Turns out Sean had one of Richie’s tapes in her pocket, waiting for just the right moment and luckily we are waiting no longer. Four hours later and we keep turning it over and over, yes there's the part where “work me Goddammit” goes right into “She's Tyler Moore, she's Mary," and I know everyone in Boston is getting tired of that song but honey, every time I hear "She works up the block, she lives up a block" I can’t help thinking yes, my life, that's the story, bring it on. Even if Sean is saying "She's Murphy Brown she's scary”– well, that's true too, another line, Candice?
Speaking of working, now Sean's trying on Abby's dresses – it's funny how they actually fit Sean, even though Abby’s at least a foot taller. I guess they do all look a bit short on Abby – the supermodel look, right? Oh, Sean, yes, the pink one, yes, prom queen, bring it on.
The music is back to "Eternity, because you're ugly forever," and Sean is saying Winona Spider. Winona Tried Her. When Vivarin. Winona Revive Her. Winona, Winona Desire.
Winona Tried Her — that's the one, Winona Tried Her.
Then I realize the sun is coming up and oh, why don't we have curtains? Sean starts freaking out because apparently she has to work at Glad Day today and she needs to go home to change but maybe there isn't enough time, no, there will be enough time I mean she can walk to work from her place but first she’s taking a shower here to wash away any hint of Abby's makeup table and where the hell is my pot, I can't find my pot anywhere.
Forget it – I cut up a Xanax and a doxepin and snort it with little bit of coke, yes, perfect. And, just because I'm the sweetest girl in East Boston, I make a shiny little silver origami envelope, cocaine-to-go just for Sean and her bookselling career. Finally she's out of the shower and it's my turn — oh, the shower, the shower will solve everything, right?
Except my loneliness – Mattilda, don't say that. Let's just focus on sleep, yes, sleep, yes, I'm trying to sleep but really who am I kidding? This is ridiculous – why do I even have a bed? Sure, I like getting under the covers but every time I reach that delicate place between here and the next world my body does this thing where I shake from inside like there's a tiny earthquake in my bed but honey, this is the East Coast, we don't have earthquakes here so why does my body keep doing that, turbulence in the bed and I'm wired, again. And again. And again.
Finally I give up and look at the clock, 1:30, too late to fall back asleep I mean I wasn't sleeping anyway or maybe, maybe just a little? I go in the dining room and sit down at the table in my robe, trying to figure out what to do. What to do about Boston, what to do about my life, what to do about this horrible world, what to do about those stupid fucking kids outside, what are they doing out there already, what to do about the weather, is it cold or is it hot, what the fuck am I going to wear? What to do about smoking because I really want a cigarette, now, and Abby isn't even here smoking in my face, oh, where the hell is Abby? What to do about religion, yes, what to do about all the horrible religious people in the world, what to do about my acne, what to do about my body, what to do about something to eat, should I eat something, I'm not hungry, but should I eat something anyway? What to do about music, what should I play, I really can't decide, everything sounds awful, I try Moby but that's too sad, Cajmere is too clanky, I can't deal with that tired Danny Tenaglia mix. Billie Holiday? No, no, no. Memphis Minnie?
Wait, did Sean leave Richie's tape?
No, of course not, she would never forget something that gives her status. What is wrong with my head, oh, why does my head hurts so much?
I'm not doing more coke.
And just like that, the phone rings — oh, shit, it's my mother.
Matthew, oh, what a surprise! I've been trying to reach you, but I've only succeeded in talking to your roommate, Abe, he’s always so friendly, how is he?
I don't know.
What do you mean?
I mean I don't know.
Where is he?
That's what I don't know.
What do you mean?
I haven't seen him in five days.
Five days. Do you think something's going on?
That's what I'm saying.
Do you have any idea what it might be?
He went home to visit his parents, and he hasn't come back.
Do you think he decided to stay longer?
His parents are in a Christian fundamentalist cult.
Oh, are you living with a Christian fundamentalist?
Of course not. That's why I'm worried that he hasn't come back. Maybe his parents have done something to him.
Oh, well, that's a stretch.
It's not a stretch — their church is on the US government lists of cults, and you know there are plenty of terrible cults that don't get anywhere near that list, right?
I wanted to talk to you about something.
What is it?
Well, Matthew, you'll be so proud of me, because I’ve finally learned how to drive on the highway.
Yes, really. Your mother is driving on the highway. I made the decision that this had gone on for too long, that this couldn't go on any longer, and then I started driving a little bit at a time, just one or two exits at first, but now when Bill and I go on a trip I'm going to drive half way.
Does it still scare you?
A little, but I'm determined not to let that intimidate me. Oh, I knew you would understand — no one else seems to. Even Bill.
He never listens.
What do you mean by that?
I mean he never listens. He probably just starts yelling at you when you talk about it.
Well, come to think of it, he did yell at me at first, because I needed some support, so I took him with me and he would yell Karla, you're driving too slow, put your foot on the accelerator Karla, you're going to get us in an accident.
And then what happened?
Well, we didn't get in an accident, and I learned to put my foot on the accelerator.
But don't you think it would be better without him screaming at you?
Yes. You're right about that. But I've been thinking about something you told me about a long time ago.
Oh, what is it?
About how you were raped.
Was it someone in the family?
Yes. I already told you that.
I know, I know. But there was never anyone around.
And here's the moment where my heart stops. I mean I can't tell you about the moment, I can only tell you about the moment after. Because there's my father's voice. I mean first there's my father's voice, and then my heart stops, and my father’s saying: Karla thinks you believe something sexual happened between us.
And my mother says: Oh, Bill, I didn't know you were on the phone.
And I don't know whether to believe her.
And my father says it again: Karla thinks that you believe something sexual happened between us.