Tin, stop. I’ve never heard you weep like this before. What’s the matter with you? You know our late thirties were meant to be hard. We have everything we want, and these people know it. They see it. It’s all out there to be seen. That doesn’t mean our late thirties weren’t meant to be hard. It’s always a test. It’s our age. It’s expected. We’re thirty-nine this year, next year you know what we’ll be. It’s always a test. We’re tested in our ability to feel more, or to feel less, and not only that, but at the right moments. Get a hold of yourself. You just said goddamn twice now. It’s unheard of. Exactly when did you turn into your mother?
And that did it. Sweet silence on the phone. Tin stopped crying. Perhaps she’d even dissolve herself in something other than a cocktail for a change. She could dissolve herself into all the fragmented corridors of self and memory instead, beyond control or reason, beyond propriety. And grow to genuinely appreciate those eight-and-a-half inches for what they could do. Words and tears were both dream-like things. How inane they were, compared to a real live muscle flexing down your throat. She could hear Robert rustling in the closet for the fourth time that morning. The first Saturday of the month had been something to look forward to until now.