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Excerpts

From Dressing for Hope

Norma says she'll borrow the truck from Pavo so we can get the hell out of Hope for the day. She bounces on the end of the bed a couple of times, then takes the lid off my Coleman cooler, hunting good stuff for a hangover, something loaded with Bs. I smell feta cheese and wet onions because they gave me the room farthest away from the ice machine; the stripper gets the ice machine, we get rooms overlooking Harley-land. Like musicians don't sleep, or think, or merit clean air. What are we, plywood?
       After work last night—mine in the lounge, hers in the cabaret—we came up here and ate my Greek salad, drank my Yukon Jack with fresh limes, and waited for pay-TV to get explicit. There was one good bit where some redhead visited her boyfriend in jail. Under her sensible pleated skirt she wore bikini underpants with strings on the sides. Her long fingers pulled the little bows; she masturbated for her con-man through Plexiglass. We're gonna get some, for a joke.
       I offer Norma my fieldberry yogurt, point to the spoon on top of the television. We left the set on all night, so the spoon will be warm in the already limp yogurt. She comes back to bed, leaving the lid off the cooler, but who am I to pass judgment on niceties? I'm the one who can't face the chambermaid to give her my dirty towels. Every morning I shout at her through the door, “I'm okay.” I'm sure the maid would just as soon stay out of our wing. Imagine what she finds in Pavo's room. Just in the ashtrays.

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