I had never cried in front of him or for anything bit since the unpregnancy I’d found myself crying more than I ever had before. And now here I was in tears in the Liquor Control Board outlet. It was the sight of the vodka that had set me off. It was Okasan’s favorite for her martinis. I don’t know what it was--the thought that maybe now she didn’t need the drinks to wall her off from things, that she was sipping them with Janice after a long day collecting the stories of other immigrant women who had been suddenly transported to strange new worlds. I had finally heard from her a month ago. They were in Arizona, staying with a healer in Sedona and collecting stories of milagros. Okasan had breathed into the phone for a moment like Mice used to do before. “I’m sorry,” she had said in Japanese. “You did the best you could,” I said. And then I had told her about Bernie and Genvieve and Midori and she had told me about Janice and the adventures that had as they traveled south. And it was OK; it was what it was. So there was no real reason I should be standing int he Liquor Control, suddenly feeling tears welling up. But maybe there was every reason. I let them slip over, the taste sweet on my lips. Bernie came up and slipped a hand in mine, hugged me around my thick waist and just said, “Hey, you all right?” I nodded and swiped them away, feeling the answering press against my cheeks from the inside and the curl around my heart, a sudden lightness. Yeah, yeah I was. Bernie tucked me into her side and we went up front to join Genevieve and Midori, a bottle of triple-distilled vodka made from the sweetest spring water under my arm.