Outside Perry’s bedroom window the ferrets were at it again, fucking their furry asses into the ground. Perry gritted his teeth, curled his toes, turned on the television. Wolfman Jack was eating a melting Fudgesicle. Desire. Fuck. There was no escaping it.

In his latest letter to Nathaniel Perry had written a sort of wish list, a kind of prayer. Companionship. Piano. Raspberry jam. Monsoon. Running car. Nathaniel’s terse reply: Quit moping about and join a bowling league. Join a church. Buy a goddamn horse.

Life had always been so easy for Nathaniel, born in mild March to milder Episcopalian parents in New Hampshire. When you’re from New Hampshire the world is your orchard. You walk around waiting for plums to fall.

Perry had been persecuted from the starting point, born in harsh July to a crazy Pentecostal mother and crazier Baptist father…in Oklahoma, no less. His mother’s breast milk gave him a terrible rash and nightmares that would follow him into his third decade of life.

“Babe…did you fight in a war or somethin’?” Staci had asked. Staci. Pert tits. Apple ass. Strawberry blonde hair, so much of it, all over. Coconut scented shampoo. Congenial stream of consciousness babble while they played Scrabble. Staci bested Perry with “bearclaw.” Perry had insisted that “bearclaw” was not one word but two. Bear claw. But there was no dictionary within reaching distance and Perry was lazy so Staci had won the game.

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