“Leavin’ the things that are real behind…”

“Pat” is pacing around the conversation room, which now contains no furniture at all.  There are a number of small items scattered in several places on the floor of the room.  It is dark outside.  There is no fire in the fireplace.  The chandelier gives the only light, and its light has a vaguely orange-ish quality.

S/he stops periodically to look at the items on the floor, which are strewn about as if either thrown or just casually left behind by someone.

Right now she is looking at a naked Barbie doll, with several unmatched bits of its clothing scattered about near it.  The doll smiles at the ceiling as if thoroughly enjoying her anatomically incorrect nakedness.

About a foot and a half to the right lies a G. I. Joe doll.  Yes, the boy used to call them ‘dolls,’ not ‘action figures.’  Joe is also naked, but none of his clothes are anywhere nearby.  Rather than a smile, he wears the serious expression of a man prepared to face combat.  His head is turned, however, so that he seems to be looking at Barbie.

S/he looks over by one of the windows, where a 1960’s vintage “Easy Bake Oven” lies on its back, with small cake pans and utensils lying around it.  The light bulb inside that once provided its heat is broken.

S/he looks to the left, and sees a disorderly pile of small toy cars, next to which is a long bright orange piece of rubberish-looking material.  S/he recognizes the orange object as a piece of track for the cars, which the boy knew as “Hot Wheels cars.”  S/he walks closer, and also sees a flat piece of purple plastic, a piece that was used to join two sections of the track.  A bit more toward the corner of the room is a plastic building-like structure to which track could be joined.  In the structure are battery powered rubber rollers which, if a car passed between them, would propel the car at high speed further along the track.

“Pat” looks around the rest of the room.  There are other toys lying about, some clear and some very fuzzy.  Over near the archway leading to the hall, there is a bright red toybox made of wood, painted to look like a railroad caboose.  S/he goes over to it.  On the top of the box are two sliding panels.  S/he slides one of them open, and sees that the box is empty.

S/he sighs.  Turning back to the toys, s/he slowly begins to pick them up, one at a time, take them over to the toybox, and drop them into it.

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