< XII >

Back in the city without a name Nosferatu and Alexis are in Nosferatu's kitchen.

It is a modest kitchen not remodeled since the fifties.

It is a warm spring night and Nosferatu has opened the doors letting the fresh air in.

Alexis sits smiling.

Nosferatu walks over to the radio and presses play on the CD player and says, “Now Alexis, you've been in that little cabin for fifty years. And you've missed a lot. But there's only really two things you actually missed, the only two things that came out of the techno-age, Elvis and the lemon-shake. And now I give you both of them.”

While Elvis is singing Kentucky Rain Nosferatu gets two four lemons out of the refrigerator. Alexis follows him with her eyes. He goes to the table. Cuts the lemons in half. Nosferatu says, “Rain in my shoes, can you get any sadder than that?”

Alexis shakes her head no.

Nosferatu cuts the lemons in half and squeezes the juice into the glasses. He then a bunch of ice out of the freezer and puts the cubes into the glasses. Then city-water from the faucet. Then dumps in a large amount of sugar and says, “You like sugar don't you Alexis?”

Alexis shakes her head yes.

“I like when he says midnight train. I've seen a midnight train. I've sat on the side of the tracks, when no one was there, and saw the midnight train pass. I thought about the conductor alone. And I felt like the conductor so lonesome I could cry.”

She frowns a little and says, “I know loneliness.”

“I know you have Alexis.”

Nosferatu shakes the drinks and says, “But now, Alexis, here is some happiness.”

He hands the lemon-shake to Alexis.

She looks at it with the half cut lemon still floating in it with a puzzled look of a inquisitive child.

“Wait hold on Alexis, lets go on the porch and sit on lawn chairs.”

They go outside.

And sit down.

A huge orange moon shines down on them.

Alexis drinks the lemon-shake and says, “I like it, I like it.”

“I thought you would.”

Two hours pass and four lemon-shakes.

Nosferatu says, “Do you smell that?”

“Spring,” Alexis says.

“Yes, spring. You always know the truth Alexis.”

“I like lemon-shakes.”

Nosferatu and Alexis smile.