lucky strikes

from that same WIP
Molly’s never sure what to make of Bear’s two best friends, Lucky and Pozzo, they always seem like too much to her, too much of everything all at once. But, Bear seems to enjoy their company, and he is always just sitting there, smiling while they talk, never participating, just listening and laughing and smiling. He smiles and laughs so rarely that Molly could never begrudge him this, so whenever they come over she welcomes them and puts on her happy mask (the orange one with the bright eyes like suns) and becomes a different person, a less scared and broken person, a less depressed and drowning person. Bear has done so much for her these past odd years that she can give him this, this little happiness

no matter how strange and like fluid they make her feel, how dislodged and loose and flowing and trapped between worlds they make her feel

Right now they’re over and sitting at the kitchen, all four of them around and surrounding the small round formica table, passing around bottle of wine after bottle of wine, drinking right from the neck, the bottle shaped like a swan and the liquid tasting like feathers and light and sun. And yet, even this, even her favorite wine could not make the room light up with laughter for her, she still felt as she always felt in their presence, like she was caught between worlds and trapped in the sun.

“So, Pozzo here hasn’t even told you the best part.”

“I haven’t, have I? I guess sometimes the best parts are the ones unsaid.”

“That’s true if you’re in a Raymond Carver story, but we’re not, are we?”

“I guess not, maybe I should tell it then.”

“Oh Pozzo, let me tell it, come on.”

“Okay then, all right then, you tell it. But you better tell it right, no more waffling on the rhythms, do you understand me? Your speech patterns can be killer to a good story.”

“Like you’re one to talk! You spend an hour on minute detail that is completely unimportant. Like the flavors of the syrups on the table, or the way the waitress smelled like a spring breeze.”

“That was an important detail! She reminded me of that summer, do you remember?”

“Yes, I do, but they don’t remember, they were never there, so that detail is lost on them.”

“That’s a pity. I wish you all had my memories, so that my stories would always be the same, all the experiences the same when I spoke them and you listened. All of my words would translate into the right objects, the right images, the right memories, giving the story just the perfect subtle touch of emotional resonance.”

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