead they began packing us some snack food we could eat on our trip, mostly cheese and crackers and chocolate.
the friend i was running away with (now a girl i used to know named Haley) asked if we were going "into town," meaning the more residential part of ssm, or traverse city. i told her we were getting on I-75, heading south, and stopping when we felt like we should. (i had Arizona in mind, a little, when i said this, because i remembered everything from my life in this universe, so i had a huge advantage, knowing that it was in fact possible to drive to another city without a plan and find a job and a place to live, because i'd done it before, and i also knew my way around certain places, even if i'd never been there in the current life.)
we stopped around Petosky, and my friend (now Lioness) and i got out to ask directions at a store we saw a few people leaving, up this dark flight of stairs. they held the door for us as we approached, so we didn't see what was on the outside of the door. but i saw a vision of the door in my mind's eye as it closed (how sometimes in dreams you're standing where you just were, watching yourself move on like you're watching a movie) and realized we had just entered a porn shop.
of course, as we looked around it became pretty obvious it was a porn shop, anyway. Lioness started flicking the dildos by the counter to watch them wobble. the clerk glared at me and asked me what i wanted and then asked Lioness if she was even old enough to be there. i told him we just needed directions, though i had no idea in my mind of where we were asking directions to. the guy made some mention of how we and the people before us must be really stupid to come in and ask directions when there's a compass just down the street. (i thought "well if we're not from around here, how would we have known about the compass down the street?" but i didn't interupt, because he'd started giving directions.)
he said we were in the part urban part rural section of town, and we had to go to the real urban industrial section of town to find the place we were looking for. (he even told us what the place we were looking for was.) it was a coffee shop, and he praised the owner as being a really great guy, said his name was Trent Reznor.
Lioness and I left excited. somehow, at this point, we both new we were in an alternate universe, one where Trent Reznor wasn't famous yet, and the thought of meeting him before he became famous was rather enthralling. "we can get jobs working at his coffee shop!" i exclaimed. Lioness gave me a look that said she had other things in mind for young Trent Reznor. i corrected myself. "I can get a job working at his coffee shop! And you can do . . . well, you know, whatever."
then we walked into a party in ssm with all our friends in it. (i'm not quite sure how we ended up at a party in ssm. possibly we knew how to use portals.) Lioness wanted to tell them the news, but my mind was on hurrying up so we could get back to our journey to Trent Reznor's coffee shop. afterall, we'd left the car parked in front of a porn shop in petosky.