The remaining brim of Abe’s pastry sprawls on his plate. I pick it up and eat it without asking, to assert love. It instantly creates a warm, familial intimacy. I think, this is how it would be, in LA.
Abe says: “I like the way you just take that.” Then, “Hey, did you see Dad’s Integral yet?”
I freeze. “No – what do you mean, his Integral?”
“Isn’t that what it’s called?”
“Is it a ziggurat?”
“I don’t know.”
He grabs Clark’s pen and unfolds a napkin. I watch his hand possessively as he draws a pool house.
“That’s a pool house,” I object, disgusted.
“No, the other one’s the pool house. Maybe I drew the pool house by mistake. Whatever.”
He tosses the pen at Clark. Clark catches the pen in mid-air and Abe says, “Reflexes. All right.”
I say, “I had a dream about an Integral last night.”
“This is something Japanese, like a shrine Dad’s building to work in. I don’t know if it’s a ziggybok. Maybe if you tell Dad you dreamed about it, he’ll let us live there. Not.”
Clark gathers his things, getting ready to leave for his job at the bed store. Bending over my chair from behind, he embraces me, whispering “I love you,” non-commitally into my hair. I listen to the words intently, wondering if they’re true. I feel amorous and sickened at the same time. I wish he’d stay. “I love you too,” I say, but he isn’t listening because he believes me.
He goes off to his beds. I relax and feel magnificent.