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He’s not doing well, Mike says. I’m sorry, I say. And instead of Mike’s usual You Didn’t Do It, or his You Don’t Have to Say That, he just says, Thank you. That’s when I understand. But how’s my mother? Mike asks. Just lovely, I say. Still adjusting to our shared proximity. That’s what she told me. Go figure. But it’s a compliment, Mike says. Could be worse. Ma says you’ve been cooking. We play house together, yes. I can’t even imagine it. Just because the neighborhood’s snoring, that doesn’t mean it’s asleep. There’s a house party going on a few doors down. Some white girls trample onto the lawn, laughing, with red Solo cups. They glance back at the door, and one of them covers her mouth, and her friend latches on to her shoulders. Full story

1 August