we substitute the fan's relentless hum for conversation while we sneak glances at each other over blue china like children peering under beds to check for monsters. stay awake, and the bogeyman can't scare you with those slick, acid fangs of Jealousy and the flat, flabby mouth of Greed, slobbering against the curving thigh of Mistrust, enticed by the aching wetness of Insatiable. we hold each other's bodies like chopsticks; we trade condiments instead of kisses. hand me that tube of mayonnaise. i'd like some salt for these fries. pass the relish, please. if only we could learn how to wake ourselves up.