All the feelings I have about him are protective. From there you already know where I’m going: warm, tender, emotions that envelop like arms.

Sometimes, very late nights, I worry about him. I do not want him to disappear one day and come back, three days later, a changed man. So I put it out of my mind very quickly and think about something else.



“What is that?” he asked, picking up my foot from behind as if it were a horse’s hoof and nearly sending me sprawling forward. “I can’t see whatever it is. Get it.” I didn’t know whether to be angry or amused and I wanted to laugh but it came out like a short cough. He peeled something off my heel and set my foot down. “What is this?” he asked, scratching at a little black thing stuck to his thumb.

It was a photo corner, and I told him so. It must have adhered to my foot when I got out of the shower and walked around barefoot and it was somehow on the floor. “You’re such a bohemian, Lola,” he rolled it into a little ball and began to search for a trash can. “Whenever I look at you it’s like looking at my grandpa.” I swallowed. “Don’t you mean, um, mother? Or grandma, even?” He shook his head. “Damnit where’s your trash! But no, grandpa.” He turned around and looked at me. “It’s very comforting.”

I coughed a little more.


“I’m fine, really,” I assured him. He eyed me. “Look, I have all the papers you requested. We can get to work right away. At least on a plan of action. Do you have the list of questions I told you to work on for me?” He was still eyeing me. “What’s wrong with your face, Lola? Your mouth looks weird.”
I was horrified before I even knew why I was horrified. I guess what’s wrong with your face is just something it’s never good to hear – I mean, it’s rather indicative of disaster, isn’t it? My brain immediately rushed through several possibilities – dry skin? a pimple! hives? not hives – a mosquito bite? Havana scratched me? I turned to his assistant. “What do I – do I have something?”

She narrowed her eyes at me, tilted her head, pursed her lips. “You kind of look like you just had a stroke.”

I don’t think she likes me.


I have no power. There is only a certain amount of juice left in my computer, and then – well, as long as there’s plenty of kitten formula (and coffee) Havana and I will be fine.

The neighbors haven’t lost their power. They have twinkling lights and humming machines and laughter on the lawn. They also have a vintage camper that looks, at least to me, like a shiny silver bullet. They have dogs that bark incessantly in a lackadaisical sort of way – exactly like parodies of rich people speak, except with woofs. They sometimes have other animals in their yard but I think their tale of a family of small foxes that eats out of their hands and reads Martha Stewart Living to be entirely fabricated.

Alright, the reading part was perhaps uncharitable – but I spent the better part of two hours shifting on my feet, squinting at a hole about six feet away, being told I wasn’t looking hard enough. For the foxes. For the entire fox family, who enjoyed insouciantly popping out their furry little orange heads and blinking in the sunshine.

They never appeared.