They stay in the west for the most part and the others stay in the east and there’s not a whole lot of interaction between the two groups. They might see each other standing on a street corner or running to catch the train, might even on rare occasions greet ones they recognize, but not often. They each keep to themselves.

Until breeding season rolls around, anyway. Everyone dreads it, the disruption, the noise, the smell. First-timer Alex is nervous. “Don’t be such a fuckin’ drama queen,” Morgan snarls at him from the kitchen. Morgan’s an asshole—definitely time to move on. “Everybody gets what’s going on. Just keep a lid on it and they’ll do the same. Don’t make faces, don’t ask anybody any questions about anything, just shut up and get to work. Christ on a fuckstick.”

He takes the bus to the stadium—putting it off. One of them gets on and they wince away from each other. Still, though—she takes a deep breath and walks the length of the empty bus to sit across from him. “I’m in no hurry, either,” she says, and turns her face to the window.

He almost sobs with understanding.

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