It feels wrong to take the lead, makes me blanch, though I have always depended on that kind of strangeness. We ride the midnight trams, the street grinding by under phosphorescent lamps. Home in time for collapse, her crumbling and distracted, agitated in drink. She looks like the Stanley to my Stella, pensive in deadbeat denim and tight black jeans, white wife beater singlet and lean silhouette casting just the right kind of dark. I lift her up and she grumbles into my chest, a far cry from desire, nothing but background rhubarb in the lounge-lit sepia atmosphere.

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