"Last night I had this dream," Dora said.
"Please, tell me more," Faye said, not moving away from the customer in front of her. She was glaring at the poor hapless soul, who bleated something and handed Faye a ten dollar bill. Faye smiled and looked evil. Or ironic--they were both similar expressions with Faye. She didn't say "thank you," so Dora ruled ironic out.
Dora said, "Do you really want to hear more?"
"Of course not," Faye said. "Other people's dreams are never as interesting as my dreams, especially the ones where Conor Oberst takes me like a pirate because he is a pirate in that dream, but I don't remember what I dreamed last night so I'll listen to you, if I have to."
Dora said. "Are you sure Conor Oberst isn't a pirate? Maybe he's a pirate who only lives on land." Faye tapped on the counter. Dora said, "Anyway, it was this whole post-apocalyptic thing with partying and death and zombies and vomiting --"
"STOP NOW," Hanners said. "I'm going to clean the bathroom, okay?"
Dora waved her agreement. "And then Buffy the Vampire Slayer was there and I had to leave. I had to get away because I knew someone was going to vomit on her shoes and I couldn't bear to watch it."
Faye said, "In a Hanners kind of way?" She was leaning against the counter with her back to any customers who might come in. Dora was going to say something to her about that once they finished this conversation.
"No," Dora said, "In a I-just-don't-want-to-see-those-shoes-ruined kind of way. More ‘suddenly I'm Dita Von Teese or Marten's mom in a very elaborate costume that only consists of shoes’ kind of woman than ‘suddenly developed OCD.’"
"What kind of shoes were they?"
"I don't even really remember. Do you think it means something?"
"You want new shoes?"
"Probably," Dora said. She gestured for Faye to turn around and serve people. Or as close as Faye got to serving.
"It's probably one of those things where the apocalypse is your romantic history and Buffy is Marten and you're feeling very worried now that you two are back to making out, which is why you can't remember what kind of shoes they are. You don't want to define it. It's not post-rock or shoegaze or Pitchfork approved."
"You're totally wrong," Dora said. "I'm going to talk about Marten's mom again so you get distracted. Hey, isn't funny remembering that time she visited and you actually admitted how fucked in the head you were?"
"Let's talk about the time she visited after you dumped Marten."
Hanners leaned against the counter very carefully, eyes very alert.
"Touche." Dora sighed. "Also, you're wrong. My subconscious is way more subtle than that. I know exactly what kind of shoes Marten and I are, we're … we're shoes that have been polished and resoled and are better than they ever were. We would totally survive barf at this point ---"
"I'm going back to the bathroom until you're done," Hanners said and ran back, slamming the bathroom door behind her.
"You don't sound worried about your shoes at all," Faye said. "Or boots or petite vampire fighters or whatever your metaphor subconscious is better than. Wait, I remembered my dream from last night. I was seeing Ikonika playing with Herman's Hermits and they were all the same age and then you came up and told me this story about how you're completely comfortable with your new love snuggles with Marten! That was it exactly."
"I'm joining Hanners in the bathroom, so can you please actually make coffee for people." And then Dora did go into the bathroom and kick Hanners out so she could pee.
She and Marten went to dinner at that great Chinese place they'd been to once and were very relaxed and comfortable, fuck you Faye very much. Then they went back to Dora's new apartment for sex. Good, satisfying, non-ambiguous sex.
"First I have to get this bra off," Dora said. "Why did I buy a racerback bra? I can't do any of my sexy poses or sneak it off under my shirt." She wiggled at Marten. "Help?"
"Racerback is this x, right?" He ran his finger under it, teasing her back.
"Mean," she said. It sounded a little porn-ish, she thought. Then he detached the straps rather deftly and they go to the doing of porn. It didn't feel rote or familiar, it was like another cup of rich and rare Panamian coffee with tastes and flavor that came in a rush, each one better than the last.
"You always were good at that," she said.
"You sound surprised, hurr hurr," he said. "I know, you mean the bra thing, not the sex. I've had lots of practice, you know. I mean, not like Sven, say." He smiled but he sat up. "I am going to sleep at my place tonight, okay?"
"Sure," she said. And meant it. They were good. They were moving at a good pace. A rhythm that was good. She needed to stop using the word good. More descriptive words. She really hated how therapy talk infiltrated her brain like a thrashing, discordant bass line in a Shredder song. "I mean it," she said.
"I believe you," he said. "I mean, we're good, right?"
She laughed. "We're better than good. We're clear on how we're doing, we're not worried about zombie orgy barf making us look bad. No matter what Faye says."
Marten stared for a moment. "Is Zombie Orgy Barf that new band from Scranton? I think I've heart of them. Maybe a split single with a band I actually like?"
"Uh," Dora said. "Maybe. But the rest of it, that made sense, right?"
"Total sense," Marten said. He kissed her, got dressed, and left. And it was okay and it would be okay. She lay on her bed, hugged BooBoo, and thought, totally good. She even fell asleep easy like Sunday morning.