I told Dylan that overnight my arm got all crooked rammed beneath my head and pillow, lost proper blood circulation, and went horribly to sleep. “Yuck,” I said, “I hate that. It feels really awful, like when I bonk my funny bone. I flung my arm away like it belonged to someone else but the arm could just be flung only so far. It felt really fucking weird.” “You know what I do when that happens,” said Dylan, and he made a loose encircling gesture with his hand that I was soon to learn was fairly masturbatory. “It’s called ‘The Friendly Stranger,’” said Dylan defensively when he caught my expression. “I’m surprised you didn’t know that,” he added. I gazed silently at Dylan and only God can know all the resignation that my silent gaze contained. The friendly stranger. Shit. What planet is this.
Dylan caught me gazing interestedly at something and smiling. “What,” he said. “There’s a list I made,” I said. “It’s called ‘Things I Love.’”
THINGS I LOVE
“I’m last,” Dylan said sadly. “At least you made the cut,” I energetically countered. Privately I was embarrassed that most of the mentioned loved items had exclusively to do with food. I felt particular dismay at “Coconut Oil” landing squarely in first place. Not to knock coconut oil though, clearly I love that shit. Must’ve been hungry when I saw fit to make the list.
Only once can I remember when Dylan’s djing was a bit less than perfect. His mixing had moments that startled and jarred, he was way off his game, but allowances must be made since it was his first time ever djing high off his face on some mystery drug. His eyes were wide and wild and his entire head was drenched with sweat. At one point Dylan said, “This was the worst idea,” and he had the most hectic expression I’ve ever seen on his face. Later he said, “I think I just shit myself.” “I’m sure you didn’t,” I said, pretending to not be appalled. “Everything’s fine,” I added. Privately I wasn’t so sure, in fact I had to vigorously mask my dismay. Thankfully, Dylan didn’t shit himself, but he almost might as well have. Because sometimes what you believe matters more than the truth. Dylan made a new rule afterwards. No more djing while completely fucked up, especially not on mystery drugs. That whole experience, hilarious as it was, was fairly traumatizing for us both. It doesn’t need to be repeated. Once is sufficient.
There’s a wonderful couple who are longtime supporters and big fans of Dylan that conceived a child during an ill.Gates set at Priceless Festival so they named their baby daughter Gates. Fast forward a few years and now Gates is a gorgeous young lady maybe five years old, walking and talking, with skills, capabilities, interests, thoughts and feelings all her own. Every year at Priceless, Gates’ father gifts Dylan a bottle of fine Scotch, and this year young Gates was allowed to stay up far past her bedtime. Her father brought Gates to the dancefloor so she could enjoy her first ill.Gates show. Gates’ dad held her joyously aloft as Dylan dedicated the set to her, everyone cheered and clapped, the whole thing was touching and delightful. Clad in heavy ear protection young Gates danced to Dylan’s set smiling shyly and holding her father’s hand. Later we all went to the family trailer to visit Gates and her mother and draw pictures. Gates asked us to draw on both sides of the pages and she made charming appreciative comments. Then completely unprompted and involuntary, Gates in the pure luminous tones of a little girl said, “ill.Gates you’re my favourite dj in the whole world.” Before any of us could finish marveling at the sweetness of the moment, Wayne the resident shit disturber of our group said, “Clearly you’ve never heard of Bassnectar.”
“So,” I asked, “how was the flight.” “I dreamed I was a tiny African child who just pooped his pants,” said Dylan. “Please explain,” said I. “I was this little black boy riding bumpily along in the back of a rebel van and I pooped my pants. Then I woke up and realized the plane was landing and I guess the change in air pressure activated my anus so my body began to fart longer and louder than it has ever farted. I was in a kind of sleep paralysis too where I was trying to put a stop to the situation once I became aware of it but I had no active ability or bodily control. All I could do was slowly shake my head with a look of total horror upon my face as I was waking. Earlier I ate this huge vegan burrito stuffed with spices and beans, hence I guess the thrust and fullness of the action from my anus. I was seated next to this angry fat woman who previously fought me for one of my middle seat armrests. She wasn’t versed in the Jim Jefferies school of airplane etiquette (wherein window gets an armrest and a wall, middle gets two armrests, isle gets an armrest and a leg) so a part of me hoped the others on the plane would think this endless farting horror was her. Meanwhile all I could do was slowly shake my head. When I realized my wild eyes and head shaking only incriminated me more, I forced my head still and tried to just look neutral. The looks on peoples’ faces were like are you kidding me right now and holy Jesus Christ shit and what the goddamn actual fuck and this just can’t be happening. All I could do was sit there. Helplessly farting. Loud and long and endless. I could even feel my bum cheeks flapping, such was the continuous energy and pressure of the fart. It was the longest loudest fart of my life. I worried that I might really have shit my pants. And the whole time I just kept on farting.” “Hm,” I said. “I feel joy for not having been there.” “Yeah,” said Dylan. “It was one of those times when I was really glad you weren’t.”
Dylan and I don’t ever really publicly display our affection so sometimes people don’t even know that we are together. Out at clubs, Dylan spends much of his time socializing, mingling, schmoozing, and chatting to fans, often he leaves me to my own devices. He knows that I can take care of myself and handle business, so he’s not exactly spending all of his time keeping an eagle’s eye guarding and protecting me. Usually shit runs fine but every once in a while I get bothered or harassed by any number of boring clueless desperate annoying persistent aggressive guys.
One time, me and my girls were all dancing and having fun. Suddenly some dude barges into our dance circle and starts drastically imposing himself. Some guys seem to think that if a girl isn’t handcuffed and chained to a man, she isn’t spoken for, and is thus fair game. These guys never seem to consider that the girl in question might not at all be stoked or interested, regardless of her current relationship status.
Anyway so this guy drunkenly and aggressively dances into each of us girls. He dances at each of us in turn, lewdly, suggestively, and unpleasantly. My girlfriends moved quickly from casual amusement to being distressed and upset. We gave each other disrupted and annoyed looks and glared at the guy. The guy kept thrusting into each of us under the apparent assumption that we couldn’t get enough. My girls and I were displeased. Dylan meanwhile was chewing his face off high on ecstasy and dancing like no man alive could be happier or more carefree. “Dylan,” I said to him in an undertone, “That guy is bothering us. Do something.”
It took me ages to get through to Dylan, so complete was his joie de vivre. Finally, I used my foot is being put down now voice, and Dylan snapped to. I explained the situation all over again in the gravest tones. Processing badness and untoward behaviour is hard to do when you’re Dylan, especially when you’re Dylan and you’re high on E.
Finally the husband understood. He puffed up his chest, widened his eyes, and smartly tapped the shoulder of some guy that had nothing at all to do with anything. Shoulder tapped random guy turned toward Dylan. All of us girls stood in a semi-circle watching. Dylan slow motion pointed at each of our vaginas with exaggerated emphasis. After each vagina had been accounted for, Dylan made a flourishing “NO” symbol by balling his hands into fists and crossing his forearms firmly forming a giant X. He accompanied this strong “NO” gesture with a slow single head shake that covered a wide distance from left to right and left again. Innocent random guy gazed at Dylan. His dude what the fuck face was truly great. Then wrongly accused innocent guy walked away.
“Fucking Jesus Christ, Dylan. WRONG GUY,” was what my facial expression tried to say. Dylan meanwhile reentered at once into his state of ecstatic joie de vivre, and returned to dancing, confident in a job well done, like no man living had ever done a job better, and like all life and he himself could hardly be more charming, perfect, pleasing and fun. The confidence of a happy husband. Fuck.
I read in some article that for maximum health you should hug and be hugged 14 times a day by someone you love. “Fourteen!” said Dylan. “That’s a lot of hugs.” Some days I am militant about the number. I’ll appear before Dylan in staunch position and block his passageway. “Fourteen,” I remind him. “Today we’ve not yet even had one! I am ready to receive my hug.” Dylan will concede but sometimes negligently. He’ll with open secrecy text behind my back and use the free hand to pat me in a distracted and casual attempt to reassure me that all is on track. I let the distraction hugs mostly slide and only once in a while critique the poorness of the show. When I am too soft on hug crime, Dylan will make moves prematurely to leave. I then stiffen my body up, set my face to a bold expression of maximum angst and declare, “THE HUG ISN’T OVER YET.” The door slam record scratch drama of my loud announcement snaps Dylan back into the solemnity of the moment. “Jesus,” he says, “you are a Hug Nazi.” “13 MORE TO GO,” I say in a voice like I always totally know the number without explicit counting. And so we hug. We never actually make it daily to 14 but we get some good ones in there. It’s a very nice time. Hugs. They matter.
I once witnessed Dylan wake up by punching himself hard in the balls. He sprang up in bed all angry, shouting, “Fuck!” and then displayed an agonized face of visible distress. I chuckled, said, “Poor baby,” and felt sorry as best as I could, because how am I to know how much pain you feel from a sudden hard balls punching. I only know what they’ve told me and apparently it’s lots. I also know from the time I used to kick balls for money, crush, shock and tie them up, or stick the ball sack bounteously with many long sharp pins, but that of course was skewered knowledge, because those motherfuckers loved that shit, so much so that they paid for it. Then later I’d torture my friends with graphic recaps of the day’s ball punishment and amuse myself greatly watching guys who possessed zero desire to have their own balls be destroyed struggle to process the dark details of all my joyfully horrible stories. What I love about life is that it’s fun, and what I love about the world is that it’s fucked up, confusingly, maddeningly, beautifully. And good thing, because otherwise it’d all be just silence and loneliness, harsh words and complaints, emptiness and heartbreak, like tears in rain. Might as well welcome the pain.
Afterward the two interviewers joined the rest of us downstairs on the patio for a pitcher and something to eat. I don’t know how the subject came up but during conversation one of them said, “Well this one time, I went to these guys’ house and they were gay. But they were just hanging out. They were like. Just dudes.” I gazed at the speaker, my expression mild, expecting more. “They were… just dudes,” he said again, as if the repetition more conclusively clarified his train of thought and beefed up his thesis. I don’t know if this guy expected to in all gay company be immediately imprisoned inside a semen-drenched enclave helplessly confronted by a swirling cesspool of seething testicles and permanently erect penises flying ramrod and relentless into every male available mouth and anus visibly in range and line of sight or what, but he seemed to be recalling the actual experience now, reliving the unexpected calm of it. He meanwhile didn’t seem to be aware that exactly two such “just dudes” were with pastoral elegance seated at the table with us all. “Ah yes,” I said finally. “‘Just dudes.’ Those would be the straight-looking-and-acting ones. One must watch for those.” And I grinned. I might’ve even winked. But in the silent secret fortress of my brain, I laughed out loud.
One festival night after his set Dylan was immediately surrounded by fans. He accepted compliments, told jokes, took photos, hobnobbed, hi fived, smiled big and grinned. Then one young fan apologetically suddenly said, “Sorry man, I just came up with a new nickname for you, but I’m not sure I should say it.” “Well now you gotta,” said Dylan gamely. “It takes a lot to offend me, so go ahead.” The fan sighed self-consciously and stalled for time. Then he said, “Over-the-hill Gates” in such a muttering tone as to be almost inaudible. Nonetheless what the young fan said still managed to be heard loud and clear by everyone near. I stifled a laugh and turned my head slightly away. Dylan’s face darkened as he scowled. This is a sight to see since Dylan’s default facial expression is happy-go-lucky if not outright zany. Dylan was annoyed. “Sorry dude,” said the young fan, and he did look sorry, even though all of us were trying hard pretending to not be laughing. Later we told Bil Bless what happened and he also got a good laugh in. Nice to see Bil Bless laugh as he usually seems depressed. Months later at another festival, Dylan was smiling grand and effusive hanging out after his set feeling fresh. He chatted contentedly with friends. Out of the blue a guy came streaking by, leaned into Dylan and hectically said, “Over-the-hill Gates” and with a worried face he scurried away. Dylan’s face darkened as he frowned, he looked quickly left and right, but it all happened too suddenly and the culprit fast disappeared. Then Dylan spied Bil Bless nearby in the shadows chuckling. You could tell he put the kid up to it. “Wiseguy,” said Dylan with eyes like slits, and he shook his fist at all of it.
We spent an afternoon in Paris, it was Dylan’s first time there. We had our phones off to avoid roaming charges, we didn’t have anyone local to help us with anything, and we hadn’t yet changed our money. The day was insufferably hot, there were thousands of tourists trudging everywhere, you couldn’t get away from them, or the heat. Dylan got all pissy and loudly complained about the tourists, the weather, everything. He ignored the fact that we were tourists too, and that the intense heat could technically be blamed on nobody. Hours later of trudging under the relentless sun and a lot of total misery, we boarded a train and I by that point resolutely stopped talking. We rode that train in an obstinacy of silence heading south of Paris, eventually lost consciousness, and fell deeply asleep. A railway worker woke us at the end of the line, we had entirely overshot our destination, we were the absolute last two left on the train. The railway worker walked us long and down along the tracks away from the last station back to the world without saying a word. He spoke French, we spoke English, our interaction was for the most part simple hand gestures and silence. I was still annoyed with Dylan for having been such previously ill-tempered and unpleasant company, Dylan for his part held himself stubborn and aloof. As the railway worker lead us quietly away, Dylan stopped in his tracks and in a shocked and shuddering voice he said, “I can’t believe she left us!” “Who?” I said. “Nunich!” said Dylan. I looked long and hard and deeply at Dylan. “I’m Nunich!” I said. Motherfucker’s lost his mind, I thought. I gazed at Dylan with more dismay than has probably ever shown on my face. Dylan’s face expressed an equal consternation. His eyes were blank and wild. I pretty much had to slap the guy several times to bring him the fuck back. Dylan challenges the accuracy of this account, who fucking knows what he thinks went down. All I know is it’s crazy when the person you’ve loved for years suddenly looks at you and passionately honestly doesn’t know who the fuck you are. Love. Sometimes it blindsides you by being holy shit strangely seriously unsettlingly surreal and fucked up.
Seated on a stage edge at festivals late at night outdoors in extremely cold conditions, I often shove my freezing hands with heedless familiarity deep into and between Dylan’s thighs in order to steal there what warmth from him I can. This action usually works and casually comforts and soothes. I performed this maneuver automatically one consumingly cold late hours festival evening. As I sat there huddled gazing obscurely about while listening to the sounds of the music and the night, it occurred to me in a way that was both gradual and sudden that something was different and strange, not normal, and not right. Absently I moved my hands between the warm thighs searchingly upward in propulsions that changed from casual interest to confused concern to outright panic. I felt deeply around the V-shaped recess with a wondering insistency as my trepidation grew. No balls. NO BALLS. I looked up and aghast at the owner of the borrowed thighs and it wasn’t Dylan. It wasn’t Dylan at all! It was some completely unsuspecting festival female that was fully not my husband. She gaped at me thunderstruck as my offending hands below froze in their previously blind and utterly urgent balls-seeking endeavours. In that suspended moment, I don’t really know whose face registered more speechless horror, hers or mine. Once I could wrench myself out from the paralyzing spell of the shared shock and our mutual stare, I flingingly withdrew my provocative hands and fled. Who knew marriage was such a minefield of molestation and mayhem. Shit.
During the conversation, I mentioned that even after 11 years, people often aren’t aware that Dylan and I are together. We’re not at all into torrid displays of public affection, and there’s also the fact that I called Dylan my roommate for years. Sometimes I still call him my roommate. Initially I wouldn’t even let Dylan tell his mother that we were any kind of anything, so the first time I met Dylan’s family, his mom set me all up in the guest room separated from everybody. Upon retiring, I paid the price for my primness, and I was lonely. Dylan had to sneak over to my room after dark and later he said, “Can I at least tell my mom?” “I guess,” I said. When Dylan dropped the news, “That’s nice dear,” was what his mother said. Scarlett made a huffy sound. “That’s what you do, Nathan,” Scarlett said, “You hide your wife.” “No I don’t,” Nathan said. “Yes, you do,” Scarlett insisted. “When you’re on the road, you don’t let people know you’re married. You don’t think of me. You put your music first.” Nathan narrowed his eyes and puffed his cheeks a bit. He sat there stiffly deep in thought. “Yes,” he suddenly said, “That’s right. Music first!” “You asshole! You’re not supposed to say that!” Scarlett exploded, adding, “There goes your blowjob for tonight.” A fleeting agitation flashed across Nathan’s face, but he kept his gaze level and straight. He was defeated but defiant. “He’s just talking about what he most likes to beat,” Dylan said. Nathan’s a drummer so Dylan was angling rather lamely for wit. “Well he can have fun beating his dick,” Scarlett said. I covered my mouth to hide a desire to laugh and cleared my throat instead. Dylan and I glanced at each other. I winked and he grinned.
I am the most lazy and careless person ever, with my wigs and shoes and especially with my eyelashes. You don’t know how many goddamned pairs of beautiful lashes I’ve lost, wrecked, misplaced or ruined. I am the worst.
I have this mountain now of useless right lashes because often late at night, I just collapse wasted into bed without flossing or brushing my teeth, washing my face, sometimes I don’t even take off my shoes or remove my wig. Dylan, for his part, alternates between energetic speechmaking, passionate instruction, and periodic vehement attempts to heroically perform my nighttime tasks for me. His is a continuity of acceptance, resignation and fondness, with flashes of annoyance, exasperation, failure and despair.
I wake up mornings with a perfect right eye still flawlessly lashed and made up and a completely naked left eye because apparently I sleep with my face violently smooshed against the pillow hard upon my crushed and smothered left eye so the make up there and all my left lashes disappear. Sometimes the left lashes are stuck poetically to my forehead or are lost deep in the folds of my undergarments and hair.
I often afterward find myself wandering lost in supermarkets without still yet having washed my face or showering, looking carelessly like a zombie slowmotion feral woman, haphazardly dressed and debatably sane. Passersby and strangers stare in stupefied horror, children run away shuddering with tearstained faces, while Dylan with skillful effortlessness plucks all manner of random left lashes from wherever they might manifest upon my person. It’s a boisterous and chilling scene.
Now too I still have that mountain of useless right lashes. What’s to be done with all those. Dylan suggested when I’m a famous author sitting behind a pile of books at a book signing, instead of signatures, I should with great solemnity paste into each book’s momentous first blank page a single right lash. Those in the know will know and cherish.
I tell Dylan if I ever go missing or suddenly disappear, all he has to do is follow an exalted and extended trail of left eyelashes. At trail’s end, there he will find me, fully lashed, smiling like the Mona Lisa and ready for the great embrace.
Most people really don’t like getting spammed by massive group promotional emails, so a while ago, Dylan implemented some cool new software that individually messaged everyone with “Hello” followed by each person’s first name, but the software fucked up hard. Instead of a private personal message with everyone’s first name written after “Hello,” each message began with the words, “Hello, First Name.” “That’s hilarious,” I said. “Yeah it’s funny,” said Dylan, “and actually it’s not.” His expression was annoyed and pained. “Haha,” I said. And then I called Dylan “First Name” all day long and mimed telephoning him to exuberantly exclaim, “Suh dude. It’s your best friend First Name,” and “Hi First Name? It’s First Name. Such a pleasure to be on a first name basis.” Dylan treated me to much scowls and grimacing while I gaily made kissy faces at him. Fast forward to who’s laughing now. Every time Dyan drops a track or finishes an album, I’m the one stuck promoting it by emailing over a thousand blogs and djs by hand individually. This most recent batch of emails I’ve been slaving through and sending out since last Friday. It’s been over a week and I’m barely halfway. All these press releases, personalized messages and million hours of work are literally a pain in my poor sore beautiful ass. Dyan doesn’t know how good he’s got it. Despite the endlessness and the agony though, it might be me who’s fortunate, or maybe since we found each other and after so many years we still haven’t killed each other, we’re both lucky.
Walking through artist VIP we ran into Adam who said, “Here, take this. It’s all the rage in South America. It’ll really fuck you up.” Then he placed something small and light into the palm of Dylan’s hand. “What do I do,” Dylan asked and Adam said, “Just suck on it, or chew it a little.” Dylan popped the thing into his mouth and gamely began to suck and chew. Dylan is always down for just such new experiences and I watched him keenly, privately I was disappointed there hadn’t been something for me. “Feel anything?” I asked. “Oh yeah,” said Dylan. His expression was eager and his eyes were bright. “I can feel it in my blood, it’s like my whole body’s racing.” I looked at Dylan closely. Dylan gazed left and right wide-eyed and delighted. Maybe he was already hallucinating, on deck to run around naked and tear the place apart. Adam chuckled. “What is this stuff?” Dylan asked. “A twig,” said Adam, “it’s actually just a twig.” “Haha,” I said. Dylan ignored us and held on an extra beat longer to the earlier better fun of being fucked up on some brilliant new South American drug. One of the many reasons Dylan is lovable is that he is so suggestible. He’s probably the most suggestible person on Earth. If Dylan thought he had just been dosed with many hits of the world’s most wonderful acid, he would act accordingly. It wouldn’t even matter if the acid hadn’t actually happened. Adam grinned. “Haha,” I said again. To this day Dylan insists that that’s not how it all went down. Adam and I don’t argue the point because we know we’re right. We were there. Anyway Dylan was too fucked up on twigs so he can’t say shit.
Once I went to a guy’s house and it was so unkempt and slovenly I was rendered terrorized, disbelieving and confused. I read somewhere that the average single American male changes his bed sheets like 3 times a year, I don’t think this guy had ever done even that. His dish towels and wash cloths also had never graced the inside of a washing machine, not his bath towels either, in the bathroom, I gazed in quiet horror at them, groped them vaguely with hypnotized fingers, and then actually leaned in masochistically for a sniff. I felt an immediacy of deep regret post sniff. It was all I could do not to scream 911 and run, punching through the window glass with my bare fists. I told the story in lavish tormented detail to another friend and when I visited him at his place, he stood proud hands clasped beaming before me and said, “I spent the whole day cleaning, and I washed the towels! Feel free to sniff.” Sweet boy thought my story was a hint and a warning expressly for him. Anyway sniffable towels are obviously preferable to patently unsniffable ones, so the end managed to justify the means. Another time, I broke off with another guy because I didn’t like the shape of his calves. The calves thing I know is pretty brutal, because it’s not like the poor guy could help it. Good thing I find Dylan’s calves terrific.
Most Airbnb places are prettily arranged and carefully maintained, the look and feel falls anywhere between an absent family’s tidy apartment, a boutique hotel, or a bed and breakfast. Usually the host has left little bars of soap and large fresh bath towels upon the foot of an immaculately made bed, the towels are rolled up into logs, artistically bowed or fanned, or fashioned into the shape of a swan. Dylan rarely notices discreet details like this fancy toweling feature. After his shower taken in our latest spot in Havana, Dylan used a small ornamental hand towel to try and dry off, it was the only thing evident and present. Dylan then burst with naked wildness from the bathroom still half wet holding the dainty towel in front of his johnson and exclaimed, “Man, they sure make towels small in Cuba!”
Dylan and I are on some kind of built in Apple iPhone family plan, so our Apple IDs and iCloud usernames and passwords are all messed up. They’ve kind of confusingly overlapped and converged. I get all his cell phone reminders on my phone, which is disruptive and fun. Dylan never updates or deletes his reminders, so shit like “Turn down the potatoes” periodically dings on my phone, for potatoes Dylan was apparently cooking at some point in his life. Also, “I have a meeting with Pete” comes up, even though the meeting with Pete finished probably some time last year.
Dylan has monthly, weekly, and daily reminders too like, “Call my mother” which I find funny, because the “my” I’m sure is superfluous, I mean, whose mother is Dylan going to call except his own.
My favourite reminder that Dylan has scheduled is, “Do something nice for Nunich.” That reminder comes up often, but I can’t say either of us pay it too much mind. The reminder dinged on my phone again recently however, and Dylan called out conscientiously from another room, “I love you.” “Is that the ‘something nice’ you are doing for me today?” I asked, keeping my voice mild. There was a pause. “Siri, delete this reminder,” Dylan, miffed, stiffly said. “Are you sure you want to delete this reminder?” Siri asked. “Yes,” said Dylan. “Ha, ha,” I said.
And dude hasn’t done something nice for me since. Kidding. Motherfucker spoils me rotten. I love my goddamned husband.
Dylan was cheerfully showering so I snuck in quietly and watched him awhile. He was all covered in suds and happily humming to himself while luxuriously massaging his scalp. Dude was acting like he was in a hair commercial, peddling high grade body wash and shampoo, or some shit. His eyes were trustingly tightly shut, all blithe innocence. I hunched down sneaky full ninja, approached him, and soundlessly slid the glass door aside. Then, with a great flourish of suddenness and menace, I grabbed both his ankles fast and hard. Dylan made a delayed reaction loud terrified whooping sound, like a scared and fainting woman, pure blind vulnerability and total fear. His terror and upset were quiveringly real. I wish I had this gold moment captured on film. Dylan was furious when he peaked open his eyes and saw me clutching my stomach from laughing so hard. “You’re gonna get it, lady!” he roared. I waved his words away, still chuckling too enormous and deep to speak. “Ha, ha, ha!” I said. Dylan gazed daggers at me. I was pretty much crying as much as laughing, and for a substantial period. The best romances don’t end happily, and the greatest love stories are tragedies. We might be an exception to this bleak rule, at least we’ve made it this far, we’re still laughing a lot, and we do try. Effort is as important as fate. It’s always much funnier though when I scare Dylan than when he scares me. Scaring me is too easy, scaring Dylan is the bee’s knees. Or ankles. Who knew ankles could offer such an unexpected depth of comedy.