“She’s in her she-shed,” Ernest updated, “Again; says she’s working on her sculptures but then nothing happens, no hammering, no welding— hell, she doesn’t even drink beer out there.”
The three men watched Ilene make her way down the trailer steps, the globed porch light a miniature moon sending her shadow lurching ahead of her on her epic trek across the Zen garden to the unlit she-shed, clutching a beer in each hand, just in case.
Ilene approached the she-shed with a bold caution, chattered loudly to herald her arrival, lest she startle Marge, spoke out loud, ‘Okay, I’m opening the door now’ as she slid the pocket door into its wall.
“No shit, Ilene, I can see that and how else would you invade my personal private she-shed space but through that door.”
“Jeezus, Marge, where in hell’s the light switch, there, now what’s going on, why are you being a cave bear, your clan misses you.”
Despite the warnings, Ilene was shocked to find Marge sitting in the dark, her welders mask pulled low over her face.
“Marge, what’s going on, you aren’t still being a jittery bride to be are you?”
Marge’s responses to Ilene’s questions were rendered even more monotone through her welders mask, which she, a known non-hugger, kept on as she endured the hug Ilene insisted on giving her.
Because of their size difference the hug was at first awkward for both of them, but Ilene turned her head, some of her piled hair twisting up under the welders mask and tickling Marge’s chin, but Ilene held on, pressed into her friend, reached around her as far as she could and squeezed her as tight as she could, told her she was enveloping her with love, told Marge she’d squeeze all the doubt right out of her; Ilene did not let go of her friend, not until Marge ripped a loud fart.
Then the two separated, laughed until they cried, Marge at last removing her welders mask so she could wipe her eyes; then the two drank Ilene’s beers in amicable silence, before she suggested they go back inside; “Ernest has more.”
“I know,” and Marge left her mask behind, led the way back to the steps under the pagoda style awning, returned to Ernest without a doubt.