I light my cigarette lovingly, laughingly, with a light purple lighter. Burn, baby, burn . . .
Stella and Chris were arguing again—something about the television. They made me want to pick it up and just throw it out the window onto the street, Led Zeppelin–style . . .
“Lousy son of a . . . a . . . bitch! . . . He d . . . d . . . deserved it anyway! . . .”
Walking through the weeds of a highway shoulder at night. That was okay. She’d check on Valerie and finish off the bit on Joey’s mirror. Whenever cars passed she turned and stuck out her thumb like she was in a movie. She felt ridiculous, but a car pulled over. Milk ran up to it, got in, and came to in the morning in the weeds of another shoulder . . .
A typical Thursday. A typical night.
Jerry stretched his feet under the dining table, yawning. His eleventh grade math homework seemed to glare at him from the fluorescent white of the overhead light. They were covering probability in class, something Jerry knew plenty about.
There was a thump above him.
Typical Thursday night . . .
“You need to build your confidence,” he says. “You need to build your self-esteem. You need to build a @better-you. For a @better-us #selfie-rule . . .”
I didn’t notice I had nodded out on the train and had missed my stop until the conductor clamped down on my bony shoulders in Wellington, saying, “Come on, honey . . .”
The sun faded on Paris as I headed to the 5th arrondissement on the 63 bus. I slipped in the back door, as drivers didn’t bother policing fares. My free ride took me over the Seine, to the Left Bank along Boulevard Saint Germaine and dropped me near Luxembourg Gardens. Down Rue Saint Jacques on foot, passed La Sorbonne, Le Pantheon, and finally onto the stool of a bar run by Aussies . . .