The giveaway is the sound of ice cubes bouncing off one another. When they collide at a higher frequency that means there’s less liquid in the glass, the boozy buffer slowly sipped out. Over the phone it sounded like she was almost done her drink, of which number I don’t know, when our conversation took an abrupt turn with her telling me that she would be fine with me having two wives. In fact, she advocated it. At seventeen I found that a daunting hypothetical. It was nearly impossible to keep my room clean, yet alone equally sustain two lasting, mutually fulfilling relationships, and only a few months before I’d very quickly lost my virginity, so the thought of regularly disappointing two women I would presumably live with and have to see every day was not exactly appealing.

“What the hell are you talking about, Mom?”