Marlowe went to drop off the girls at his first ex’s.
Lane, she told Marlowe, “Come back home tonight. Let’s have a beer. I have a little surprise for you.”
Marlowe drove a little faster. Last week, Lane said they were going to get together that she longed to be in the same bed with him, to have things, even if just for a moment, like they were before they split up. Maybe they could get back together. The next day, she abruptly said that she did not want to get back together. Marlowe was surprised every time.
Marlowe dropped off the girls and got back to Laney’s place, their old home on Chandler. He walked inside the place. They sat down and Lane got back up to give Marlowe a birthday cupcake. She also got him a beer. They talked. They cried a bit. They started hugging. They started kissing. They stood up near the sink. They walked in the bedroom. They made love. Several times, they trembled and felt a sense of the bed and the dresser and everything being torn apart by this act. Marlowe and Laney made movements that were ancient. These old movements were made before the flood, before the disasters. They held each other very tight. They wrapped around each other in bed, clinging for dear life.
Laney turned over in bed and said, “I love you, Marlowe.
Marlowe asked her again, “Laney, do you love me?”
She said, “I love you.”
He asked a third time, “Laney, do you love me?”
She said, “Yes. I love you.”
Marlowe got Laney a glass of water. He returned to the small of Laney’s back and the curve of her leg. He let the dog inside. He went back to Laney and kissed her neck. Marlowe pulled open his nightstand. He looked inside and pulled out a quarter. He held it in his hand. He shut out the light. He fell into bed like an anchor. He sat in the cut that night, a good needle in a well worn groove, a favorite record in its only player. Marlowe woke up. He took a shower. Then, Marlowe took Mac. Laney went to work. Marlowe heard the sound of a certain machinery humming along as the morning commenced. It was his record. It was her song.