She figured out ways with words when there were no ways to figure words for. It was something she’d taken to pride herself on, if pride is something you can even take. It felt more like something to build. Something that for a long time started over and over again at ground level. We’d asked the question before: how the hell do you tell someone that what you want from them is to be hurt? We started marking up the price on manufactured pain because it’d come into high demand in the last, say six or seven months. It wasn’t something you could buy up river, it was only kept in the refrigerators at back road taverns and mercantiles in the upper north-west. Sometimes up there, the days get so long and the nights stay so bright it’s a wonder time moves forward at all. And I think that’s where she started picking up these new habits, these half-prices explanations and excuses for the places she hadn’t been yet, and to be honest, very well may never go. But no one saw it as unfair in those days. We all just went about our business like there was business to go about, and we liked it, everyone liked it. I think that’s the strange and sometimes funny thing about your longitude in this country. It does everything beside dictate the name you were born with. You know, you and I, we’d be entirely different people at a different degree.