With their ears pricked, the other students wait for a commotion, but Gretchen is content to bide her time. The brandy has warmed her belly nicely, and as it works its alcoholic magic, it won’t be long until she sets it aside and opens a can of beer. The beer won’t keep her warm, but it will help her to make the feelings she feels somewhat tangible. Once they’re tangible she can attempt to transfer them onto canvas, where they can spread their wings and take on a life of their own; unchained to any rationale that might hinder them from dancing the true dance. This dance is one of Gretchen’s favourite things. Certainly more favourable than the dance of sex, although it can be just as messy. Eyeing the disorganised contents of her studio space, she sees she has enough tubes of oil paint at hand to complete the blank canvas that towers over her from her place on the floor. She knows she also has a few unopened pots of household paint lying around—colours that appeal to her current mood—although she can’t figure out where they are among all the cans of piss and dead coffee. She could sort through them all, but she’d rather not, so instead, she entertains the idea of sneaking out and stealing some from someone else. Such theft is a sin her religious mother would be deeply ashamed of—especially in that of her only daughter—but Gretchen doesn’t care in the slightest. The way she sees it, the creation of another of her paintings will be a gift she’s sharing with the world, and as such, it’s only fair that she takes something for herself in return. Life is a game of give and take, after all.