in earnest. Patrick considered settling down in places that rolled off the tongue: Shawnee, Pocatello, Hickory. "How many times have you talked to her?" "A whole bunch." "A bunch. This is the point where we will lose her. Can tonsils become so swollen they impede speech? I have to go pick him up, and Caleb's at a job site.
Now imagine that, as a practice run, you have to go to a courtroom that seems as big as a football stadium. They do not see, as I do, that since her father has moved out, Rachel has blossomed. "We just want him to give up custody and visitation." "My client is Rachel's biological father. Patrick was born, and Suzanne devoted herself to him. Patrick doesn't want to miss the moment she walks in, the way her face turns unerringly to his, like the needle of a compass at true north. His voice is as soft as flannel. Caleb immediately goes to Nathaniel, curling his big body into a play space meant for children. Beside him, Fred clears his throat, prompting.
"Thanks, but Miss Lydia made a personal request to see me, and believe me, you don't want to get on that woman's bad side." Nina takes a bite, then hands the rest to Patrick. In the rearview mirror, I watch Nathaniel play with the dangling strap of his backpack, pleating it into halves and thirds. Kennedy in the Persian Gulf, he received a letter from her, and through it, the vicarious life he might have had. "They got left behind in the ladies' room." The bartender stubs out his cigarette and follows the line of Patrick's gaze toward the door. I counted to five and then the blue shimmied, an explosion just in front. In fact, there have been times that Patrick has wondered whether the establishment opens early simply to accommodate himself and Nina for their standing Monday lunches. He thinks that maybe the cloud behind him has an angel fast asleep in its center. At one spot a knot the size of a dime is tangled in the silk. Every now and then she asks him questions, which he couldn't answer even if he wanted.