As for Matthew Malachi? Well, his bucket list was short. He knew what he wanted. He just didn’t know how to get it…

Yes you do She says You just don’t want to do what you have to do to get it

i am not a salesman

And this is the story of a town. A hometown in which the American Dream changes. Did you get that? The name hasn’t been mentioned yet, but it’s not in Texas. The setting is really not some resort hotel. That’s just where Matthew Malachi went not where he was from not where he returned after his fourth time around to Texas. And cats? Well, let that be a motif through all of it. After all what kind of community doesn’t have cats? The third eye being technology—a generation of it—forty years or thereabouts for Matthew Malachi is only thirty-eight. And that was the point of the trip to Texas wasn’t it? He was there to train on a machine that performed chemistry assays using photometric, potentiometric and chemiluminescent methods. The Architect ran your chemistries after a blood draw and Matthew Malachi was a medical lab tech reporting out your CMP’s and Lipid Panels after your yearly physical. And so in his arms in those first minutes of Labor Day she says:

guess I’ll go to the family reunion while you’re away you won’t kill yourself again will you Lloyd is playing with his band he sings and Jason is on guitar I told you about Jason didn’t I we grew up together as kids he was dumb I mean dumber than your average dumb though he wasn’t bad-looking he always had a girlfriend I never dated him the last time I saw him was I guess before we got married I was getting gas and he’d just got out of prison after a ten year stretch right out of high school back then he and Lloyd got a house together and they both sold drugs I knew that how else could they pay the rent because they didn’t work and girls don’t come and go in a house where men don’t work then they got into some fight and Jason moved out and stole some stuff which Lloyd promptly stole back and Jason called the cops and when they searched his apartment the dummy had LSD in his freezer and he got ten years when I saw him he was still on house arrest I think his full sentence was twelve but they let him out early but then he got another five for sleeping with a fifteen year old girl he just got out again a while ago—the dummy’s been in prison for most of his life since he was eighteen I think he’s living with his parents now… their band sucks they call themselves A Score to Settle and Lloyd can’t sing he sings from his throat and not his belly and he just stands there I tried to listen to one of their 70’s covers (they don’t write their own stuff) on Facebook but it was awful and I couldn’t listen to it all and you know me I’m a music lover but it was really bad kind of like how you feel when you read bad writing I don’t think I’ll stay at the family reunion long

And sometimes it’s when you least expect it. The story and how the story ends. The night Matthew Malachi had a drink with Kenneth Dean was his last night in Texas. His ex-wife’s family reunion had been that last Sunday the Sunday after Labor Day. Not in their hometown (for Marion was their hometown now) but in the town where his ex-wife grew up just about an hour to the north…