Joy of Life is 30-1


Martin lives in the hospital because he is sick and he can’t touch people or he will die. At nighttime, Martin vomits in his sleep and he smells like urine. Martin lives in a plastic room and his mother waves at him from a window and then she goes home and cries and has sex with Max.

Oh Beatrice, Max says. I left the clothes in the dryer, Beatrice says and she walks through the house naked and she looks like she is thin and pale like she is a ghost.


Beatrice and Morgan are married and they have sex on Thursday mornings and Tuesday afternoons. Morgan works at the golf club and Max is twelve years old. Morgan and Beatrice eat at Julio’s on Sundays.

I like Julio’s, Beatrice thinks. In high school, Beatrice won a contest that said she was the brightest future for San Carlo. She was in a parade and the parents of the other children gave her a big party and she bought a really nice dress and she drank lots of drinks and Morgan asked her if she wanted to make sex in the Laundromat on Clark and 22nd and she said yes.


Max asks Beatrice if she loves him. Do you love me, Beatrice? Of course Max, Beatrice says. Beatrice has a tattoo on her back that is a picture of a bicycle. Morgan rides his bicycle home and he sees Max and Beatrice having oral sex in the swimming pool and it is July.


There are fifteen dogs in race thirteen. Your wife has sex with boys, Danny says. Joy of Life is 30-1. He won’t win and they will probably shoot him in the head after the race. They can’t shoot Joy of Life, Morgan says and Morgan puts $50 on Joy of Life and Joy of Life doesn’t place and a man who is fat walks onto the track and shoots Joy of Life in the face and there are some people at the track who clap their hands and Morgan tears up his ticket.

I don’t even like oral sex, Danny says. I don’t either, Morgan says.


Lily is ten and she plays the violin and sometimes she crosses the street without looking and sometimes she hides in an old rubber stamp warehouse on Murray Hill. There are sharp nails and loose boards in the cabin but Lily says that she can hear Jesus tell Mary that he wants to have sex with her when it is quiet and she is in the warehouse.


Danny and Morgan ask the woman at the track to do favors for them in the parking lot and some of the women are shy and some of the women smile and have sweaty palms and Danny and Morgan take them into the trees on the other side of the park.

Do you like Bon Jovi, Danny asks Shelly. I love Bon Jovi, Shelly says. She has red hair and she makes little twirls with her hips and she makes babies really fast. You got pregnant really fast, Danny says. I know, Shelly says. Do you like the name Lily, Shelly asks.




Jesus never said that to Mary, Father Thompson says to Lily. Father Thompson has a moustache but he isn’t supposed to wear a moustache because then he looks like he is a baseball player.


Life in the fast lane, Beatrice says and smokes a cigarette.


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