“*Cult* of the 3 Suns brought ME here.” Zzzzz’s from the “listener”. “You still with me?” Clearly he wasn’t, but Dr. Herbert Thomas Brown only needed a sounding board this late at night, when the bitterness fully kicked in. “My Three Suns, the wife called them, before her own mysterious disappearance.” A snort this time, then rolling over and more snores. Tom was a good guy, Dr. Brown could have thought here. But he sleeps a lot. Oh well… not a lot else to do in this alley separated from reality. He tried to think of a joke combining the words reality and alley to more accurately describe their situation but it didn’t quite come together. Fitting. “Then I went to *Falmouth*… don’t get me started about *Falmouth*, pheh.” He looked over at Tom: still rolled over but quieter now. Had he awaken? Brown thought. Was he, I don’t know, actually listening to him this late at night for a change? Something about Falmouth?
Knock knock knock. “Honey?! I decided to join you on your vacation after all. Darling?! Are you in there?!”
“I’m just saying you haven’t been the same, since… since…”
“Cincinnati. Just say it.”
“I know,” he interrupted again, knowing the story all too well.
“It was a lot of lumber!”
“He deserved it.” Silence for a bit, then: “I guess we’re going to talk about Rose next. The *ul-timate* Red.”
She shook her head. “No. No, I’m just saying…”
“It was the frigg’n Metz!” he exclaimed, finally raising his voice on the subject, as he almost always does. “How would I know, a MIRACLE would occur?”
“It,” she tried to calm him down, “was… a long time ago.”
“Not in my nogg’n.” He knocked on his head. It made a hollow sound. Lumber again. Bench would get his revenge. “The whole *team*, was jinxed. Just look at their names. Rose, pheh. Bench, *huff*. Perez… well that one was kind of normal. But *Morgan*.”
“Now dearest, why don’t we wrap up some more presents,” she distracted again. “Then afterwards, afterwards…” She dangled her leg seductively. No need to think about 69 any longer. *That* 69. It was often the only way to get him to shut up about it once he started. Now the other leg joined the first: two danglers. Would he take the bait?
“Tom… SEEVER!” he said to end. Always the same.