by Miles Ross
Michael then Samantha jumps into the pool. They swim from shallow end to deep end. He takes her wrist in the shallow end. He puts his cheek on her cheek. He kisses her against the wall of the pool. They look at the people on the patio then climb out of the pool. Michael changes to cargo shorts then exits the house. He walks past people drinking and talking loudly on the patio. Samantha eats wings from a Ziploc bag next to the cooler. Michael pours beer into his mouth from a clear bottle. He sees an uneaten wing drop onto the patio then Samantha take a wing from the Ziploc bag.
Samantha says, “I keep dropping them.”
At 9 p.m. Samantha and Michael drive to Michael’s uncle’s house. Michael leads Samantha through the house, showing her the rooms. In the kitchen he opens a bottle of wine. Michael says he is bad at talking to girls. Samantha puts a piece of her hair behind her ear.
She says, "I think you do okay.”
Her fingers spin the empty glass on the kitchen table.
She says, "I'm drunk."
He says, "Me too.”
They walk up a hill behind the house. They hear the leaves. They walk on in the woods. Michael shines a light into the cabin’s windows. They sit on cushioned chairs on the porch of the cabin. They look at the moon. Michael looks at his shoes against the sky. He kisses Samantha. They hear the chairs making noises. They walk down the hill.
Samantha says, "Hold my hand."
They enter the house. Samantha drives Michael to his parents' house.
Samantha then Michael smokes marijuana from a homemade device. Michael spits onto the lawn from the deck. Samantha writes the names of bars in New Orleans on computer paper. Michael draws a river with skulls and bones on each bank then buildings in the background.
He says, “That’s what it’s going to look like.”
He flies to New Orleans. He lies on an air mattress in a tent in a school building. A person sets a daiquiri beside his air mattress.
He says, “It looks normal,” on the phone to Samantha.
She says, “Yeah.”
He says, “The people seem different though.”
Samantha then Michael says they don’t want relationships.
They lie on the sand and drink beer out of plastic cups. A baggy of marijuana is in Michael’s pocket before he swims in the ocean. Planes pass above the beach and ships float on the water. After swimming in the ocean Michael’s pockets are empty. They drink Captain Morgan and chase it with a 2-liter of soda. Michael waits in the line to an arena bathroom. A bearded man looks into Michael’s eyes. He says something inaudibly. They lie on a blanket. They fold the blanket. He kisses her lips. They walk to the concession area. Michael gently holds Samantha.
She says, "I told you I don't want a relationship."
Michael says, "You’re so beautiful though.”
He rides in the seat behind her seat. Michael wakes leaning against a car in the driveway. Samantha removes a blanket from him. He enters his parent’s house quietly.
Samantha flies to New Orleans then returns for Thanksgiving. Outside Murphy’s Michael tells Samantha he loves her. Samantha flies to New Orleans then returns again for winter vacation. Michael splits a liter of Captain Morgan’s plus a 2-Liter of Coca-cola with a tall friend. Michael kisses Samantha as she lies on the couch with her eyes closed. She wakes then pushes Michael to the floor. The next night she says, "Do you know what you did last night?" to Michael.
He says, "No."
She says, "You kissed me on the mouth."
He says, "Damn. I don't remember."
A movie about John Lennon plays on the flat screen TV. Samantha sits next to Michael on a leather sofa. The song "God" by John Lennon plays in the movie.
Michael flies to New Orleans. A woman driving the car repeatedly says, “So... 9th ward,” to Michael. Michael stands on plywood next to the kitchen listening to Samantha talk to her friends in the background.
The dishwashers drive Michael to The French Quarter. They let him out by the Mississippi River. He buys an Abita draught at a stand. He sits looking at Jackson Square and drinks Budweiser from a can. He calls Samantha then leaves a voice message. He looks at a ferry in the Mississippi River. He calls Samantha. She answers sounding tired. He rides in a taxi to Samantha’s. He knocks then a girl opens the door. He hears the water in the toilet flush.
Samantha says, “Michael.”
She appears then leans against the wall. Michael hugs her.
He says, "What's wrong?"
She says, "I'm still messed up from last night."
Samantha shows Michael the rooms of the house. They each sit on a sofa in the living room.
Samantha says, "So are you drunk or something?"
He says, "Had a few beers, but not drunk."
They go to parties then the Bacchus parade. They mainly drink beer. He secretly drinks vodka. He wakes in Samantha’s apartment. He follows Samantha to a car. They arrive at the bar. Michael smokes a cigarette in the bar. Samantha gives him a Mojito. They mainly drink mixed drinks. The attached space contains an unexpected number of people. Michael withdraws money from an ATM. They enter the attached space. The band contains brass instruments. Michael orders whiskey. In the living room Samantha inhales a nitrous gas from a balloon. Michael drinks four beers then lies on the couch. She enters a room carrying blankets. She spreads a blanket over Michael.
They sit on patio furniture in New York. Their friends drink beer at the table on the patio.
Samantha says, “I am not talking to Michael anymore,” to the other people.
A tall man holds Samantha inside Murphy’s.
She says, “Do you know Tim?” to Michael.
Michael holds Samantha. He and two friends ride a Maxima away from Murphy’s. He and the friends smoke marijuana on a dark road.
Michael arrives at a bar next to a lake. He drinks beer then looks at the lake.
Michael says, “There’s your friend. You should talk to him if you want,” to Samantha.
She says, “I’m not going to talk to him.”
Michael says, “I am sorry about last time.”
Samantha says, “I’m not going to talk to him.”
Michael drinks shots of liquor. He puts his elbow on the bar, his face on his hand and closes his eyes.
They hike Storm King Mountain. They watch red-tail hawks fly above a valley. Samantha says they should go swimming. She talks on the phone walking on the trail towards her car. She pronounces Michael, Brian then Ben’s names into the phone.
She says, “Yeah, I’ll do that.”
In Samantha’s driveway they exit her car.
She says, “I don’t want to go swimming anymore.”
Michael, Ben and Brian say goodbye. They drive away from Samantha’s house. Michael makes a salad and eats it while reading a magazine in his house. Michael arrives at a party on park grass. Samantha, her friend and Dan arrive at the party. People play volleyball then drink beer competitively. Michael watches Samantha kiss Dan’s cheek.
Michael drives from New York City to Murphy’s. A person with gelled hair shows him a picture of a poem on a digital camera. Michael walks to the bathroom. He walks towards the table. Samantha fake-trips Michael. They smoke marijuana with another guy and girl outside Murphy’s. Samantha vomits next to the car.
She says, “Lie with me in the grass,” to Michael.
Michael looks at Samantha lying in the grass. He lies in the grass. He sees her body. He kisses her lips.
She says, “No.”
He lies on top of her. He kisses her mouth again.
She says, “Get off of me.”
She vomits in the grass. She drives off the parking lot. Michael sits in a car. Samantha calls his phone. He drives behind her car towards his parents' house. Samantha lies on a loveseat in the house. Michael kneels next to the loveseat. He puts his arms around Samantha’s torso. Samantha turns away from Michael.
She says, “No.”
He covers her with a blanket. He sleeps in a chair next to the loveseat.
Samantha walks towards people standing on a patio. She moves her body between the people. Michael looks at Samantha’s face.
Steve says, “Samantha, did you come here with Michael?”
She says, “No.”
Steve kisses Samantha’s cheek. Michael smokes marijuana. He fills a cup with beer from a keg. He watches Steve and Samantha talk. He looks at Dan standing under the porch. Dan straightens his mouth. Michael talks to a person wearing glasses. Samantha and Steve enter the house. Samantha smiles at Michael. He watches Samantha and Steve walk into the house then up the stairs. He drinks his beer then refills the cup. He enters the house. Michael looks at neatly aligned CDs. He removes Paul McCartney’s Run Devil Run and puts the disc in the CD player. The music comes out of the speakers. A bat flies in circles around a lamp. A person traps the bat in a silver pot. The person moves the pot. The bat flies away from the pot. Michael exits the basement. He starts his car engine. He looks at the dark windows on the house. He drives away from the house.
Michael and Ben enter a Chinese restaurant. Samantha, Jen and Steve watch Ben and Michael walk through the restaurant from the bar in the restaurant.
Samantha says, “You texted me and said you were coming here so I did and they were here,” to Michael.
He says, “Oh.”
Michael and Ben sit at a table next to the bar. They order Long Island iced-teas. Michael and Ben drive to the bar Finnegan’s.
Steve says, “Do you want to go to Coach Light?” to Samantha in Finnegan’s.
She says, “Okay.”
Michael watches Samantha and Steve exit Finnegan’s. Michael drinks a rum and coke. Ben drives Michael to his house.
Samantha and Steve stand next to each other on a patio. Samantha smiles at Steve. Michael watches Steve talk to Samantha. Steve leaves the party. Michael tries to give Samantha a cigarette. Samantha lies on the couch in the living room. Michael wakes Samantha when other people in the house wake. Samantha looks at Michael.
She says, “I have to go,” then exits the house.
About three weeks later Samantha moves into an apartment in Manhattan. Michael walks from his work to her apartment building. He walks with Samantha to The East Village; they sit in a restaurant and order a pitcher of sangria. Peach slices float in the sangria. Samantha walks to the bathroom. Michael drinks sangria and looks at the restaurant. Samantha walks towards the table.
She sits at the table and says, “What do you think beauty is?”
Michael says, “I don’t know.”
She tells him through text message that she has a boyfriend. In March they dance at a party in Manhattan. He wakes in her apartment. He sees Dan rubbing Samantha’s breast. In June she tells him to find new friends. Around 4 a.m. Michael’s friends watch him chew lettuce in a Manhattan diner. In August Michael watches Samantha and Steve walks on top of a parking lot from a park field. Michael wakes in a car. Samantha sits next to him in the car. They stand on the driveway.
Samantha says, “We should catch-up,” to him.
He says, “Okay.”
He hugs her and walks towards the house.
Michael walks to Samantha’s apartment. He sits on the sofa. She lies on her bed. They listen to audio files of an interview she recorded near Tompkins Square Park. Her voice on the file speaks about New York City. Sounds of New York City come out of the laptop then fade. The homeless person's voice speaks about bathing in the city. Samantha's voice speaks to the homeless person’s voice.
She says, “I hate the way I sound,” to Michael.
He says, “You sound good.” The homeless person describes a 'sidewalk slammer.'
Samantha says, “I walked with them to a fast food place. One of them took handfuls of ketchup packets,” to Michael.
Michael says, “I really like this.”
She says, “Listen.”
The homeless person says he loves New York then burps. Michael smiles then walks to the kitchen. He mixes Pepsi and Bacardi in a glass. He drops ice cubes into the glass. He walks towards the bed. Samantha sits on the windowsill then lights a cigarette. Michael sits on the small table. He puts his arm around Samantha's torso. He drinks from the glass and squeezes Samantha's torso.
They eat in a diner on 6th Avenue. Samantha eats eggs, pancakes and bacon. Michael eats two waffles and an egg. She pays the check. They exit the diner and walk north on 6th Avenue. They enter a store that sells Halloween decorations and costumes. Michael asks a worker in the store if they have “Sarah Palin.”
The worker says, “We have things to make her.”
Samantha says, “I just want to see what it looks like.”
They look at “Sarah Palin” and then idly at masks.
Samantha says, “I am so hungover.”
Michael says, “Me too.”
They exit the store and walk north on 6th Avenue. Water seeps into the cement cracks. Samantha looks at her phone. She talks about a friend she hasn't seen in a year.
She says, “Sorry.”
He says, “I like listening to you talk.”
She enters the bathroom in her apartment. Michael looks at Fleur-De-Li-pattern cloths. He looks through a window and sees a stone cross on a church. Samantha exits the bathroom. She takes lip balm off the table and rubs lip balm on her lips. Michael lies on the sofa. He watches Chevy Chase acting on TBS. Samantha talks on her phone. She begins crying. She lies down. Michael holds her.
Samantha exhales audibly then stands in front of a wall-mounted mirror and brushes her hair. She places an audio recorder in her purse.
She says, “Are you coming with me?”
Michael says, “Yeah.”
They take the subway to Central Park.
Michael says, looking at Central Park, “I never know where I am up here.”
Samantha says, “I think we need to go in here.”
She points at a pathway between two stone pillars. They walk along the pathway and come to a road for cars. Families walk on the road holding pumpkins. Samantha and Michael walk on the paved paths of the park. They walk on dirt grooves made by horses. They walk in grass kicking leaves and sticks. Samantha stands next to a stone wall. A fountain below shoots water into the air.
Samantha says, “It’s pretty.”
Michael says, “I think that’s the line to the bathroom.”
Samantha says, “Let’s stay here a minute.”
Michael says, “Okay.”
He hugs Samantha. Samantha comes out of his hug. She rests her hands on the stone wall. Michael looks at the fountain. They enter a courtyard. Light rain lands on them. Umbrellas hover in random places over the crowd on the courtyard.
Michael looks at Samantha’s eye. A person wearing a skeleton-costume unicycles on the bricks. Children watch the person in the skeleton costume. Samantha takes a picture of the unicyclist. She takes a picture of an orange tree. Jack-o'-lanterns are aligned on scaffolding shelves on the courtyard.
Michael says, “I like this.”
Samantha says, “You do?”
Samantha takes two pictures of Michael and the pumpkins. She takes a picture of Michael and herself and the pumpkins. They walk onto the concourse. Michael walks towards crates of red apples. He touches the money in his pocket. He walks to next to Samantha. She cycles through digital pictures on her camera.
Michael says, “The apples look good.”
Samantha takes a picture of Indian corn, baskets of multi-colored gourds and of three painted pumpkins. Michael buys pumpkin-flavored cotton candy. He eats pieces of cotton candy. He puts his arm around Samantha’s torso. Samantha puts cotton candy into her mouth. He puts large pieces of the cotton candy into his mouth.
He says, “I think I want a smoothie.”
Michael then Samantha sips the smoothie. They walk away from the concourse. Candles burn in jack-o’-lanterns under the metal fence. Wet orange and brown leaves lay flat on the ground. Michael sips the smoothie. They stand next to bleachers. An obese person wearing a cloak and mask stands in front of the bleachers. His voice comes out of speakers. Wind moves the tree branches. White smoke rises into the air from a box. Michael sips the smoothie. Michael and Samantha walk on an empty road. They ride the subway to 14th Street.
In Samantha’s apartment they lie in her bed. Half-an-hour later Eric and James arrive at the apartment. They ingest drugs, eat pizza, and drink margaritas. Eric and James leave the apartment wearing jackets. Samantha sits on the sofa. She holds a cup of water. Michael moves next to her on the couch.
He says, “Let me have some water.”
He drinks water from the cup. Samantha smiles at Michael. Michael holds her torso. He touches her chest with his head.
He says, “I can hear your heart.”
They wake up at 11 a.m. Samantha’s breath leaves a damp spot on the back of Michael’s neck. She removes her arm from around his chest. Michael sees rain falling outside.
Samantha says, “When are you going to write me a poem.”
Michael says, “I don’t know. Can it be a story?”
She says, “Never write about me.”
He says, “Why not?”
They walk to New York University. Samantha enters a building. Michael rides the subway to Brooklyn.
Michael wears a Halloween costume he made at work. His friend wears a cowboy costume and his friend’s brother wears a doctor costume. They each drink Heinekens and Coronas. Samantha finds Michael in the crowd in the bar. Black make-up encircles her eyes. Michael and Samantha dance. Samantha removes a stick of deodorant from Michael’s back pocket.
She says, “Why do you have deodorant in your pocket?”
They sit in a booth. Standing people enclose the booth. Michael drinks a rum and coke. They kiss in the booth. They take a bus to Samantha’s apartment. They have sex under the covers on Samantha’s bed.
Michael Revolutionary Road on the glass table.
He says, “I brought this for you.”
She says, “I’ve heard about it."
They order food from a diner. Michael and Samantha lie on Samantha’s bed. Michael kisses Samantha’s lips.
She says, “I’m feeling strong feelings for you.”
He says, “That’s nice.”
She says, “I think you said you loved me last night.”
He says, “I was really drunk.”
She says, “Don’t say you love me.”
He says, “It’s just a word.”
Michael removes his phone from his pocket. He answers the phone and hears Samantha’s voice. She tells him she feels like a bad person. Michael tells her to stop crying.
He says, “You are not a bad person.”
Around 10 p.m. he walks to her apartment. She gives him a glass of wine in the kitchen. They sit on the couch in front of the television.
She says, “I don’t want to tell you.”
He says, “Whatever you want to do.”
Samantha tells Michael she had sex with Steve on New Year's. Michael drinks the wine in his glass. Samantha points her face down and cries. Michael hugs Samantha and looks at the strands of her hair. They walk to a bar. They order beer then sit at a table. They walk towards Samantha’s apartment and buy pizza. Michael wakes in the morning and sees Samantha’s closed eyes. They walk north on 6th Avenue. Michael pays thirty-five dollars for shoes.
Michael sees Samantha’s friend in a bar surrounded by many Asian students. He sees Samantha in the bar then dances with Samantha. Samantha and Michael order drinks from the bartender. Michael drinks his drink then they continue dancing.
Samantha says, “You’re doing better this time.”
Michael says, “I know.”
Samantha smokes a cigarette on the sidewalk. Michael watches a short person emerge from the crowd. The short person wears nice clothing. Michael talks to an obese person wearing a suit jacket. They take a taxi to Samantha’s apartment. They sit on the green couch.
Michael says, “Didn’t you feel bad for the midget?”
Samantha says, “Not really.”
They lie in the bed. Samantha lies facing the sofa. Michael taps her thigh.
She says, “Don’t touch me.”
Michael looks at the ceiling. He leaves apartment then walks to work.
Samantha and Michael leave a movie theater on 23rd Street. They get on a subway train. They get off the subway train at 16th Street. They walk up the stairs.
Michael says, “Let’s go to my apartment.”
She says, “Why?”
He says, “My roommate is gone.”
She says, “My apartment is right here.”
He says, “We never go to my apartment.”
A subway train stops in the station. They board the train. Michael grabs Samantha’s wrist.
He says, “Your apartment’s better.”
She says, “Okay. I thought we were going to your place.”
Michael says, “Let’s go to my place.”
Another train arrives. Michael hugs Samantha. Samantha gets out of the hug. Samantha reads Revolutionary Road. The train rides on the elevated tracks over the Gowanus Canal. Samantha reads Revolutionary Road. Michael reads Can You Relax in My House. The train stops.
Michael says, “This train is lazy.”
She wears Michael’s pajamas. Samantha lies on the couch reading Revolutionary Road. Michael opens a bottle of Kombucha tea. Samantha sips the tea then looks at the book.
Michael says, “I want to go to Wyoming still.”
Samantha says, “Yeah.”
He passes her a spoon of almond butter. Samantha and Michael go into Michael’s bed.
Michael walks from his office building to Samantha’s apartment. Michael and Samantha watch the film adaptation of Revolutionary Road on the internet.
Michael says, “I wish I had a hearing aide to turn down if my woman blabs on like that.”
Samantha says, “I hope I have a husband that listens.”
Michael looks at her in the dark apartment. She lies on the couch. Her feet rest on Michael’s thighs.
She says, “Don’t look at me.”
She stands and walks to the bathroom. Michael stands and hangs a blanket from his shoulders. He stands in front of the window. He looks at 16th Street. He stands next to Samantha’s bed. Samantha comes out of the bathroom. She walks past Michael. Michael looks at her eyes.
She says, “I think you should leave.”
He says, “Yeah.”
He hugs her and kisses her cheek.
Samantha says, “Bye.”
Michael crosses a street in Brooklyn. He checks his text messages. A message from Samantha says, “It’s April Wheeler’s fault.” Michael sends, “Haha. I’ll call you later.” He lies on his bed in his apartment. Samantha says, “I cried when April died.” Michael walks to his kitchen. He says, “I know. She was retarded.” Samantha says, “Why would you give someone a book like that?” Michael lies on his bed. He says, “I thought you were liking it.”
Michael and his father drive to the Adirondacks. It is late January. He looks at his father behind the wheel of the station wagon. He looks at the pages of Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore. In the Adirondacks Michael, his father, his aunt, and his uncle eat salad. Michael drinks wine from a stem-less glass. Michael's aunt asks Michael what new things have happened. Michael sits on a soft chair. He drinks wine. He reads Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Standing next to the wood stove Michael’s aunt, uncle, and father say things to each other. They go upstairs to sleep. Michael walks upstairs. He slides into a sleeping bag on the air mattress. He is wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and a button-down flannel. A squirrel runs across the ceiling. He finds a headlamp from his duffel. He writes thoughts about Samantha. He reads Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? A squirrel runs across the ceiling. He reads the last page of the book. He turns off the headlamp. Michael sees stars through a skylight. He falls asleep. He wakes and eats oatmeal. They ski through the forest.
A major company hires Samantha. Samantha tells Michael she is drunk. He walks to a store on 7th Avenue. He buys cupcake supplies and a six-pack. They each drink a beer in her apartment. They watch television from the sofa. Michael pushes Samantha’s face with his lips.
Samantha says, “Michael. We are friends.”
Michael says, “Damn.”
Samantha and Michael walk to the kitchen respectively. Samantha makes cupcakes.
Michael says, “Your tan looks good.”
Samantha says, “You can still see it?”
Michael kisses Samantha’s mouth. He touches Samantha’s hips and feels the skin on her belly.
Samantha says, “No.”
They lie in Samantha’s bed then fall asleep. Samantha’s breathing creates a noise. Michael covers her body with a blanket. He switches the hall light off then leaves. He walks to an art opening the next night. Samantha and her friend Julie smoke cigarettes in front of the building. Michael stands next to Samantha and Julie.
Samantha says, “What did you do to me last night?”
Michael says, “Nothing. You did that to yourself.”
They enter the building. Michael drinks wine. Samantha tells him he looks good. Michael looks at paintings hanging on the walls. Julie says Samantha plans to write a book called Slut.
Michael says, “I heard about your book,” to Samantha.
Samantha says, “Julie, you bitch,” to Julie.
They walk to the bar. Michael tells his tall friend he doesn’t know what to do.
The tall friend says, “Forget about her, man.”
Michael and the tall friend stand in front of the jukebox. Samantha walks to next to the jukebox. She looks at her phone. Michael looks at the screen.
He says, “Who the fuck is that?”
She says, “No one,” and walks into the crowd.
Michael walks to the bar. Samantha looks at her phone at the bar, next to Julie. Michael looks at Samantha’s phone.
She says, “He did it again,” and looks at her friends.
Michael says, “I’m sorry.”
She says, “He’s just some random guy. You don’t have to worry about him.”
He says, “Can we talk outside?”
They stand on the sidewalk.
Michael says, “I still care about you.”
She says, “Is that it? I never want to hear this bullshit again. You have to pretend it never happened. If you bring it up, I am going to ignore you.”
She reenters the bar. She orders an absinthe. Michael drinks the absinthe. He drinks a beer. Michael, Samantha, Julie, and Michael’s tall friend enter Samantha’s apartment. Samantha and Julie smoke cigarettes by an open window. Samantha exposes a nipple. Michael pinches the nipple gently. He and his tall friend lie in the loft above the kitchen. Samantha climbs into the loft holding a cup of water then lies on the pillows.
She says, “Someone tell a story or something.”
Michael says, “A lady drowns herself in a lake because she is depressed.”
She says, “No.”
He says, “That’s what happens.”
Michael uses three run-on sentences to incorrectly recount posthumous events of the life of a woman whose body surfaced in Lake Placid in the early 80s.
Samantha says, “That’s not scary.”
She shuts the light off then lies on her side facing the wall.
She says, “No.”
She lies in bed with Julie.
Michael walks through the subway turnstile. He crouches next to a staircase and leans gently against white tile. He puts his face on his backpack. He hears feet tapping the platform. A “not in service” train arrives in the station. Michael walks towards a bench. He sits on the bench then looks at the opposite platform. He stands next to the bench. He sees a man insert his finger into his nostril. Michael enters a train car. The train moves into the tunnel. Michael holds The Bell Jar. He stares at the inside of the train. He looks at a Mexican person. The train bends making screeching noises. Michael sees the tunnel wall. He reads The Bell Jar. He opens his apartment door. Michael opens the prose document on his laptop. He deletes words and restructures sentences. He prints the document. He emails the document to his email address.
Michael walks on the trail in the woods. The sky is black with stars and a white moon in it. Michael looks up at the leaves and sees an orange glow on them. He steps over fallen tree trunks. He sees a dot of flames. He walks through bushes. His friends stand in the light of the flames. Michael smokes a joint. His friends drink beer. They smoke marijuana from a pipe. Michael extinguishes the flames with dirt. His friends pour beer on the embers. Smoke rises out of the ground. Moonlight shines through the trees and the smoke in beams. Michael walks on the trail. The trail has pieces of paper on it. He looks into the darkness next to half-buried rocks. He walks down a hill. He looks at the darkness. He sees his friends walk through the woods. He sees flashlight beams. His sandals hit the sticks and rocks. He emerges with his friends then some of them walk on the streets and some of them open car doors. Michael and a friend drive to Finnegan’s. His friends order rum and cokes. Michael drinks a beer at Finnegan’s bar. He exits the bar. He listens to “re:Stacks” by Bon Iver. He walks past the gas stations, the closed Chinese restaurant, the closed banks, through an intersection then on dimly lit suburban roads. He quietly enters his parents' house, descends into the basement then downloads the prose document. He looks at the screen. He idly reads words in the middle of the document, at random. Involuntarily he clicks away from the document.