Wanda had her period and pushed my hand off. "Gross," she said. "Get away. What do you want to touch that for?"
I went back to the living room, at the far end of the house. I sat on the couch and opened my book. "'Time went on'!" I said, "'And the Auberge de Jehan Cottard showed no signs of opening'!"
I heard a snort of laughter. "Oh, clever! Getting George Orwell to fight your battles? Such a clever boy!"
"Well," I said, "Clever enough?"
"Nope! Still closed. Get away!"
I tossed the book on the floor and shut my eyes. I dreamt of a slow, strong stream. I dreamt of warm water and the smell of mud. When I opened my eyes, she stood there, naked, surrounded in green light. "What's this?" I said.
She pointed to her vagina. A little man in a tweed suit rested comfortably among the folds.
"George?" I asked.
"Huh." He was smiling at me. "Why him?"
She shrugged. "He's brilliant, isn't he? And the tweed, so absorbent."
I scratched my head. "I'm not absorbent?"
I shut my eyes again, to dream of castles and moats, boats upon rich, red water. Sometimes their voices came to me through the curtain of sleep. "Now you be Big Brother," I heard him say, his laugh like a robin's call, chuttering and silly. I lay in my skiff, watching the pinkish clouds, terribly lonely but unaccountably happy.
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