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Lou Ann pushed her damp blond hair back from her face andtold her mother she wished she would stay a few days more.Whenever Ivy looked at her Lou Ann could feel the tired half-moons under her own eyes.“You haven’t hardly had time to say boo to Angel. He’ll haveTuesday off and we could take the truck and all go someplace.We could all fit in some way. Or otherwise I could stay here withDwayne Ray, and you all go. It’s a shame for you to come all thisway from home and not see what you can see.”Surprisingly, Angel had agreed to move back in until after hermother and grandmother’s visit. He might be hard to talk to andunreasonable in every other way but at least, Lou Ann realized, heknew the power of mothers and grandmothers. If Granny Loganhad known they were getting a divorce she would have had anapoplectic. At the very least, she and Ivy would insist that LouAnn come back home.“Oh, honey, we seen plenty from the bus,” Ivy said. “Them oldbig cactus and every kind of thing. Lordy, and them big buildingsdowntown, all glass it looked to me like. I expect we’ll see a goodsight more on the way home.”“I guess, but it seems like we haven’t done a thing since yougot here but set around and look at the baby.”“Well, that’s what we come for, honey. Now we’ve donehelped you have him, and get settled with him, and we’re anxiousto get on home. The heat puts Mother Logan in a mood.”“I know it.” Lou Ann breathed in slowly through her nose. Shewas beginning to believe that the hot, dry air in her chest mightbe the poison her grandmother claimed it to be. “I wish I couldhave put you up better than we did,” she said.“You put us up just fine. You know her, it wouldn’t make nodifference if it was the Queen a Sheba a-putting us up, she’d be56TH EBE A NTR E E S
crosspatch. She just don’t sleep good out of her own bed.” Ivyuntied the borrowed apron and smoothed down the front of hernavy-blue dress. Lou Ann remembered the dress from about ahundred church potluck suppers. Just the sight of it made herfeel stuffed with potato-chip casseroles and Coca-Cola cake.“Mama,” she said, and then started over because her voicewas too low to hear. “Mama, when Daddy was alive . . .” She wasnot sure what she meant to ask. Did you talk to each other? Washe the person you saved things up to say to, or was it like now? Ahouseful of women for everything, for company. Ivy was not look-ing at her daughter but her hands were still, for once. “DidGranny Logan always live with you, from the beginning?”Ivy peered into the brown bag and then rolled the top downtightly. “Not her with us. We lived with her.”“Is that how you wanted it?” Lou Ann felt embarrassed.