It’s ten thirty at night. McKinley has set the camera on a tripod and is taking pictures of me. He has put a brown towel over his head and is operating the camera from underneath it. Renee sits next to me on the bed sewing together an elf from felt pieces. I’m listening to “Melissa” by the Allman Brothers and remembering a friend I had by that name and with whom I’ve long since lost contact. I hope she has found the serenity and happiness that she so deserves, for she is surely as sweet as the melissa of the song, as precious as the honeybee that her name means.


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