Dan maintained an unflagging, feverish whirl of dance through the entire set of the band they had all come to hear. Marie and her two friends stayed at a measured distance, occasionally regarding Dan with the attitude of the stone-cold sober towards the merrily drunk – a mix of envy, pity, amusement, warmth and disdain.
“Jesus, I missed you. That was the longest less-than-forty-eight hours of my life,” Dan said as they were gathering their stuff to leave the bar. Madeline smiled, expecting to see a drunken glow when she looked over at him. But Dan seemed sweaty and slightly wild-eyed. “Really. All I could think of was how much I wanted to be with you.” As the words came out of his mouth, Dan reached around the side of the bar and retrieved two sizeable, well-used shopping bags.
“Ha,” Madeline said, “looks like you did a little bit of shopping yourself, long as you were traipsing around with your sis.”
“Huh? Oh. No. That’s my stuff.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s my stuff.” He dropped the bags and enfolded Madeline in his arms. “I decided to stay in town longer. Til the end of the year. I can’t imagine being anywhere else but here right now. With you.”
Madeline realized that she was holding her breath.
“It’s my stuff. I moved out of my place.”
So, there you have it. That’s how the third person came to live in this here house with My Lady. And that’s how we came to pass our days as a rag-tag group of four while Sierra’s belly swole up more and more every single day. She mostly lay on the back couch chewing on her crazy blue gum and staring at her little phone with her thumbs flying. Marie spent countless hours in the kitchen at all kinds of odd times, stirring up crazy concoctions from potatoes and garlic in pretty even amounts judging by the smells. She was just hoping her baby sister would get some decent grub into her. Dan and my Lady stayed mostly upstairs when they was both about, lolling around on the bed and reading out loud to each other. Can you imagine that? Poetry, of all infernal things.
Top: Woodcut by Steve Ashby
Middle: Roy Lichtenstein
Bottom: Vincent VanGogh