Eulalie remembers a time when Squid got so far out into the woods by himself, she was afraid he might never again return. And she chuckles at the memory of her relief. That sense that she was somehow off the hook forever. That she would never again be called on to submit to someone else's scrutiny. She liked the freedom this afforded, the very real sense that you could climb the stairs as far as they go and not have to act as if you are having trouble catching your breath. Of course, all that was in the past, the way Fluoride is in the water. And there are people now who would tell her to abandon those days at the pier. At the waterfront itself. Where someone else can be trusted to draw faces on the planks. Can illuminate them with candles and risqué lyrics and start a career that might last longer than a few days.
What right, she says when she is pulling the socks from her feet, what right do you have to inform on me that way? What right have you to include my friends in the list of potential enemies and then publish it in serial form? Honestly, sometimes I wish I had found your brother instead. Eulalie refers, of course, to their first rendezvous. The tension in the air like a handful of locusts. At most a dozen. There was no swarm. And she was disappointed by this. The way we are disappointed to this day that no one has managed to unearth the Ark of the Covenant.