I’D BEEN DREAMING I WAS BEING CHASED BY A GIANT PIT bull. It was barking, and then it opened its mouth and I heard Doooom. Doooom. Dooom. Dooom, the bass beat sound Dee’s phone makes. It was ringing somewhere on the floor, under our clothes. My eyes opened as he leaned off the narrow futon to answer it. We hadn’t been touching because he can’t sleep with anyone touching him. But I could still feel him moving away.
“We have to go,” he told me when he hung up. He hadn’t said much into the phone.
I watched the stretch of his ribs as he pulled last night’s T-shirt over his head. The tattoo on his bronze chest disappeared: N—for Nikki—surrounded by swirling angels’ wings. I smiled, seeing it. Thinking of my lips on it last night.
“Get up.” He didn’t look at me.
“Are you okay?”
“Get some clothes on.” He walked out of the room. To the kitchen, or to find whatever narrow scrap of joint was left in the ashtray from last night.
I heard him muttering to Bird and her muttering back. Both of them low, short. I lay there hoping that Dee would say something to Bird about where we were going, what the phone call was about, but really I knew that hoping Dee and Bird would talk much to each other was like hoping the last scratch-off number on your ticket would reveal you’d won the whole $25,000 pot.
I kicked the blanket off and reached for whatever pair of shorts lay handy. I didn’t know where we were headed, but wherever Dee needed me to be, I was going to go.