1. My muse is silent but the siren beckons

2. They say that we were poor but I never noticed

3. Turns out he never said that at all


If I’d known that Lori Sue Cavendish was going to be there, I’d have prepared a little better. Dinner at the Holloway House usually meant a decent pantsuit—I don’t wear dresses anymore—and a smattering of makeup. No mascara except on Dan’s birthday or something, and a pair of earrings if I had to wait a few minutes for him to get ready.

Holloway was a comfortable place where we always seemed to fit in. Dan and I had been going there for years and thy treated us like old friends when we walked in, dressed up or not.

But that night I’d opted for jeans and a t-shirt that said Two For The Road just a tad north of my nearly nonexistent boobs, and Dan was in his red flannel shirt with the cigarette burn on the left elbow. Not quite at our best. Who knew we’d be running into Lori Sue and her latest friend?

The Cavendishes were known for lots of money and lots of spouses. Lori Sue seemed right on track to continue the traditions, although she seldom chose to make her liaisons legal.

“It’s a lot cheaper in the long run,” she’d said once years ago. We all laughed at the time, but it apparently worked for her. She and the friends parted company often, but the money stuck and she reveled in it.

Now she and her latest guy strolled into the bar wearing wealth and class as if they were inseparable. We could understand the wealth, but my first thought was that class fell by the wayside when she’d picked up Tom Johansson.

Were there ever two such different people? Tom might be wearing designer suits these days—courtesy of Lori Sue’s trust fund, no doubt—but he came from the same neighborhood where I grew up. People said we were poor, but we never noticed because we were all in the same situation, and we were situated a long way from the Cavendishes.

All grown up now, I still felt the distinction, and despite the old memories of occasional envy, I was glad—as I’ve always been glad—that I grew up where I did.

I elbowed Dan and nodded discreetly toward the couple who had walked right past us without a word. Dan squeezed my hand and we both mouthed, “Snotty bitch!” at the same time. Watching their backs move on, I have to say I was pleased to notice that she’d added a few pounds in an area she wouldn’t see often, and that Tom’s elegance stopped at his ankles. Brown shoes!

Suddenly I wasn’t worried about