She screams, ‘Why are we fighting?’ So I make my voice cold in the way I was taught as a child, deep and sharpened for stagecraft. It’s because everything’s too good, I tell her, we don’t trust joy to come so easy or stay solid for long. Hard eyes and a soft tongue, she says, ‘Testing for imperfections.’ Like a peach. ‘Rotten inside?’ Delicious all over. It takes thirty seconds of staring before we’re holding each other in hysterics, the promise of tears swallowed with pride. ‘Are we being silly?’ Only about arguments, I say, the rest is serious.

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