Don’t be gauche. I had a dream, and in that dream I was gauche. A terrible gaucheness was attempting to smother me in an empty room without windows. It was more of a hallway, actually. I stared up at the Victorian wood panelling and screamed, a gauche scream. When I woke up there was a dog next to me and the dog was being gauche. “No,” I said. “Don’t.” In the morning the air was gauche. The surrounding country was certainly gauche. The family car slipped down the driveway and the strains of music playing out the open window were gauche. “If this keeps up, I’m going to have to commit suicide,” I thought, waving from where I stood with the dog. I went inside and had breakfast. The dog saw a cat through the window, and began barking. I went back to bed, closing my eyes and daring to imagine a world that was not gauche. The phone rang. The ringtone, I have always struggled with it, was gauche. It was my mother on the other end. They had forgotten something at the house and they were turning back. As the car pulled down the driveway, and I stood with the suitcase they had left behind, I couldn’t help but notice the sun filtering through a break in the clouds. A perfectly gauche display, I thought.

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