Seventy dollars, right, and the punch line is that it’ll buy you a man, seventy dollars, a man, but we're all a little more expensive than that. Maybe not all the time. And Sean says oh, this is what I've always wanted.
What, I say, what have you always wanted?
Oh my God she's crying, she’s fucking crying and I look at Avery. He starts rubbing Sean’s back so that’s what I do to, our hands meeting in the middle and then I kiss Sean on the cheek, and then Avery kisses her on the cheek, and then I have an idea, I start licking Sean’s face and she’s giggling, saying what, what are you doing, and now I’m making a slurping sound and Sean’s still giggling and then Avery kisses my cheek so I kiss his cheek, and then Sean’s, and Sean says: I think I'm starting to crash.
Maybe the water’s too warm.
So then we sit up a little higher, with our feet in the water, and Sean says oh, wait a minute, oh, and she stands up to reaches for one of her tool belts, undoes a few zippers, dries her hand off with a towel, and then turns back to face us with a glass of orange juice in her hand and, no way, three more capsules. I look at Avery. Avery’s looking at the pills.
I don't know if I want any more.
Sean says you have to, it’s my birthday. So I open my mouth and she puts the capsule inside, I take the orange juice and swallow, here we go, Pussy Tourette. In Hi-fi. I sit back in the tub. Avery grabs me from behind and Sean says you’re right, I was jealous. I never admitted it, but I was jealous.
And I say birthday girl in the middle again, and then we sit there like that until the water gets cold, let it all drain and fill it up again. Sean goes downstairs to press play again on the music, she wants to hear the last song again and I tell her there’s a repeat button, we can just play it over and over and over. It’s not Pussy Tourette who sings this one it’s some woman who must be an opera singer saying “I hope he’s not a fag, I hope he’s not a drag queen. I hope he’s not a queer, I hope he’s not a Miss Thing and when she says Miss Thing she rolls it into her throat and we’re all saying Miss Thing Miss Thing to one another Miss Thing, Miss Thing, that’s the story of our lives, until suddenly it's like the whole room is pulsating and is that my heart or my head or my intestines and oh, I need to shit, good thing we have two bathrooms and when I open my eyes I realize I'm covered in sweat, no it's not sweat it's just the water from the tub and when I get back in the other bathroom Sean and Avery are drying off and Sean says: Act Two. The Esplanade.
Now Sean and Avery are in my room. So soft, Avery says, petting the comforter. I rush downstairs to change the music. We need sunrise music. Something with a drumroll. Oh, Armand.
Back upstairs and Avery is rolling naked on my bed so I lie down too, and then Sean, we’re all still naked but somehow it doesn’t feel like we’re naked or maybe it just feels like we should always be naked, that’s what it is, what’s the point of clothes when you can feel like this but is my heart still racing? Put your hand on my chest, I say, can you feel it? Can you feel it, Sean is saying, can you feel it can you feel it can you feel it. Should we get dressed, I say. Should we get dressed should we get dressed should we get dressed, Sean says, and it’s funny how she kind of sounds like Avery the way we all take little parts of one another and that’s what it means to become friends, as long as you don’t take too much, right? Give it take it make it break it work, wasn’t I saying that last night and this is what it means.
I go to my closet in Ned’s room and I guess this is why people like carpet, under your feet, because it’s so soft. But I don't know how to decide what to wear. Something soft. The black velvet pants. The burgundy shirt. The green sweater. Sean wants a hat, so I bring her the one with blue and yellow and white flowers. Avery wants a scarf, maybe the red one with pom-poms? Yes, pom-poms.
Oh that horn that horn that horn, do you hear that horn? A boat in the distance until it’s here, right here and oh, I never noticed the way there’s someone breathing in between the horn and the beat and the shriek no not shriek, what is that sound between a yell and a clap and a monkey in a tree on the beach and then that horn again, it’s not a horn and it’s not a siren except the way I need to shake out the shoulders into hips down to feet into ground, flip around, yes wrap my body into the floor, this is what carpet is good for, witch doctor, which doctor, witch doctor, doctor, Doctor Armand Van Helden, thank you.
Okay, shake, shake your hips down the stairs, back up, down, down back up and down, down back up and down, down back up and down, back up, back up, back up, I didn’t like this song before, the second one, but honey this was made for the stairs, oh the stairs, the rattle, repeat, repeat, repeat, what are they saying, do you know what they’re saying, maybe they’re saying it’s all about the stairs, this song was made for the stairs, but do you think it’s racist how they add in all these African-sounding drums and call that tribal but wait, oh the drums, oh, please more drums and oh, orange juice, oh, that’s what we need, okay, should we leave the stairs?
Oh, look at all this space, look at all this space down here and yes, yes, this orange juice is so good, so so so SO good, isn’t it? Isn’t it? But should we make tea?
Tea. Something fruity.
Something fruity yes fruity fruity fruity.
Sunglasses? Do we need sunglasses to go outside? Oh, let me get my sunglasses purse.
Sean decides on the big square old-lady blind person’s glasses, they make her look even bossier. Avery picks the purple rhinestone cat lady professor glasses, the better to read you with. I decide on the big round raver floral print glasses because spring is here on this snowy Boston February morning and this tea, oh, look at the color!
Fruit loops. Lifesavers.
Oh, Lifesavers — let’s get Lifesavers. Lime. Are you ready? Do you think it's cold? Do you need gloves? Oh my God it’s so bright — are you sure we’re ready?
Commonwealth Avenue in the snow. No one’s around, but it’s already shoveled. The city is ours. Welcome. Welcome. And, welcome.