As her throat burns and the hotdog curls in her belly, she lights a smoke and continues to think about dick. Not in a lustful way, or anything like that. She’s never had dick that she’s enjoyed. Never had dick that she’s hated, either. She could quite easily go without if she wanted, and yet by going without, life would become tedious. She feels that way about most things. Drinking, especially. She doesn’t enjoy the taste of alcohol, nor the inevitable hangovers that follow. If she were to abstain though, her nights would be bereft of magic, and all she’d have to keep her company would be the sound of the rustling trees outside her window—trees with gnarly branches that scratch at the glass as if they were the fingers of dead relatives begging her to join them in the afterlife. The being drunk part is fun though. It’s the only thing that enables her to exist without fear, that and painting, that is. If she couldn’t paint, she would implode. The act of creation is her sole calling in life. She doesn’t envision a career in the arts, or anything like that, she merely wants to paint her life onto canvas so that she can make sense of what she is while leaving a little something of herself behind. A teeny-weeny footstep that might help someone find their way through the woods if they too were to become lost. Sucking the smoke down into her lungs and spluttering like a car exhaust, she makes out the building housing the art studios. Through her smoke and the perpetual mist, it’s as faint as her first memories, and yet the yellow glow of the windows twinkle like fairy lights on a Christmas tree, and all at once, her heart lifts and her dimples pinch as a smile spreads across her puckered lips.