Mandy heads for malt and coffee. She passes through Can Robert and texts frantically:
fruits, veggies, plants, summer dresses. Also bras. Six tables of bras. Think you would
like the bras. On the other hand, she texts, it’s a jungle. Becoming puddle. Should have
brought my camel hump. Charley looks out the window. We could build a submarine,
she texts. Probably cooler under water, she texts. When Mandy arrives home, they
malt and coffee. We need more elan vital, says Mandy. Yes, says Charlie. French
fancies. They climb inside the symbolic submarine. Are you back in your childhood,
says Mandy. Back, says Charlie. There too, says Mandy. I’ve always loved my smurfs,
says Mandy. The little blue people. It was hard not to chew them. Little logs, says
Charlie, I linked them together. We were more in touch with our bodies, says Mandy.
Maybe we can get back there, says Charlie. When they climb out of the submarine, the
room is full of teen spirits. Is this the peak of our existence, says Mandy, fingering her
ghost braces. Hope not, says Charlie, squeezing out a ghost pimple.
That’s nice, I said, what kind of a name is Mildred. Gentle strength, she said. A bit
marmalade on toast, I said. A bit cat and whiskers. Dusty wisdom of books, she said.
Tea and crumpets, I said. Not really, she said. Beans and toast. She scooted closer.
Snuggled down inside herself. Her pearly wisdoms. She scooted closer. Pitched a tent.
The pang of the wild. They rang the buzzer. We chose each other. The hunt is over, I