never noticed before due to the hair. He looks at the beer table, and I get
a feeling he saw me buying beer there. Fuck it. I take a drink from the
He looks me over, somewhat critically. “You look very nice but very
office. A businesswoman. We need a roadhouse look.”
I’m glaring at him. I don’t want to go anywhere. Not with Andy
Sloth or anyone else. I don’t want to think about Jesse on a bender, Jesse
drunk. I want to sit here on this spring evening in the grass and drink a
Stella Artois, just one, okay, maybe two, and listen to the jazz by myself.
I’m tired. Can’t people see that?
“C’mon.” He takes my arm firmly. “He’d do it for you. He’s already
done it for me. This is what we do for each other. When the time comes.
If the time comes.”
“I’m not with you people,” I say, somewhat furious. “I’m done with
this AA bullshit. I’m out.”
“Out? And back here, is it? Drinking on the street? Or over there?” he
points in the direction of the bar where I got the DUI. “Give Jesse one
more day. You owe him. Drink the rest of that beer and let’s go get Jesse.”
The first surprise is that Andy Sloth has an incredible car. A vintage
convertible Cadillac. It’s the color of butter, inside and out. The second
surprise is that he knows where I live without asking. Is this stalker be-
havior or sponsor behavior?
I don’t plan to invite him inside, but he follows me right in the door.
I’m somewhat embarrassed by my place, but he doesn’t seem to notice.
He goes straight to the kitchen, gets a glass of tap water, no ice, and sits
down at the dining room table, where I have just started jigsaw puzzle
number 21. That’s more busywork—keep the hands from a bottle. Do
puzzles. This one is a tiger in a jungle. I go back to the bedroom, pull
on jeans, black T-shirt, black boots. Pretty much my standard nonwork
“The hair,” Andy says, when I come back in the room. “You need
“Oh, like you’ve ever hung out with a bad girl.”
He laughs real low, and I realize I’ve never heard him laugh. Interest-
ing. He’s working on the puzzle. He seems to have fit together almost a
third of it already.
When I come back with the I-just-got-out-of-bed hair, he seems satisfied.