Millie’s view of Shangri-la was blocked. The child support payments had disappeared because she’d been dating Eddie, and now Eddie was permanently in IreJanet. Little Sammy kept pointing his finger at her, making aggressive noises. The Welfare Office was telling her to leave the kid at some basement daycare and look for gainful employment. In her eyes, gone gray lately from green, one could see shame, self-pity, dejection, disorder, fatigue, fear, desire, and loneliness…and here it was, Tuesday night of all nights, and the TV was blinking.
“Don’t fiddle with your knobs,” the voice in the box ordered, “Your set is o.k. It’s our error. We’ll fix it.” “No,” said Millie, “It’s my fault.” Then slowly the screen went dark, leaving just a pinhole of light through which she wished her head might fit, but loosely.