She wants to feel like she exists at all.
In the hallway, in the morning before summer school begins, Andrea watches the man paint the wall; he dances as he works. DREAM BIG, the mural says. The man is listening to Joe King, northern soul, and they dance without really looking at each other until he speaks. He loves the sound of Joe King's voice; Andrea loves to watch the painter dance, both eyes open, and thinks Joe King's all right. "That is Joe King you're talking about, young lady," he says; the painter has a British accent.
"That's his name? Joe King? Please tell me you're jo-king." The more Andrea works with her body, the more she learns about her body, the more she thinks about her body. Sex is a car they give you with very little instruction, and you have to learn to drive it, learn to love it. Andrea smiles at him, cock-eyed: "You got a mighty fine ass on you, painter man." He takes a moment to recover; he tells her not to speak this way to men. Older men, three times her age. He is kind and he is serious, this painter. Andrea's not impressed, she stares him down.
Cathy appears and ushers her inside, to class. She considers the mural and decides that it's corny. He likes the message. DREAM BIG. "And then all those dreams get crushed by reality," she snorts. He gets the door for her, as she's heading inside. He sees her, he saw her immediately. Both eyes open. "Looked like you've got your hands full," he says, and she's touched, flirty, waking up. "Nothing I can't handle."
Sean carries things out of his sister's house. Refuse, recycling, what can be reused and remade into something else, out in the cold world. He makes piles of junk and carts them away. He needs a suit and he needs a purpose.
Marlene smiles at the fishtank, the bright and clever fish that dance, vibrant, designed by nature to be looked at. Owned just because they are beautiful, and bought because she missed him, and hers until they're gone. Across the street she sees, with one eye, a grizzled homeless man carrying things out of her friend's house. She needs a purpose too.
"Hey, scumbag!" says Marlene, gun pointed at Sean's head in the living room of Cathy's house. "Put back whatever you're stealing from this house or lose an arm. Your choice." He swears this is his sister's house, she keeps the gun trained on his head.
"I destroyed all forms of personal ID so as to avoid Big Brother tracking my every move, but I can tell you that... My sister has never met a pair of khakis she didn't like, she sneaks cigarettes when she doesn't think anybody's looking, and she can be a real sarcastic bitch in the morning. And pretty much the rest of the day too."