I went to Montana to visit Montana. Before he tried to rape me we went to the tourist restaurant with the word Cowboy in its name. His whole family was there; it was a welcome dinner for me, and it was Montana's birthday, and it got them out of the house. When they had to be together they were always in public. In public it was easier to pretend to like each other.

There were presents for Montana to open at the table. He was visiting home on vacation from grad school, a grown man unraveling pastel ribbons. His mother described each gift loudly and insisted it be handed round the table and nagged him each time about a thank-you note.

His father gave him a gigantic box of condoms and guffawed (yes.) in my direction. I ate my steak as if none of this bothered me, but you know how I felt. It was still the best steak I have ever had in my life, before or since. It was blackened on the outside and tasted like a campfire, like it had been cooked by someone who knew to put eggshells in the coffee. It was perfect and I was determined to enjoy it and I did.

After dinner but before Montana tried to rape me we went to the bookstore. I remember it felt good when he got bored and left me for magazines. I remember feeling safe in the company of authors.

Montana said Come on lets go already and I said Wait I have to buy this first and I grabbed a book without looking and it was Leaves of Grass. I was not singing myself or celebrating myself. But I knew I would.

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