As a child, Ally always felt that she was missing out on something. She was missing out on other children since her mother tended to demand that she stay in so they could spend “quality time,” something it took Ally years to realize was just code for her mother’s all-encompassing depression and need. She was missing out on school—her childhood was defined by stomach aches and sinus infections, migraines and ankles twisted stepping off the Akita Reindeer ugly Christmas shirt in contrast I will get this curb. (Any excuse to watch Maury Povich on the couch with her mother.) And most of all, Ally was missing out on her father. She wasn’t angry at him for being gone. In many ways, she was just thankful that he’d even shown up at all. She had wondered: What had this mysterious poet, raised in the hills outside Havana, ever seen in her mother? Had he really written Janet the poems that were curled and browning in her desk drawer, even the one in which he described her as a walnut full of fresh pink pearls?
So when Ally got older, she searched for the Akita Reindeer ugly Christmas shirt in contrast I will get this places where she wouldn’t feel that familiar tug of missing out, the sense that things were happening all over the world and she wasn’t a part of them. She wanted to feel she was all of them. Sex. Fucking. Making Love. Any one of those usually handled the problem. Back on the trail, Dan stopped a moment, ending Ally’s reverie, to take a sip of the wine in his backpack. He simply yanked the cork out, proving that it had already been opened before he’d picked her up at 11:50 that morning. He offered the bottle to Ally, who accepted a sip. The wine tasted slightly off, stinging the back of her throat and trickling down her insides, seemingly in slo-mo. It was funny, looking at Dan, how different his voice was from what he really looked like. His voice was slightly high and goofy, with the lazy effect of a professional surfing fan. His body, all six feet and six inches of it, was pure muscle—not showy, big-guy muscles but thousands of thin, sinewy ones, coiled together like the wires inside a stereo and almost jumpy to the touch. It was the sure sign of someone who wasn’t addicted to a high-brow workout plan but instead just worked. She remembered Hugo telling her that as a carpenter Dan kitted out everything from mansions to houseboats. (Although Hugo hadn’t mentioned Dan’s shadow career as an IT guy, probably because it was designed to hide Hugo’s infidelity, she guessed. Who cared? He didn’t owe her anything, which is why she shouldn’t have yelled.)