Ivana extricated herself from the hammock with an air of urgency. As is the case for seemingly endless nights that usually heralded the coming of equally tedious days, ( scant mercy, as in the former, one was blessedly dead to the world ) it was slow litigation, whether she would dawdle for a while with an oft-neglected tome from her grandmother's voluminous reserve of quaint literature ( what with Chaucer, Keats, Faulkner and perchance even Browning, that madman of Balladic verse, cheek-by-jowl in voiceless fawning for an attentive eye ) or the saccharine scorn dripping all over that wonder of the working man ( or woman, or child...) who came to be known as " Haul yer own freight! " Indeed, hafting another's burden was a cardinal sin, no place revolts from it more than this litterbox of survivors. A few had, in their own way, defied that unspoken yet deeply ingrained tradition. But they had all known better. This was not a hospice for fools. No place is. The sink was obscured with gunk, and were not those oddly-shaped pearls teeth? Pa came home last night. And left again, the time was just fine for a spew, a cleaning-up and bite or two. A man has to have his vices, and someone resilient ( or stupid ) enough to clean up after him, apparently. What you can't change, you try to love. And sometimes you succeed. Trickles of ashen sunlight spied through the half-closed windows, repetitious and mundane. The birthed Monday, though, was anything but.