"I think that's why we fought all the time, because there was just, you know, so much frustration on my part. And then I read The Hotel New Hampshire, and I felt such a sense of relief, because he writes about the sexual tension between the brother and the sister, and I thought maybe I wasn't totally nuts."
It is a very good book, but that is not why. She stares. She can't speak.
"...Are you judging me?" She swears she isn't. "Then, um, then I have to tell you something else. Physically, Cathy, you have been and will always be..." He leans in, so close she can smell him; she starts to jump away... "The grossest person on Earth to me!" Right in her face, garbage breath; he dances around. "You are so gullible that it is not even fun!" Oh, she loves to be shocked. He gets her in a headlock and sings into her ears, "My name is Cathy and my shit doesn't stink! Say it!"
She laughs. "It smells like roses!" Her body is safe. Our bodies are okay.
At home she scratches out all six weeks on the calendar: Adam is Gone becomes Adam is Home. She closes the upstairs linen closet quietly and heads into his room. He sleeps always hanging off the side of the bed, so she places her blanket carefully under him, just alongside. Not touching, not waking him. Just close enough to his little face, so she can feel him breathing.
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