It’s spring in Siberia With a View.
Spring brings a welcome change after a hard winter, and as the snow melts I discover analogies everywhere I turn. Cheap and barely supportable insights sprout anew, like the weeds in my lawn.
Foxes are fucking.
As a result, it’s a good time to exhume a limp version of the pathetic fallacy, and apply it for entertainment’s sake. I spend most of my waking hours, uninspired, in a basement office and studio, my social life consisting of a daily trip to the grocery store. If I can’t attribute human characteristics to elements of, and entities in nature, what is there to live for? Plus, for me, the fallacy plays in both directions in terms of attribution and personification. Can a basement dweller ask for much more than this?
On to the fallacy, an application and results. Despite its regular pummeling by academics with sticks up their asses, this flawed approach is often productive, right on the mark, especially when it comes to fellow members of the animal kingdom.
For one, the fox.
It used to be that the red fox was thought to mate for life; following a lustful end to a courtship, and a 49- to 58-day gestation period, mom gives birth to the kits and tends them, dad goes to work securing food, ensuring the safety of shelter. The family gathers for dinner after a long day.
“These foxes,” assumed many urban-dwelling humans, “are just like us. Faithful, dedicated to the family, etc.”
Laugh if you will, you judgmental neo-Marxists stuffed shoulder-to-shoulder and desperate for tenure in institutions of higher learning, but it turns out that foxes are, in their way, human all too human (with apologies to Nietzsche and Ruskin).
As with Homo sapiens, there are no Ozzies and few Harriets amongst the Vulpes vulpes.
When Dad fox tells Mom fox he’s going out for milk and cigarettes, he’s on the prowl for something more satisfying than lactose and nicotine. Dad’s seeking a slice of strange; he’s on a quest to spread his genetic material as widely as possible, eager to make as many deposits in as many recipients as he can. He does so as the dumb instrument of an evolutionary imperative he can’t comprehend. He couldn’t care less about understanding the source of a need he seeks to satisfy with such zeal.
Such, also, is the case with the majority of human males whose testicles have dropped and whose systems are saturated with testosterone— even those who nibble at an egg salad sandwich and read scripture during lunch as part of a sad and most often doomed attempt to smother their impulse. Remember: Jimmy Swaggart and countless other of his spiritually perfected ilk spout bible-based wisdom and trumpet their moral superiority, yet end up trolling for blowjobs in airport men’s rooms, or bucking in cheesy motel rooms with hookers whose downtime reading material is limited to website ads touting sure cures for herpes. It is damned near impossible to swim against the hormonal tide, regardless of species, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. Sperm must be flung. And received.
And, it’s not just the male who veers from an unrealistic ideal. Like fox, like human, as per the fallacy.
Mom fox, for her part, often pines for an unfamiliar hook-up when dad’s out of the den looking for milk and cigarettes. Mommy needs her jolt, too, so she locks her radar on an alternate donor of genetic material and friction, and on occasion she invites him into the den. Just like so many human females. In this Woke age where a claim of a fundamental distinction can summon the firing squad to the line, it is disrespectful and dangerous to suggest anyone is exempt from the tug of a universal, primal urge.
So for foxes, and humans, males and females, the beast with two backs is a lynchpin of existence, an often-messy goal blindly sought under the influence of irresistible bioforces. This has resulted in the overpopulation of both species and, for humans, a flood of poorly made, pathos-drenched Internet pornography, some of it filmed in by-the-hour motel rooms once frequented by Jimmy Swaggart.
In short, whether it’s a fox in a forest or an evangelist in an ill-kempt lodging establishment, there’s gonna be some fucking going on. Especially, come spring.
One notable difference, however, is that a fox couple regularly remains locked in a coital position for an hour or so after the transmission of seed takes place, whereas the human male in many if not most cases is up and out of there in the blink of an eye following discharge, leaving the female to tend to her own orgasm(s), and any post-event cleanup.
Side note: It takes decades for most human males to come to grips with their self-absorbed, insensitive, and frequently hurtful behavior, if they deal with it at all. Usually this occurs after disease or some other physical disaster robs them of their erectile capacity, and all they can then do is think about sex, and reflect on their many related shortcomings. Fallacy in high gear: I assume this holds true for the male fox.
To the fox … and my study of same.
A pair of foxes established a den on the hill above my house some years ago and every late spring since I’ve watched kits emerge to explore their surroundings, and engage in play useful for the development of survival skills. As in: hunting and killing smaller animals.
Gosh, young foxes are so damned cute, aren’t they? I find few things more satisfying than getting whacked on a dropper or two of my friend Joe’s special multi-strain cannabis elixir, and several triple G and Ts, then lounging on the deck, there to observe the graceful little mammals as they roll and tumble, yip excitedly, and now and then mangle a hapless squirrel.
Considering the foxy mom and dad’s forays, and the kits’ playtime, it’s not safe for a cat or small dog to wander out-of-doors anywhere within a half mile of the den, and little Bobby, who lives in a house down the street, loses four hamsters he sets on the patio in their flimsy cages, “to get some fresh air.”
Bobby and his folks moved here from Boston, so the bulk of their experience with wildlife involves roaches, rats, and pigeons. The parents refer to the missing hamster situation as a “mystery” when they show up at my front door with a tearful Bobby and an empty cage in tow, asking if I’ve spotted little Cuffy or Petey or Tuffy or Scout scurrying about my property. I restrain myself for Bobby’s sake, and do my best to muster facial expressions indicating sincere concern. I do not glance up the hill, where there is a pile of hamster bones outside the entrance to a den.
The day these New England naifs discover a mountain lion kill under the trampoline in their yard — a phenomenon not uncommon in Siberia with a View, with a delicate fawn gutted, rudely dismembered, and partially devoured by the predator — the reality of their mistaken relocation will collapse on them. With any luck, they will list their dream mountain home with a realtor, and they’ll be on their way back to Massachusetts, the pigeons, and the rats. Back to where they belong.
Last week, as I sit in the living room enjoying one of several cocktails on the afternoon’s schedule, reading MFK Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me, and listening to a recording of Keith Jarrett’s stunning Koln concert, a movement outside the window attracts my attention.
Fox Dad makes his way up the hill toward the den with a limp calico in his jaws. The house cat appears to be fully mature … and dead. RIP, Blinky, you’ll make a fine lunch.
The Vulpes are out and hungry. We’ll hear them soon, I think, as I marvel at what Jarrett did in Germany with a broken piano. I once attended a Jarrett and Charles Lloyd concert — a three-hour stunner— and there was no turning back. I cannot appreciate One Direction; I want to exterminate the Oak Ridge Boys, however many of the churls are still up and warbling.
Sure enough, a couple nights later, a racket rises on the hill, and it’s nothing like a spectacular piano improvisation undertaken in front of a crowd of alternately eager and dour Germans.
A fox makes distinct sounds when it’s time to do the old in-and-out, the most alarming call similar to the scream of a human child— much like the cry of a 6-year-old kid being pinched with a pair of needle nose pliers wielded by a psychopathic older sibling.
The first time I heard this sound, I was tempted to contact Social Services and alert the agency to the fact a youngster was being tortured somewhere down the lane. It seemed an accurate reaction, since I knew of several kids in the neighborhood with psychopathic older siblings and a toolbox in the garage. Fortunately, I did a Goggle search, and discovered the source of the noise before I made the call.
Science types say the scream is produced by a female fox to indicate she’s horny, much in the way a high-pitched, anxiety-saturated laugh is used by a drunken divorcee (often in tandem with a flamboyant hair toss) to attract the attention of a hirsute lout at the neighborhood watering hole on Karaoke night.
But, the male fox also often makes the sound when he is out and ready to invade a rival’s territory in search of Volpes quim. The male calls out in a way similar to a drunken frat boy who bugles to capture the attention and affection of someone else’s date. At the campus watering hole, on Karaoke night.
I have it on good authority that a great deal of sexual maneuvering takes place on Karaoke night, as well as at country western bars when patrons engage in line dancing. It’s been reported that prison guards believe line dancing to be a reliably effective sexual stimulant.
The foxes are screaming.
I’m familiar with what takes place in the woods. For someone who rarely comes up from the basement, I am remarkably well educated concerning wildlife in the Rockies. I know what it means, this fox racket: regardless of the gender of the producer, it signals that the dance has begun.
The bulk of my knowledge of such things is a carryover from my youth. I was an Eagle Scout, to everyone’s surprise, including my own. To become an Eagle Scout, I spent far more time than I liked outdoors, in the high country of Colorado, back before pretentious, nature-loving interlopers in search of a “pristine” environment arrived to ruin things. I ignited fires with flint and steel. I burned cakes and cornbread in a Dutch oven. I trapped bunnies with snares, then ate them (the bunnies, not the snares). I slept in snow caves. I built lean-to shelters with pine boughs, and suffered debilitating allergy attacks. I earned my Pioneering merit badge by successfully tying a number of knots not used since the invention of the steamship.
My Uncle Jack was an official in the research division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and he took my cousin, my brother, and me on many of his trips into the field. I trapped chipmunks in Montana, and examined the contents of the stomachs of hundreds of migratory birds found dead on the eastern plains of Colorado. I narrowly avoided confrontations with agitated bears in Wyoming and Utah, and became acquainted with the Koni at high altitude. I talked to marmots in New Mexico.
I didn’t enjoy any of it, but I learned things. As a result, I am Siberia With a View’s troglodyte Marlin Perkins. Readers younger than 50 need to Google the late MP.
The upshot: when foxes fuck, I pay attention. In fact, I pay attention to any coupling, of any kind, undertaken by members of any species. I am a polymath who wades in shallow waters, and indulges a fallacy when it serves to amuse him.
This pseudoscientific occupation is my only link to carnal adventure, since I am one of those unfortunates I mentioned above who can only think about sex, at the same time he regrets his past errors.
When the surgeon cut out my cancerous prostate, he not only shortened my joystick by a full inch (I wasn’t packing heat to begin with), but he left me with no chance of future performance. Oh, but as a parting gift I got to keep the cancer — since the doc didn’t nab it before it metastasized. I’ll hand it to him, though: he managed to graduate from med school, he was a whiz with a scalpel, and had an excellent bedside manner.
What’s left is my fascination with corporeal goings on — thinking about them, and their consequences.
Fox, human, whatever.
With spring, the foxes are out, they’re screaming, their tails are raised high, and there’s an abundance of fox flirting and courting going on. Volpes sperm is being flung.
Wheel in the fallacy, put it in reverse gear, and let it do its work.
The dance begins — for the fox, for karaoke aficionados, folks at country western bars, and others prompted to fevered activity by a change of season.
Sometimes things work out, other times they don’t.
For example: if it’s spring, it’s time for the high school prom.
If prom is at hand, and kids are between 15 and 18 years of age, it’s time for them to at least think about fucking. As the days begin to get longer, the young ‘uns are in a lather. It’s the glands, you know. Just ask a fox.
The boys, in particular, heat up. They generally run at high RPM, but the motor switches to hyperdrive with a boost in the photoperiod. If crouching in the undergrowth and making a sound like a screaming infant can ensure success in the pursuit of poon, the lads will ignore the dangers of tick bites and rattlers, take to the woods, and raise an uproar once night falls.
If it works for a fox…
Most of the girls, for their parts, are practicing being adults. Someone has to do it.
Still, like the female fox…
The night of the big dance looms.
Shareen’s folks buy her that special dress, the gaudy and glamorous one that she will wear but once. She cons mom and dad into purchasing an incredibly expensive pair of shoes; she gets her hair done so it is as glamorous as her outfit. On the day of the dance, she dresses in the late afternoon, and stares unblinking at her image in the mirror, a pale Beyoncé, ready to walk the red carpet, just as she planned.
Laramie shows up at the front door at Shareen’s house, ready to take her to dinner at the best restaurant in town — the one with the word “Grille” in its name.
Laramie rents an ill-fitting tux, “western style,” at the local department store, and polishes his Cody James Square Toe Stockman boots. He’s wearing his dad’s fake turquoise bolo tie, and tops off the array with his beloved black Stetson Square. The tux is due back to the store intact and stain-free on Monday, if Laramie wants to avoid a ten-buck penalty.
Mom weeps while she snaps photo after photo of the young couple as they stand on the front porch, a gaudy corsage pinned to the strap of her daughter’s dress. Dad has misgivings about Laramie, and struggles with his desire to throttle the little dipshit. He’s detested Laramie since he saw him at the local swimming pool the summer before, when he spotted Laramie’s tattoo. Laramie wanted his name tattooed in large Goth letters across his back, at the shoulders. The tattoo “artist” was trashed on meth, and misspelled the name (Larryme). Shareen’s dad was not impressed, and still isn’t.
Shareen takes Laramie’s arm as they walk into the restaurant to join their pals —three other couples, boys in ill-fitted rental tuxes, girls in glamorous attire, the group seated at a large table in the back of the room. Old people watch as the prom goers pass. The coots smile, some of them with hunks of food stuck in their dentures; a few comment on how wonderful the kids look; several don’t know where they are, spill their wine, and try to eat their napkins.
Shareen is thrilled. Her outfit is spot on, people are staring at her, she’s the center of attention. One old dame tells her she looks “beautiful.” The old people remind her of Granny and Gramps, even though she barely knew Gramps. He went to the pen when she was three years old, and was doing 10 to 15 for aggravated robbery when he was dispatched with a sharpened metal bed slat following an argument concerning ownership of a pack of peanut butter crackers.
It is Shareen’s night to dine, dance, bask in the spotlight, be mature. Shareen relishes the peak moment. She’s in love — with Laramie, with her glamorous self, with the magic of the evening, with an imagined future glittery and grand. All is right with the world.
The scene is set for a perfect experience. The members of the senior class prom committee spent an entire day decorating the gym. The theme this year, as in many years past: Springtime in Paris. Shareen and Darla worked for two weeks during art class on an 8-foot-tall diorama featuring the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the side of the Centre Pompidou with the tubes on it.
Shareen dreams, and her dreams might come true.
After all, it’s springtime — in Paris, and in Siberia With a View. Foxes are screaming in the forest.
Like the fox, Laramie thinks of but one thing.
Laramie’s out of the den, on the prowl, if you will, ready to spread some seed. The fallacy is pathetic, but productive.
Laramie ties into his Bronco Buster Ribeye with extra Kentucky Bourbon and Habanero Sauce as Shareen picks at her South of the Border Fiesta Salad (salmon, an additional $7).
Shareen gazes without blinking at her escort and thinks, first, that Laramie is the one, that she and Laramie have a bond between them that will last forever. She knows this, otherwise why would he ask her to wait for him every day until practice is over, then put her hand on his lap when he drives her home? Why would he jam his tongue in her mouth when he kisses her? Why would he let her drive his four-wheeler? Why did he insist she wear his new Carhartt Berwick Jacket when it got chilly at the homecoming game?
Second, she thinks that something emotionally earth-shattering will happen this night, everlasting love blossoming like a flower that opens fully when caressed by the warm rays of the sun. She absentmindedly touches and twists the purity ring her dad gave her at the Chastity Dance at The Happy Church. The ring is inscribed with the words “Our love will wait.”
“Until we’re married,” thinks Shareen as she takes a sip of her diet Coke and watches Laramie as he tries to chew his meat. She knows their four kids will be beautiful, and smart. Laramie will be off to trade school after graduation to learn garage door installation and repair, and he’s sure to make a great living when he returns. He’ll be able to buy all the milk and cigarettes he needs.
That they need.
She glances at Laramie’s paw as he struggles to cut the gristly steak on his plate. He’s wearing his purity ring, too, the one presented to him at the Happy Church Youth Camp by a former professional baseball player (AAA ball for one season, with the Toledo Mud Hens), turned preacher and youth pastor for want of any marketable skills. Laramie’s ring is inscribed with the words “True Love Waits.”
As far as Laramie is concerned, it will wait another three hours, at most.
It’s spring. If the kids listen carefully as they leave the restaurant, they can hear children screaming, somewhere out in the hills near town.
Laramie and Shareen arrive at the gym fashionably late, as does everyone else. Several couples secure the only limo available in a hundred-mile radius. The grotesque vehicle is missing the mirror, dazzling running board light array, and trim on the passenger side, and there is a long, deep dent running from front to rear bumper. Despite its shabby condition, the limo lends a Hollywood, rich rapper vibe to the arrival. The driver has a pint of Smirnoff and a foot-long Subway cold cut combo tucked beneath the front seat, enough to hold him while he waits in the parking lot for his passengers to return.
Another kid’s father is the fire chief, and dad uses the department’s ladder truck to ferry son and date to the front entry, the truck’s lights flashing, siren blaring. Dad is later called out in a newspaper editorial for his misuse of taxpayer funds.
Laramie makes three passes past the entrance to the gym in his ’97 Toyota Tacoma with the Black Rhino Armory rims (he worked the Sonic drive-thru on weekends for two years to save the money for the wheels), windows rolled down, the latest Jason Aldean hits blasting on the sound system. During each pass, Shareen leans out the open window and waves to her classmates lined up at the gym door. She practices the wave in front of a mirror, as well as the radiant smile that accompanies it. She patterns the wave after one used by the pre-crash Princess Di.
The breeze from the open window blows Shareen’s scent across the cab of the truck to Laramie: DKNY Be Delicious.
Laramie smells Shareen and gets a raging hard-on. The boner forces him to make one more round of the parking lot before he can walk Shareen to the gym where Mr. Peterson, the principal, and Ms. Peterson (no relation), the senior class sponsor, wait hollow-eyed, cameras in hand.
Ms. Peterson is totally burned out, and is retiring after the semester. She owns five acres near the southern border of the state, with irrigation rights. She plans to live in a fifth-wheel with her two rescue dogs, grow high-grade indica, and manufacture a salve guaranteed to remedy vaginal dryness in post-menopausal women, each salve order to include a pamphlet with information to inspire the newly-lubed woman to learn another language or take up a craft. She has resolved to build a solar-heated, straw bale house/retreat center on her property once the salve profits roll in.
Tonight, however, her task is to snap poorly focused photos at the prom, then prowl the perimeter of the gym, searching for violators of one or more of the numerous rules designed to prevent adolescents from having too much fun. The din inside the gym is ferocious, so Ms. Peterson takes a break later in the evening and stands outside, at the back of the building. She hears a child’s scream coming from the hill behind the school. She doesn’t care.
Shareen dances with her friends, Hannah and Madison, the DJ playing requests, the dark gym exotic and sparkly, spots of light thrown from the spinning disco ball sending the space a swirl. Shareen waits patiently for a slow number, so she can coax Laramie to leave his pals from the rodeo club, the guys huddled at the far end of the gym, paper cups in hands, cookie crumbs flecking the fronts of their threadbare evening wear.
Finally, there it is: James Arthur, Falling Like the Stars.
Praise the lord, she thinks, it couldn’t be more perfect.
Shareen knows the words; she watches the video on You Tube every night. She sings along as she rushes across the gym to Laramie, grabs his hand, tugs her reluctant Frontier Apollo to the dance floor and falls into his arms as he stumbles around like a brutalized prizefighter.
It’s perfect, she thinks. She whispers the words to the song as she stumbles in unison with Laramie.
And I need you to know that we’re fallin’ so fast
We’re fallin’ like the stars, fallin’ in love
And I’m not scared to say those words with you, I’m safe
We’re fallin’ like the stars, we’re fallin’ in love
Laramie smells the DKNY Be Delicious. He’s hard as a rock.
Here’s the good part of the song, Shareen thinks, as she whispers the lyrics to Laramie, here’s the really good part.
I swear to God, I can see
Four kids and no sleep
We’ll have one on each knee, you and me, hmm
Shareen pressed against him, her scent, the atmosphere in the dark gym humid and heavy with an aerosol of teen gland goo, the flashing lights, the whisper, the boner — it’s too much for Laramie.
It’s time. Laramie doesn’t so much think it’s time, as he senses it somewhere below his navel. He doesn’t know why, but he wants to scream. Like a child being tortured with needle nose pliers.
The song ends. Shareen holds tight, her head on Laramie’s shoulder. She raises her head, turns her face to Laramie, her lips pursed, her eyes closed, knowing the kiss will bring Ms. Peterson hustling from her station next to the wall. Shareen doesn’t care. The moment is right, the kiss will be it’s crowning glory.
“I need some air,” says Laramie to the puckered, closed-eyed Shareen. He grabs her hand and leads her from the gym, hunching over to accommodate his unforgiving erection.
Shareen never realized that her purity ring leaves a dark circle on the finger beneath it. She notices it when she removes the ring as she and Laramie recline on the bed of the Tacoma where Laramie, with admirable forethought, has placed his Cabela’s Camp Master sleeping bag.
Shareen spots a dark circle around Laramie’s finger as he removes his ring, and places the two rings on top of the wheel well.
Our love will wait.
Or, perhaps it will. It’s spring, but not everything happens as hoped for.
Laramie has managed to touch Shareen’s breast on several occasions, so the move this night occasions no significant boost in excitement. For either of the kids.
He has never, however, made contact with Shareen’s bare nether region, nor any female’s nether region for that matter. He pressed on Shareen’s vulva through several layers of fabric in the past, but the actual prize is known to him in video form only, revealed during daily, sometimes thrice daily or more, online visits to Pornhub.
In fact, Laramie has learned what little he knows about sexual relations during his digital forays to Pornhub. In particular from his favorite video: Aussie Teen Bangs Her Cousin. As a result, Laramie has yet to reckon with the concept of foreplay.
As noted earlier, ours is a Woke age. Shareen experiences a new feeling, something deep and inexpressible. Like the female fox, Shareen is suddenly propelled by urges that won’t — that shouldn’t — be denied. She has as much right to be propelled as does Laramie. She feels a need to scream. Like a child.
She knows Laramie is in a state. It feels like Laramie has a lead pipe in his trousers when the two dance to James Arthur, the teen swagger stick banging against her thigh as Laramie staggers in time to the music. She correctly assumes this is why Laramie is hunched over as the couple hurriedly leaves the gym.
Shareen’s parents denied permission for her to attend Sex Ed class, so what little she knows about sex she learns from Rita “the experienced sophomore” during conversations in the lunchroom. She has a vague hunch about what lurks behind Laramie’s ill-fitted dress pants.
It happens at the same time: Laramie slides his hand behind the waist band of Shareen’s Eberjey Colettes and moves it toward ground zero; Shareen jams her hand behind Laramie’s belt and the waistband of his Aeropostale Camo Knit Boxers and heads south.
They strike pay dirt at the same time.
As Laramie’s fingers reach the edge of the damp erozone, Shareen’s hand closes around a stiff appendage.
Laramie immediately blows his load in the Aeropostales.
Shareen is disgusted and recoils in horror.
Laramie begins to cry.
Shareen fumbles for her purity ring, adjusts her underwear, leaps from the Tacoma frantically shaking her hand in the air, and runs to the gym, to the safety of Hannah and Madison who have been sipping Jack Daniels from Bobby Simmons’ flask and have thrown all caution to the wind, now clutching each other tightly, laving one another’s necks, and dancing the last slow dance of the evening — Megan Trainor, After you.
Don’t wanna give my heart to someone new
Won’t be anybody after you
And even if one day, our time is through
Won’t be anybody after you
I’ll never find another lover after you
Someone’s dream evening is ending in fine fashion.
Like Laramie, Dad fox is thwarted, unable to succeed in his mission. His lack of success, like Laramie’s, is a blessing, a contribution to overpopulation avoided, for at least one night. He heads back to the den toting a gift, his version of cigarettes and milk: a Bichon Frisee he dispatched in the yard of a nearby condo.
Laramie jumps in the driver’s seat of the Tacoma and speeds from the parking lot, fishtailing around the corner to the road that leads south from town to a spot where he meets his pals for a post-prom bonfire. There’s plenty of beer, and no girls.
When it’s Laramie’s turn to lie, he slyly hints at a blissful rendezvous in the back of the Tacoma, pointing with his lips to the sleeping bag as he does so, but refusing to provide details. He’s nothing, if not a gentleman. Laramie notes, however, that Shareen is too exhausted to attend the party.
Laramie is still a virgin, still (relatively) pure. He’ll be able to look the youth pastor in the eye at the next praise band rehearsal. It is best Laramie fails: Aussie Teen Bangs Her Cousin does not include a condom, so Laramie, like a fox, is unaware of the need for birth control. A possible contribution to overpopulation is avoided, for at least one night.
For her part, Shareen searches in vain for a wet wipe, then goes home after the dance with Hannah and Madison. Shareen drives Hannah’s mom’s Subaru while Hannah and Madison make out on the back seat.
Mom fox is sleeping, obviously satisfied and spent. Dad fox notices that the den smells strange as he tugs the Bichon Frisee carcass through the entry.
Once at her house, its porch light blazing, her father attempting to pull back the edge of the curtain on the window without being detected, Shareen gets out of the car and stands in the driveway, bidding her disheveled friends adieu.
Shareen remains in the driveway for a few moments, still a virgin, still (relatively) pure. She makes a mental note to sit next to Rita at lunch on Monday.
As she reaches the front door to the house, Shareen twists her ring.
Our love will wait.
She hears a child screaming somewhere nearby, then goes inside for one last look in the mirror.
There will be another spring, another dance.