Bill, sweetly, assures her it wasn't her fault. Her voice is sharp: "I know that. But..." He nods. He's old enough to know the pain, when our history refuses to cooperate. "Here I am. I mean... Just had one of the most important experiences in a girl's life." She means it, every word. "It was so, so perfect. Great." His fist curls, against his knowing. "I hate that... I can't not think about him." He could squeeze blood from that fist. He pulls her back, tenderly, against him, reclining against him. Like a lap, but safe from harm. She relaxes, and he's perfect. The world is big enough for all of it; her world is big enough for all of it. "You think about whatever you think about. It's okay." He makes a decision. "You're safe with me." She thinks about safety, closes her eyes; she breathes with the enormity of war. If only every part that we retrieve could feel so good.
Lafayette grins on camera, playing that bad boy black man role, living the face: take all that fear and loneliness and uncertainty and put it in me, like a possum. He wears a zippered hoodie like a TV rapper, he wears a golden trucker cap that dwarfs his head, he wears a ghetto fierceness that is not fabulous, but dangerous. All those layers, coming off one by one: put it in me. Whichever me I am to you.
"You motherfuckers're gonna have to be... patient. There's good things coming your way. This ain't Christmas morning, and you're all jacked up on --" he jerks his hips, topping the camera with his eyes, putting on a piece of his soul that lingers in the background usually "-- caffeine, ripping off that cheap WalMart paper to get your blender... No." He turns, revealing a shining golden thong, sparkly and cheap. The secret they wanted: here it is. He is a marketing genius; lots of creativity in this package. Watch them fall away. Behind him, the door opens as though of its own accord. "Whole lot of creativity went into this package and I want you to enjoy..."
"Whoa!" squeal Jason. "Back up the truck, man." Lafayette, who has more jobs than I do, is none too impressed with this interruption. "Don't fucking creep, bitch. You're fucking creeping. What the fuck you doing here?" He just wants more V. The part of Jason that registers appropriate behavior is all gone right now; his life is no longer an appropriate event. "I need you to run your ass out my goddamn doorway, because I'm fucking working." Jason stares, sweaty and dumb, forgetting this part of Lafayette, too edgy to be sexy. "Come on, buddy. I-I just need a little..." Lafayette recaps: how he said not to take too much and Jason wound up in the hospital, how he said to stay schtum about his source and he ran to cousin Tara, how he got vamped up and fucking threw Andy across the yard. "You can't handle the shit, buddy." But it's handling him.