Jason's eyes are throwing sparks as he grins wildly at Tara, and sits beside her; his glassy look falls on everything at once, beautiful and significant and powerful and good. She courteously avoids from darting a glance at his dick, which I would not be able to do if I'd been through what they've been through: How are you and your penis doing today? She asks how he's feeling, and he answers honestly: "Oh, strong." She stares at him and he grins. "Alive." The world is good and all the things of and in the world are good. He's breathing deep, without an immune system.
Maxine's solution was to drape the flag over the cross, which is disturbing in about sixty ways but mostly reminded me of this thing Edith Wharton wrote to somebody (Google says Barrett Wendell, July 19, 1919) that I've been obsessing on lately. It's not really that insightful about today's world, more like redundant, but it gives me the shits that she said it almost a hundred years ago: "How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be 'American' before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, & having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries?" I'll take this purely meaningless object that we imbue with meaning and drape it over this other purely meaningless object that we imbue with meaning, and somehow I have done something. And meanwhile, Bill's fangs are like a snake, he's a bucket of blood in a shapely sausage casing, and the only thing special about him is that his blood carries some kind of virus or something that makes you awesome. The Flag, The Cross, The Stranger.