Wallace Page 7
    As I stand in the airplane bathroom, meditating by the facet, twisting the nozzle on and off and staring into the tiny black drain, a woman pounds the restroom door behind me. "There are four of us waiting. Can you hurry it up in there?" I dry my hands on a paper towel, squint into the shaking mirror to make sure it's still me, and step outside. There are only two people waiting in line behind her~what a bitch.

    I sat in the living room after breakfast talking with Sam and listening to the ruckus upstairs.
    Sam took a long sip of coffee and set his mug down on the coffee table. "So you live in Chicago, right?"
    "What do you do there?" he asks. Above us, there was a crash, then crying. Water had been running for the last hour.
    "I'm a writer. I freelance for a couple papers." I

watched the ripples that were growing wider and wider on the surface of the coffee. Above us, it seemed as though someone was walking back and forth.
He cocked his eyebrows. "How's that work?"
    "Not very good. I'm trying to get on staff, but they're not hiring many new people these days." Above me, Clarissa shouted and the floor shook as she ran down the hall. I wondered if we should go upstairs and help, but Sam seemed unperturbed. I despised him then for knocking up my sister and then sitting around on his lazy ass as she raised the kids.
    "I see you're not married yet." He pointed at my left hand.
    "Nope," I said.
    "Got a girlfriend?"
    "Nope. Haven't really got the time or the money." A scream followed by a chorus of other discordant screams. I clear my throat. "Should we go help out up there?"