“What are we going to do today?” Stella asks. Rocky wonders if she’s serious. If she really thinks that there’s an answer to that question. If he should hate her or love her for asking.
“Let’s start the revolution,” Shaggy says. He balances his laptop on the outside of his hip to make way for Stella’s head. Shaggy’s got hair everywhere he seems to always keep his eyes on like some kind of magic mirror only he can see. He’s a picture of Movie Star in deep character. He’s Leonardo DiCaprio like he’s been in a cave for years and while he’s pulling off the feral, everyone knows he’s one good cleanup away from looking like a star. He’s not fooling anyone.
“Don’t be daft,” Stella says.
“Is talking British a symptom?” Rocky asks Uncle Dick even though they both know Stella and Shaggy have been doing this since before the Lockdown, acting like they’re in the Sex Pistols.
“Yeah, Shaggy. Why don’t you look that up on your fancy computer?” Uncle Dick says.
“If I ever lost my sense of taste and smell,” Stella says. “I’m pretty sure I’d still love pizza rolls.”
Rocky’s phone vibrates and he checks it without fully taking it out of his pocket. It’s his dad who has been texting lately for no good reason. “What’s up loser,” it says.
“That spot you’re sitting on,” Rocky says to Shaggy. “Stella puked a river there when she was twelve.”
“Yeah, because Grandma made me drink that whole glass of apple juice even though I told her I didn’t feel good.”
“Bullocks,” Shaggy says.
“That spot your sitting on,” Uncle Dick says to Shaggy. “Is where I got wicked rug burns from losing my virginity to these guys’ Aunt Brenda.”
“Uncle Dick!” Stella screams.
“Don’t silence the truth, you little fascist,” Uncle Dick says. “Come to think of it that’s the same spot your Aunt Brenda threw up on too.”
Stella and Rocky look at each other, and for a split second, talking isn’t needed for communication. For a split second, she might really be his twin sister. She mocks putting a gun in her mouth and pulling the trigger. Rocky, catching ricochet, jerks his head back and mocking his own death too eagerly, bumps Toe flat onto his face, causing him to wail.
“Goddammit!” Grandma yells from the kitchen. Rocky swoops Toe onto his legs, and a horsey ride turns wail to reluctant giggle.
“Death to the status quo,” Shaggy whispers, not quite ready for his manifesto to make it to the kitchen.