"You loved this dog?"
"Yes, I did. I used to be afraid of dogs."
"Afraid they would hurt you?"
"Well, all that barking, and those teeth. They were so dangerous."
"Did this one hurt you?"
"Only once. When he died."
"And what is hurting you now?"
"You sound like a therapist," thought Sarah, but she didn't say it because she didn't want her to stop. Instead, she said, "I feel like I'm out of my league. With Donald, and ... other people. And now, you. You're his sister. I can hardly live my life and you guys go around like transcending yours."
"Sarah, you understand everything except your own understanding. You understand me better than anyone else I've met."
"You just met me. What about Donald?"
"He's all God God God."
"What?" laughed Sarah, suddenly feeling her gimlets. "What are you, then?"
"I am not not not."
"And I'm a boy scout," laughed Sarah.
"Put out your hand," said Isabel. She rested her Cosmopolitan on Sarah's open palm. "Now, flip your hand over."
"I don't want to lose your drink, Izzy," she laughed.
"Leave the glass where it is. Just flip your hand over."
"But it's half full."
"Good. You have a positive attitude. That always helps."
Sarah laughed again. Had she stopped laughing? "But this is impossible."
"It's impossible to flip your hand over?"
"No, it's impossible to flip my hand over without spilling the glass."
"Leave the glass out of it. You can't control the glass. You can only control your hand."
Sarah thought about this a moment, considered it. "But the glass is weighing on me. I can feel it, almost as if it's part of me, too. I can't get away from it."
"You mean I've trapped you?"
"But there's nothing holding this glass to you. Look." Isabel shot her own hand in between Sarah's and the glass, so that now the glass was resting on the back of Isabel's fingers.
"Whoa-wa," slurred Sarah. Then she flipped her hand over. "Ok, now it's your turn," she said, laughing.
Isabel flipped her hand over. The glass now rested on her palm.
"Holy shit, what do I owe you?"
"We didn't bet."
"Oh, gee. I woulda."
before and after
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