Paul comes stumbling back from the bar with a pitcher of Rainier and a woman that looks like twenty miles of bad country roads. “This’s, uh – ” he gestures broadly – “Cookie. Yeah. Cookie. Right?”

“Damn straight,” says Cookie. “Hey, kids. You ever hung out with a real woman before?”

May, in the back, gulps at her scotch-neat and nearly strangles. Ben spreads his hands and asks, “How do we know you’re a real woman?”

Cookie hooks filthy hands into the waist of her tattered shirt and hauls it over her head. She’s braless and graceless underneath. Paul whoops and puts the pitcher down so quickly the beer nearly slops over the side. “I’m all woman,” says Cookie, and wraps the shirt around her head like a turban.

She sits down like that next to Paul and leans over him for the pitcher. “So, uh, Cookie’s a, a, a roofer, yeah?” he says, slightly cross-eyed from not staring. “Wasn’t that what you said?”

“Hell yeah,” Cookie says, and sucks the foam off the top of her beer. “But that’s just a gig. I make most of my money trickin’. Hookin’, you know? Cookie the hooker the roofer, that’s me.”

“I love this woman,” Paul says, to no one in particular.