"Everyone is Everyone" occurs six months before "Jesse's," which occurs six months before "It Counts."

Out of context, these excerpts are nearly meaningless, but then, you already knew that.

Amy is here now.

She is on my doorstep, standing in the rain like she’s in some third-class student film, I can’t tell whether or not she’s crying because she is soaking wet. She comes inside, the A/C is on and I can see her tits through her shirt, I’m sure this is the point but I don’t call her a slut, I suppose you can’t kick a dog when it’s down even if it’s a fucking whore.

Amy says Brian texted her last night and said he was back from Japan and that he met someone there and doesn’t want anything more to do with her and she says she called him a selfish prick and that she told him she fucked Simon while he was gone even though we both know this isn’t true, the fucking, not the telling, and that he called her a bitch and then she drove to my house because she didn’t know what to do.

I am the answer, I am salvation in suburbia for Amy Ellis.

She collapses into my arms in the foyer, I let her sob, rant, yell until she calms down enough so that I can take her into the living room and maybe get her a little drunk.

I text Mark:

"911 vodka stat"

I put her on the couch and turn on the TV; it's some movie on Lifetime, a romantic comedy, so I put on CNN instead, maybe give Amy some perspective, as if she knew what that was. I make two peanut butter sandwiches in the kitchen, peeking out at least once a minute to ensure she hasn’t run off and grabbed something sharp and sliced up her wrists, horizontally, of course, because she would never want to actually kill herself, until the doorbell rings.

“What the hell did you need this for?” Mark is standing in the drizzle with a huge black eye, I squint to make sure it’s not just the lighting on the patio.

“What happened to you?”

“What happened to me? I was fucking mugged on the walk to the liquor store. Fuckers took my wallet, my fucking wallet."

"Dammit, Mark, I always tell you to drive your car when it's late."

"I don't like driving," he says, looking down, he holds the vodka out in front of him for me to take.

There's something more lurking in the shadows of his face, but I can't pinpoint it. Sorrow? Disappointment? It doesn’t matter. I take the bottle and tell him about Amy.

“Oh,” he says.

“Yeah.”

He keeps looking at his feet, and says, “Um, good luck with that, man.” Frustration? Confusion?

“Thanks.”

He leaves, and I call out, “I’ll see you at Lindsay’s on Saturday?" Not a question, but a question mark slips out at the end anyway and he shrugs.

I walk back to the kitchen. Amy has been alone this whole time, and I come back into the living room with the vodka and sandwiches, but she’s not bleeding out all over the floor; instead, she smiles, for the first time in months, I think, and we eat the food and drink from the bottle and watch as Iran suicide-bombs Pakistan or something.
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