Chapter 1:

A Rom-com of Rain and Rust

With Oasis (Vol. 1)

I kicked a kinda cool looking black rock along the ground as I walked. Kicked it forward, caught up to it, then kicked it again. You know, like elementary school kids do. Except I’m in highschool, so maybe I shouldn’t. The ground I kicked this rock across… pale sand— set against the dark sky above me.

The desert was apparently in a foul mood today.

There was nary a shred of blue in the sky; only dark clouds forming an impenetrable overcast. The wind was strong. Not crazy strong, but strong enough that I was afraid it would blow my hat right off my head.

I was at the very edge of town, so while to my left there were buildings and roads, to my right was open expanse— flat land dotted with nothing but buttes and shrubs. All I could hear was wind, distant thunder, and the rustling of shrubbery.

“Yo, Rocco!” And apparently also Lou’s voice.

She had been following behind me on our trek, so upon hearing her voice, I turned around to face her and replied “Yeah?” She was a good twenty feet behind me, much further than I expected.

Lou cupped her mouth and yelled out “You’re walking too fast for me! Slow down!”


She flashed me a warm grin, then picked up her pace. “Hey, do you think it’ll rain!?”

“Why else would it be this cloudy?”

“I dunno.” Then she exclaimed with delight “It feels so much more humid than usual, so I think it’s gonna rain!”

“Of course it will… Do you want it to rain?”

Lou finally caught up to me, breathing more heavily than usual. We were walking against the wind, after all. “Yeah! I like rain a lot!”

“So you do…” Why get so excited at a simple change in weather? I don’t get it.

Lou smiled her biggest smile yet. “Although I’m not just excited cuz of the rain.” With her floral dress flapping in the wind, her hair a mess atop her head, she put her hand up to my cheek— and pinched it. “I’m just happy right now,” she said.

… “Stop pinching so hard, that actually kinda hurts.”


Earlier that same day, the sky wasn’t quite so dark. In fact, it was looking like a warm and sunny day for October standards. The sun was searing, the sand was shimmering, and our town was simmering in I-thought-summer-was-over-a-month-ago type heat. But it wasn’t really summer, thank the lord, so the heat was bearable, even if it was unwelcome.

It was a Saturday. No school that day.

I didn’t wake up that morning to my alarm. Instead, I woke up to the tune of Renai Circulation: my ringtone. For the record, my alarm is Platinum Disco.

Begrudgingly, I grabbed my phone off my nightstand and read the name of who was calling me.

Lou Clemente. Or as I have her listed in my contacts: “Lou<333333”. Lou was the one to add herself to my contacts.

I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, then drowsily (and admittedly a bit grumpily) answered the call. “...What could you possibly be calling me for this early in the morni-”

“Let’s do something absolutely, positively criminal today, Rocco!” She cut me off with glee.

“Where did this come fro-”

“Let’s break some laws, Rocco! Let’s be bad! Be a bad boy for me Rocco, and I’m gonna be a bad girl! We’ll be super bad, the worst of the worst! ”

I held my forehead between my thumb and middle finger, and sighed. “Alright. Meet me at the park at 10:00 and we’ll hash out the details.”

“Fufu~! Look at what you’ve reduced me to. How do you feel about turning your girlfriend rotten to the core?”

I communicated my feelings by hanging up on her.

And so, after my typical morning routine, which included downing copious amounts of coffee and energy drinks, eating a single biscuit of the eight my Mom made for breakfast, taking a shower, and donning my bucket hat (though my hair was still wet when I put it on), I departed for my local playground, with a half-hearted last minute holler to my Mom of “I’ll be back by 6:00”.

My Mom trusts me a lot.

I arrived at the playground five minutes late. Lou was sitting on one of the benches under the pavilion, shoveling a coconut parfait into her mouth, without any regard to the fact that about half of what was supposed to go in her mouth was ending up on her face.

She was apparently so enthralled by her parfait that she only realized I was there once I sat directly next to her. Lou’s gaze darted to meet mine, and her eyes filled with excitement. “OhgfhMyrbfnegGOD! IT’S”””RHFRevs ROCOOOFBGHJRGTmn.”

“Don’t speak with your mouth full, that was incomprehensible.”

Lou immediately swallowed, before seizing up in pain and massaging her throat. Apparently she swallowed too much at once.

Lou’s agony lasted a minute. During that time, she shed a single tear, which melodramatically fell to the pavement at our feet. All I could really think to do to comfort her at this time was stroke her back with my hand and say “There, there… keep on swallowing, get it down…”

She bounced back pretty quickly though. After she finally got it all down, she erased the tear streak on her left cheek, smiled, and with her usual enthusiasm, spoke. “So as I was saying… OH MY GOD, IT’S ROCCO!”

“Yes, it is me.”

“So, Rocco, CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES! Let’s plan ‘em!”

I decided not to chastise her over how loud she was being. Instead, I withdrew a tissue from my pocket and wiped the parfait off Lou’s face with it. I’m one of those people who always carries tissues with me. “I came up with an idea while I was in the shower earlier,” I said, while smushing Lou’s cheeks with my tissue, which she for some reason seemed to be enjoying. “Have you explored any abandoned buildings before?”

I lifted the tissue from her face so she could respond. Lou shook her head. “No, I haven’t before.”

I immediately resumed wiping her face. “Well, in Lucianda there’s this road that was torn down, and all of the houses on that road were also torn down. Except— the post office. There was a post office on that road, and for some reason, it’s the only building left standing. We’ll have to do a fair bit of walking to get to the post office since we can’t just park next to it, but I’ve heard that it’s a pretty cool abandoned place. Though I haven’t been there myself. Also… we could graffiti it.”

“Oooo!” Lou moved her face away from my tissue so she could speak. “Like what we did to Mrs. Bauernfeld’s caravan!”

“Yeah, like that. Except less loud.”

“Oops, sorry.” Upon apologizing, she closed both her eyes tight, stuck her tongue out, and made two peace signs, with a dash of whipped cream remaining on her face.

Sometimes I don’t understand women.

No, maybe I just don’t understand this woman.

Lou Clemente. My sixteen year old, hispanic peer at school— the same age and grade as me. Her dark brown hair is wavy, so wavy that, frankly, you could have an entire semantic debate with someone over whether her hair was more accurately classified as ‘wavy’ or ‘curly’. Well, in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m going with wavy. Her hair is generally a mess, too, sometimes so much so that she has a genuine, real life— and I’m not making this up, yeah, but sometimes her hair is so messy that she has an actual ahoge on top of her head, just like in anime. Today was an ahoge-less day though.

She’s short. The top of her head reaches just below my collarbone, and I’m not even that tall by male standards. Her general attire is pretty dresses and cutesy skirts and dorky shirts. On this particular day, she was wearing a summer dress (despite it being autumn) patterned with pink flowers.

But perhaps her most notable physical feature, or at least the one that stands out to me the most, is her eyes. Her irises are dark. They’re so dark in fact, that when it comes to Lou’s eyes, it’s difficult to distinguish iris from pupil. They just sort of bleed into one another. Yet despite being so dark, sometimes they light up. When she’s really excited, or really enjoying herself, her eyes seem to sparkle.

Oh, and we’re also dating, apparently.

I lowered my bucket hat so it covered my eyes more. “Does that sound like a plan?”

Excitement spread across Lou’s face. “It does!” Suddenly, Lou’s face took on a sly look. “By the way, if you were to, let’s say, lick the parfait off that napkin you have right there, it’d be an indirect kiss, and our very first kiss, too.”

I proceeded to shove the napkin into Lou’s face.

Thus, after a bit of preparation, I drove Lou with me to the abandoned post office in Lucianda. Or at least, as close as I could get to it before we’d have to continue on foot.

However, over the course of our drive… blue skies turned grey. The temper of the weather soured. The weather changed so suddenly. Sunny to dreary over the course of a forty minute minute drive.

It had been so pleasant out during our talk under the pavilion that we didn’t even bother checking the weather forecast. Well, that bit us in the ass. By the time I stepped out of my (Mom’s old and nearly busted) car having essentially arrived at our destination, rain seemed inevitable.

“Hey!” Lou called to me from the other side of the car, having just exited the vehicle herself. “Did you make sure to park it more than eighteen inches away from the curb?”

“Why would I do that?”

Lou’s face turned devilish. “Because it’s illegal to park your car more than eighteen inches from the curb in New Mexico.”

Yes, New Mexico.

We began our trek together to the abandoned post office— mesas and buttes and spires and sand and rock and shrubs and tumbleweed and feral cattle and wild horses and the like serving as our backdrop. It took us forty minutes to drive here, but not because Lucianda is particularly far away from our hometown of Charlais. In fact, Lucianda is one of the towns that’s closest to us. Forty minute drives are simply the norm when you live in the center of the heart of New Mexico’s most sparsely populated desert-esque mountainous regions.

“There it is,” I declared. We had finally arrived. The post office stood just a dozen feet ahead of us.

Lou’s response to my declaration was… muffled laughter? “Pff-pff… PFF! PFFT! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Oh, it’s no longer muffled.

She kept on laughing for lord knows how long. “Uhhh… what’s wrong?” I asked.

“U- U.S. POT OFFICE! AHAHAHAHAHA! LOOK, LOOK! IT SAYS… AHAHAHAHA!” She pointed in the direction of the post office building. Specifically— right above the front door. There were letters attached to the wall that would usually spell out ‘U.S. Post Office’. However, over the years, it seems the ‘s’ in ‘Post’ had fallen off. So, it read… “U.S. POT OFFICE!! AHAHAHAHA!” Lou was clutching her sides at this point. I think she’s in pain.

What will I do with this girl…

I didn’t bother replying to her wild laughter, and instead just took her by the hand and led her to the front door with me.

“Hey babe.” Lou had apparently recovered by the time we made it to the front entrance. “You know…” her expression took a mischievous turn. “You’re the one who suggested we go to an abandoned post office; a place where nobody else will be able to see us. And then you do something as forceful as drag me by the hand?” She winked. “What could you possibly be thinking in taking me here~? ACK!”

I promptly karate chopped her on the forehead.

“WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR!?” she exclaimed.

“You deserved it.”

“Wow…” she winked even harder. “I didn’t know you were into S&M. ACK!”

And with that, I opened the front door, and took my first steps into the post office, with Lou standing just behind me.

It had that classic abandoned building look. A mostly empty room furniture-wise, save for a single desk, which was built into the floor and walls such that it couldn't be easily removed. It must’ve served as a receptionist desk in its past life.

Every nook and cranny of the room was packed with dust, and the floor was covered in miscellaneous fragments of stuff. Sometimes it was easy to make out what these bits and pieces originally were a part of, like shards of glass. In other cases, it was impossible to deduce.

The floor was carpeted, though the carpet was torn, and the walls were white, though barely so, and the entire scene was lit only by sunlight from outside traveling through broken windows and the open doorway we were standing in. Sunlight that, mind you, had to go through the thickest cloud cover known to man in order to reach earth.


I turned on my flashlight.

Lou turned hers on too, though hers was much dimmer than mine. Hers was also pink, and had a pen tip on the other end. Don’t even ask, I don’t know.

“Woah…” Lou stepped ahead of me. “It looks so cool!” She flung the shine of her flashlight this way and that, across every inch of the room. Then, she gasped, and whipped her head back towards me. “Look! Look! A tumbleweed made its way in here!” Sure enough, captured within the glare of Lou’s penlight was a tumbleweed, wedged in the corner of the room.

“Nice,” I said, trying to sound pleasant.

Lou’s eyes were filled with the glint of entrancement, so bright that even if this room were absolutely pitch black I’m sure I still would’ve seen it. She smiled— then her smile immediately broke. “Hic-chooey!” Lou sneezed. Although it sounded less like a sneeze and more like the squeak of an especially tiny mouse.

A string of snot fell onto her bottom lip. It seems she has a dust allergy. This is why I carry tissues with me everywhere I go.

Even with her dust allergy, after she used one of my tissues, Lou kept on enthusiastically checking out the room for a while, a while in which I hung back and let her do her thing. Every once in a while she’d say something like “Rocco, Rocco, look at this!” all bubbly and cheerful sounding, and I’d check out whatever she’d found.

Was I like this when I explored my first abandoned building?...

No. Not even close. There was a small spark of excitement, sure, since I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be, but it was nowhere near this level.

I don’t mean to be a wet blanket, and I hope I’m not one. I just don’t feel like she does.

“Do you wanna head on to the next room?” Lou said after some time.


And so, we went through a doorless door frame to our right and entered the P.O. box room. Well, maybe it was less a room and more a series of hallways. Or maybe it’s a room connected to a series of hallways.

We arrived at a small open area that gave way to four identical looking hallways, each visible at our left side, lined up one after the other with barely any space between them. These halls' walls were made of P.O. boxes, easily thousands of them. Small, square lockers, each with their own unique number and a combination dial.

“You know,” Lou said, staring into the hall closest to us, which was the only one lit by my flashlight. “If we tried the same combo on each of these lockers, I’m sure one of them would open.”

“I think we’d be here a while if we did that. It’d be far more efficient to just kick them as hard as we can until they open. Though they’re probably all empty.


Lou decided pretty quickly that she wanted to explore each hallway one by one, though really, at least in my opinion, there wasn’t much to appreciate. Just identical lockers on each wall, numbers counting up or down depending on which way you were headed. It reminded me of school, and that made me a little depressed.

Well, Lou seemed fascinated at least.

It was around the second hallway that Lou began talking to me again. “Hey, Halloween’s coming up, right?”


“Let’s TP houses! Let’s be the reason why teenagers normally aren’t allowed to trick or treat!”

“That does seem exciting. Pretty high stakes considering how small our town is. If we got caught, our crime would be known to everyone. Although I guess it’s no more risky than most of the stuff we do.”

“I’m gonna be the baddest of the bad!”

Suddenly, I felt a crunch under my right foot. The sound it made was a little off-putting to me, a little eerie, for whatever reason. I lifted my shoe away from the spot I crunched, which revealed— glass. No, upon closer inspection… mirror. Shards of mirror.

The mirror mostly just captured darkness, but just barely caught in the shine of my flashlight, was a face.

White, albeit tan skin. Curly hair— curly enough to stave off all semantic debates.

Green eyes. Vibrant green eyes. Bright and piercing and so overwhelmingly green… I think they look creepy. Like they’re radioactive, or something. Frankly, those eyes leave me disconcerted.

My own eyes are more eerie than the crunch of a mirror underfoot.

I hate how my eyes are unimpressed with everything.

I always wear a bucket hat. I’ve worn a bucket hat all day every day for years now. In fact, I don’t know when I started wearing one. All I know is that it’s been long enough that I think I look weird without one. Luckily, my school is lax with the dress code. I prefer blue bucket hats, even though red is my favorite color.


“I’m gonna be just like you soon enough!”

I looked up from the mirror upon hearing Lou’s voice. “You shouldn’t really aspire to be like me…”

“Well, I mostly mean I’ll be just as bad as you.”

“You shouldn’t aspire to be as bad as me either.”

“Rocco, how does it feel to have so thoroughly ruined a woman- OH LOOK!” Lou’s flashlight was pointed towards one particular locker near the floor, though her light was kinda dim, so I couldn’t really see what she was so excited about. I walked right up to the locker, crouched down, then pointed my own flashlight at it.

Locker number 1295. Above the combination dial, there was a message, written in permanent marker, that read as such: ‘i hate you’.


Ok, that’s kinda funny. “Incredible. I wonder which locker the guy who wrote that owned?” Though in all likelihood it's just graffiti.

“Hold on Rocco. For one moment, I’m gonna resist your attempts to ruin me. I’m gonna be a good girl for once! I’m gonna squash this beef! Do you have a permanent marker?”

“I do.” I fished one from my pocket and handed it to Lou. She then got down as far as she could without having to rest her stomach on shards of glass, and wrote on the locker in clumsy handwriting. It was barely legible, but I was just able to make out what Lou had written.

She had added to the original sentence. ‘i hate you not kissing me right now’.

Lou winked in my direction. “Take note. Take many notes.”

We explored the rest of the P.O. box hallways, with Lou frequently saying stuff to the tone of “Lalala, I’m cupid and I just started a locker romance!”

There was nothing else of note in the P.O. box corridors, except that some of the lockers were open (albeit empty). So, we moved on to the next room.

Beyond the locker corridors was a vast, mostly empty corridor that led into a left turn that we couldn’t see past… mostly empty, I say, because although there was no furniture that I could see, the room was filled… with tumbleweeds and nails. Thorny, prickly tumbles, and nails so rusted I felt like I was contracting tetanus just by looking at them.

The nails were mostly in one pile in the corner of the room that reached up to head height. Actually… there weren’t just nails in that pile. There were screws, nuts, bolts, staples, needles, and other such objects. From the pile, they spilled out into the rest of the corridor such that there was not a single spot on the ground that was bereft of rusted pointy metal. The tumbleweeds were scattered about randomly, piling up in some places

I wonder if it’s even possible to run across this room barefoot without stepping on a nail and getting hurt.

Maybe I should try doing-

“THAT’S SO COOL!” Lou exclaimed, waving her flashlight around rapidly in the excitement that had taken hold of her, her gaze shining brighter than even my flashlight. “This room is so prickly! Though it seems a bit hard to walk around…”

Suddenly, Lou turned away from that spiky scene, rushed to get behind me, then clutched my shoulders firmly, her chest against my back, her lips to my ear, and said in a soft voice “I’m scared of the spikes, protect me from them Rocco.” Well, it was a soft voice for sure, but its tone had a more seductive feel to it than a scared one.

“I get the feeling you’re totally not scared at all,” I countered.

“No, I really am! What if a water vole is hiding among the tumbleweeds!”

“You really think something with water in its name lives in New Mexico?”

“Fine, I’m afraid that there’s a rattlesnake inside one of them. Now carry me like it’s our wedding day!”

“No one who’s really that scared emphasizes they want to be held in a bridal carry.” Well, that’s what my retort went like, but in the end it wasn’t like I was against the idea. So, I put my hand out under Lou’s thighs, she crouched down, and I lifted up.

One Lou Clemente had entered my inventory.

Lou really likes being carried by me for some reason. Maybe she just hates walking. I’ve even given her piggyback rides before. Though… well, I haven’t told her this, and don’t plan to, but it’s actually pretty hard to carry her. I don’t think she’s particularly heavy; she’s a very slender girl. It’s just hard for one human to outright carry another.

I carried Lou over the nail-filled floor, while she held both our flashlights, mine in her hands, and hers in her mouth, lighting the way for me, every once in a while taking her penlight with her other hand to yell something like “I’m dual wielding!”.

I didn’t really care what I stepped on to be honest. I mean, it’s not like anything here can pierce through my shoes. In fact, I kinda wished the risk of impalement and tetanus was higher.

Though I did make sure to look out for spider webs. I hate getting stuck in those.

The closest I got to being impaled during my walk in the corridor was my bangs hitting my eye.

“Do you hear something?” Lou asked me.

We were about to make a left turn into the bend in the corridor that we couldn’t see around.

It was hard to hear anything when every step I took yielded the sound of metal clicking and scraping against concrete, so upon hearing Lou’s question, I halted. …I did hear something. A continuous drumming, with a hint of metallic clinking, like…

“It sounds like-”

“RAIN!” Lou finished my sentence.

When I turned the corner, Lou’s assertion and my thoughts were proven correct.

There was a hole in the ceiling. It was not a neat hole by any means. It was crumbly and its perimeter was uneven. Cracks spread from the outside of the hole across the ceiling— like lightning spreading across the sky.

It was pouring outside. It was pouring inside too. The air was thick and humid in this part of the corridor. The rain that fell through the hole struck a giant metal something.

This huge hunk of metal… was oxidized beyond recognition. Whatever its original purpose was had been rusted away. Red outnumbered grey ten to one. Its shape had also clearly been weathered away. What seemed like it once might have been sharp, pronounced edges, was now just a vague, blobby shape.

And on top of that rusted object, lit by occasional flashes of lightning, holey and tattered, was a spinny office chair.

Lou’s mouth was wide open. “It’s so pretty…” She promptly sneezed again.

After I wiped off her nose for her, she continued. “Hey, babe, wanna sit down somewhere?”

“Aren’t you already sitting down? Or I guess laying down.”

“The view here is really pretty, and I wanna stay near the rain for a little while. Besides,” she winked, “I have a really good plan with this!”

“Well…” I turned my gaze back to the office chair.

“No way,” Lou quickly said.

“Huh?” I was genuinely a little surprised. “I thought you’d be jumping up and down to sit on that thing.” It seems like a classic Lou-like activity…

“Dude, are you actually daft?”

“Oh, shut up.”

“If someone sat on that chair, like, it has wheels. Our weight would probably cause the chair to roll right off of that big rusty thing. And if we fell off of that… we’d probably fall right onto a pile of nails and bleed out and get seventeen diseases and die.”

… “I didn’t even think about it that way.” And somehow, what Lou said didn’t dissuade me from sitting on that chair. Actually, Lou… I love risks like that!

I stared at the office chair upon the metal thing. No, on second thought, it was more like…

A throne upon a dais of rust.

To the backdrop of a song of metal and rain.

Although calling that thing a throne may be a stretch.

“Even climbing onto that rusty thing would be risky,” Lou continued. “It’s a steep climb. So, let’s find somewhere else to sit.”

I guess I’ll keep the idea of sitting on that chair shelved for later… I walked around a bit, scanning our surroundings, (my arms kinda burning from holding Lou for so long), but there wasn’t really anywhere that didn’t have loads of nails.

That was when Lou had a brilliant idea. Well, she looked proud of herself for it at least. “That’s it! Use your shirt as a soft pad for us to sit down on! Just put it on the floor, and we can sit on it!”

“But like, wouldn’t that make my shirt dirty?”

“Just don’t wear it for the rest of today.”

“I feel like that definitely benefits one of us more than the other. And like, wouldn’t the shirt be thin enough that a nail could poke through?”

“Fold it over a couple times, easy!”

“But then there won’t be enough room for you.”

“Rocco, I’m your girlfriend. If there’s enough room for one of us to sit down, there’s enough room for both of us to sit down, because I’m your girlfriend.”

“I don’t quite follow.”

“Just follow my instructions and you’ll get it.”

I have nothing to lose, I guess. Except my shirt, but my only viewer would be thrilled about that development. Well, maybe I’m also losing my dignity in this process, but that’s fine. So, I set Lou back on her feet, my arms thanked God, then I took off my shirt, folded it over twice, and sat on top of it.

And that’s precisely when I figured out what Lou meant.

I’m your girlfriend— She set her rear on my lap with a blush and a smile. “See!? I was right! Now put your arms around me!”

When did you start giving so many orders… I still wrapped my arms around her though. I wrapped my arms around her, and hugged her firmly yet gently, hoping to give her the time of her life.

Hoping to give myself the time of my life.

Every man who has ever been in a physically intimate relationship with a woman has probably thought the exact same thing I was thinking right now. She’s so soft. She smells like flowers. My thoughts were stereotypical enough for me to wonder if maybe I didn’t actually think those things at all. Maybe society had merely conditioned me to think she’s soft and smells like flowers. What kind of flowers does she smell like anyway? I can’t even remember the last time I smelled flowers.

Maybe she’s soft like marshmallows. Maybe her perfume is the girliest thing on earth. Maybe… but even if my thoughts were stereotypical, my emotions weren’t.

I didn’t have the time of my life.

I felt nothing.

My girlfriend was sitting on my lap and I was hugging her from behind, a situation that should’ve at least provoked a shred of endearment and happiness from me; mess with my libido even the slightest bit. And yet…


And that made me despair.

And in my despair, my gaze couldn’t help but travel to that throne atop a dais of rust.

“Hey, Rocco.” Lou’s voice was different than usual. Usually it was peppy and bombastic. But now… her voice felt like mist in my ears. “This is bliss. This is the happiest day I've had in so long.”

I held onto her just a little tighter.

For dear life.


We sat together like this for fifteen minutes, before Lou got up and said that we ought to explore the rest of the post office together. I obliged, even though I wasn’t in the mood for it anymore.

The act of living is not just your mere existence. It is a role you play. And right now, I had to play my role.

I ended up putting back on my shirt, even though it was reeeeally dirty.

My shirt had a brand new hole in it. Right at the chest area. Lou told me it was an improvement while drooling all over herself. Every day I’m with this girl, my decision to bring tissues everywhere is vindicated more and more.

After we explored the entirety of the post office together, we decided to do some graffiti in the very first room we explored; the one with the receptionist desk. Graffiti was the entire point of us coming here, after all.

Doing graffiti always gives me at least a little spark of excitement. It’s not out of any artistic passion… but it’s something you’re not supposed to do. Something my Mom would kill me for if she figured out I did it on the regular. A sort of daredevilish activity with real risks and consequences.

My graffiti was simple profanity.

Lou, in classic Lou fashion, wrote ‘Walrus meat tastes kinda bad’. It’s the kind of phrase that makes a million quintillion gazillion questions pop into your head, a message that inflicts pandemonium into the mind of all who see it. A very abnormal piece of graffiti, to be sure, though Lou is a very abnormal person.

And then she went for something classic. A big ol’ outline of a heart shape drawn in pink spray paint, and within that heart… ‘L+R’. I couldn’t help but be reminded of L and R bumpers on a video game controller.

As we headed out, I couldn’t help but think one last time… about the throne.

Well, calling it a throne still feels goofy, but it sure does tempt me.

Even if I fall into a pile of nails, oh how completely and utterly tense I’d feel as I scaled the rust. How exciting it’d be to take that risk and sit in the chair.

Weighing my choices, I think one side of the scale—