It had been one of her many secrets; the fact that she didn’t recycle. Ruthanne threw away soda bottles, newspapers—the whole lot. Even though she lived alone, she forced these shameful items to the bottom of her trash, covering the evidence with coffee grinds and banana peels, and reminding herself that she didn’t use the earth’s resources at anywhere near the rate of a typical woman her age. Why, her decision never to marry, never to procreate, was an act of conservation in and of itself! She congratulated herself on this choice regularly. After all, she’d never sent out wedding invitations, bought disposable diapers, or owned one of those large travel buses people insisted on calling “minivans.” Ruthanne had never even owned a car. After her parents’ accident, she’d never trusted them. Besides, she didn’t need one. Her Brooklyn apartment was just a stone’s throw from her job at the dry cleaners, and the Key Food Mart was right across the way. Everything she could desire compacted into one city block. At forty years of age she considered herself way ahead of the curve with regards to that “carbon footprinting” people were always going on about; especially when you factored in that she was planning on being cremated. Twenty square feet of burial ground preserved for future generations. A noble gesture, though to be honest that particular choice had been fraught with indecision. Some nights, when Ruthanne lay awake staring at the ceiling, it struck her that when she died there would be almost no trace of her. No real estate or car to dispose of. No relations left grieving in her wake. An only child with parents who were long deceased, at certain times Ruthanne felt that she was almost invisible.
It was only after she’d been forced to take on a roommate, that things began to change. With her meager inheritance dwindling, Ruthanne could no longer afford the two bedroom apartment she’d once shared with her parents. Moving was out of the question. A change of that magnitude was just “not in her wheelhouse” as Ulyanna, her co-worker at the dry cleaners liked to say. Ulyanna was fond of colloquialisms. Somehow, Ruthanne felt shown up by this. Ulyanna was ten years her senior, had just arrived from Russia a few years ago, yet already seemed fully assimilated. She was forever trying to show Ruthanne the apps on her phone. When Ulyanna mentioned that she might be “in the market” for a new place herself, Ruthanne recoiled. “Never mix business with pleasure,” her parents always said, though Ruthanne had no memory of them mixing pleasure with anything. Her parents had been puritanical sorts. They married later in life and suffered through two miscarriages before losing a third baby to SIDS. By the time Ruthanne had arrived, the fun had been worn out of them. At times, Ruthanne still heard them whispering their words of caution over her shoulder. “She’s a bold one,” they whispered now, referring to Ulyanna. Ruthanne ignored her coworker’s hint and posted an ad for a roommate instead.
Before long, Ruthanne received a string of phone calls from several interested parties. There was an elderly woman who asked whether there were any stairs and several pet owners who wondered if dogs would be a problem.
“Yes,” Ruthanne said each time, never feeling compelled to fill the awkward silence that followed.
For some perplexing reason, callers made initial inquiries, but never followed up. Ulyanna had the audacity to suggest that perhaps Ruthanne was being interviewed as well. The nerve. When her bank balance dipped close to zero, Ruthanne reluctantly settled upon the last remaining candidate; a young graduate student named Andy. At first she’d been skeptical about living with a man, much less a twenty five-year-old, but Ulyanna actually reassured her. “Some of my favorite roommates have been men,” she said, the “h” sound coming from someplace deep in the back of her throat. Ruthanne decided to forgive her for sounding so exotic.
Andy moved in on a Sunday in June, during a record breaking heat wave. He arrived at her front door holding a cardboard box. Muscular and lean with ash blonde curls, he looked like a surfer, and had a strong, square jaw. “Hey,” he said in greeting. His smile was crooked. Ruthanne was struck by how appealing the imperfection was.
“Oh.” she said stupidly, blocking the doorway for several awkward seconds.
A familiar tightening creeped through her chest; something she experienced whenever faced with the work of deciphering the words and facial expressions of others. Back in grade school, Ruthanne could never seem to get the hang of the playground. Tag was unfathomable. Some days she’d be declared “it” by a jury of her gap-toothed peers, who’d spend the entire recess dodging from her, shrieking with an angry sort of glee. Other days she was never chased at all. That was worse.
“Come in,” she finally thought to say, when she saw Andy shift the weight of the box in his arms. She flung the door wide, with uncalibrated force.
Andy was followed inside by two handsome grad school friends, wearing sweat soaked t-shirts and carrying a foosball table. At first Ruthanne had been worried that this monstrosity was meant for her living room, (what? next to her curio cabinet?) but Andy seemed to sense her discomfort immediately, practically reading her mind. He insisted that they move it into his bedroom.
“Ruth and I can have some late night tournaments,” he joked, all but winking in her direction.
She felt her face grow hot.
“You know you want to,” he teased. Yes, he could definitely read her mind.
A high school memory came rushing forward. Craig Knutson shoved by laughing cronies into the girls’ locker room. The others shrieked and scattered but Ruthanne froze, wearing only her panties, both hands covering her breasts. Craig’s eyes travelled up and down her body, like he was seeing her for the first time, even though he passed by her in the hallway almost every day. His expression started as one of surprise but quickly turned to one of hunger. Finally, something Ruthanne understood. She lowered her hands and let him look.
Andy and company continued to unload his pickup truck. In single file, they marched through her apartment carrying his personal effects; a parade of manly possessions. A backpack with one of those water hoses attached to it, some cross country skis. When they lugged his mattress through the kitchen, Ruthanne found herself looking away. Silly really, for her to be embarrassed about seeing a man’s bed. She hated what a spinster she’d become.Renouncing her shyness, she offered them some lemonade.
“Aahh that’d be amaazing, Ruth!” Andy said. He had dropped the “anne” from her name early on during their initial phone interview, and Ruthanne had never corrected him.
Relieved to have something to do, she sliced lemons on a thick, wooden cutting board. It was only when she was serving the tall, ice filled glasses in her living room, noticing their amused expressions, that it occurred to her that beer might have been a more suitable offering. The three of them looked strangely out of place there on her undersized couch, their knees bent high, like long jumpers ready to take off. Her eyes swept over the living room and it was as if she was seeing for the first time. The gilded picture frames, the bric-a-brac. Suddenly her entire apartment seemed foolish. One of Andy’s friends picked up a figurine from the side table. A porcelain cat. Ruthanne had found it cute until about three seconds ago. He held it up high, examining it.
“Oh, that. That’s just some old thing I picked up from a thrift shop,” she said, never mentioning, of course, that she’d stolen it.
Andy came to her defense. “I get almost everything I own from thrift shops,” he said, his lips parting into that lopsided smile.
It turned out they were environmental studies majors, all taking summer classes. They talked about things she knew nothing of, like geopolitics and biodiversity. Ruthanne sat in her wingback chair exchanging glances with the cat. Not a word, she warned. It stared back, with its steely, ceramic gaze.
Once his friends left, things became even more awkward, though Andy didn’t seem to mind. He got to work setting up various recycling and composting bins all over Ruthanne’s kitchen, whistling even, as he labored. Ruthanne on the other hand, became self conscious occupying the common areas of her own home. After several painful minutes of aimless wandering, she finally retreated to the safety of her room where she sat stiffly on the bed, her hands folded in her lap.
It was evening by the time she heard the click of the front door closing behind Andy, and Ruthanne, whose stomach had been rumbling for hours, could finally return to her own kitchen. She made herself a hamburger, stuffing pieces of the yeasty roll into her mouth while she waited for the meat to cook. The grease sizzled. Sweat ran down her back.
Craig from highschool had taken her out for a burger one time, shortly after that day in the locker room. They went to a McDonald’s all the way over in Bushwick, even though there was one right there in Williamsburg. Afterwards they went parking. In an abandoned alley, Craig explained everything that he wanted her to do. Ruthanne felt relieved to have explicit direction. She slipped out of her bra, lifted her skirt, lowered her panties, and raised a leg onto the dashboard, just like he told her to. Craig never touched her, only himself. He was quite adamant about that. Ruthanne wasn’t sure why. Maybe he was religious. Or maybe, she theorized, this was what teenagers did. She’d never really gotten an answer to that question. There was nobody to ask.
At the dry cleaners on Monday, Ulyanna wanted to know everything. “So?” she asked, “How was it with this Andy person?”
Ruthanne had to admit, it felt good to have news to share.
When Ulyanna asked what Andy looked like, Ruthanne paused.
“He has very white teeth,”she offered “with exceptionally long canines.”
Barney, who worked in the back, laughed at this, but Ulyanna waved him off.
“Don’t listen to him,” she said, “It’s normal for women to notice these things.”
Ruthanne rolled the word over in her mind. Normal.
"Everyone knows prominent canines are sexy,” Ulyanna explained. “Dominant, yes? Predatorial even. A lot of women find this attractive.”
“Well I don’t know about that,” Ruthanne said. Except she did.
Days went by and the heatwave continued. Most nights Andy stayed out past ten. Ruthanne would be showered, and already in her room by the time he arrived home. Lying in bed, she’d hear the swoosh of the refrigerator door, the clinking of cutlery on plates. Later she’d hear the padding of footsteps coming down the hall and into his bedroom, and then the squeak of the mattress as he sat down to take off his shoes. Their rooms were separated by one thin wall. During the night, she’d know whenever he rolled over, or rustled the sheets. What this meant, Ruthanne understood, was that he could hear her as well. The sheer intimacy of it charged her nerve endings, making them stand at attention. She lay in bed unmoving, the bed clothes draped lightly over her body, suddenly aware of every place where the cotton sheet dipped to touch her.
One night Andy came home early while Ruthanne was cooking dinner. She stood near the stove, mincing ham. “What are we making?” he asked, sidling up so that his shoulder brushed up against hers.
“Pea soup,” Ruthanne told him, suddenly embarrassed about the choice. “It’s just a way to use up leftovers,” she explained. Andy loved that. He called it “upcycling” and told her it smelled delicious. He ran a finger along the edge of the pot and stuck it in his mouth. “Mmm, nice,” he said. “Surprising amount of heat.”
After that Ruthanne felt she had to invite him to join her. He downed three bowlfuls, which Ruthanne took as a compliment. They sat across from each other at the black Formica table that had once been her mother’s. Their first date.
The next day there were no dinner leftovers for Ruthanne to bring to work in her blue Tupperware container, so she had to adjust.
“Well now I’ve seen everything,” Barney said to Ruthanne, who was squinting at a takeout menu from the sandwich place next door. “You? Ordering out?”
“Put your eyes back in your head,” Ulyanna barked. “Can’t a person try something new for a change?”
Ruthanne felt her confidence balloon. She placed an order for something called a panini.
Sometimes, when Andy was out, Ruthanne went into his room. She’d never been in a man’s room before. It thrilled her to be in a space so different, right there in her own home. It was like crossing the border into some foreign country. The used bureau that Andy had picked up from a thrift shop, the plywood desk with the blue lamp held on by a clamp. Lingering for a few daring minutes, Ruthanne would run her hand along the foosball table, occasionally spinning the knobs and watching the plastic men twirl. Just once Ruthanne had actually lain down on his bed, her heart thumping wildly, face pressed deep into his pillow. She’d never done that again. Straightening the blanket and pillows afterwards had required a terrifying degree of precision.
Her trips into Andy’s room were usually followed by a visit to her own bedroom, where Ruthanne would take off her clothes, stand in front of the mirror, and examine herself. True that her face had a pinched quality to it, and her hair, no matter how she cut it, always defaulted to a poofy, matronly style, reminiscent of the Queen, but aside from that, things weren’t so bad. Petite and wiry, with small breasts that were still rather pert, she had to admit that all was not lost. She was one of those people who’d looked old for their age as a teenager, but who’d hardly changed afterwards, eventually rounding some kind of corner, so that their looks finally caught up with them. This is where Ruthanne was now. On the brink of catching up with herself.
One morning the owner of the thrift shop, a known menace, came bursting through the door of the dry cleaners. He shook a fistful of discolored silk in Ulyanna’s face.
“You people owe me a new shirt!” he cried out, spittle welling in the corners of his mouth. The man terrorized the neighborhood regularly, yelling at people’s dogs, and frightening small children. He’d humiliated Ruthanne once for giving him the wrong change.
The man carried on and on, belittling Ulyanna. By the time he left the store, Ulyanna was visibly shaken. Ruthanne had never seen her coworker this way. She tried standing next to her in silent solidarity. Gave her a few robotic pats on the back. Somehow, it didn’t seem like enough.
“I stole a china cat from that assclown once,” she finally offered. “He never knew what hit him.”
Ulyanna chuckled at that. Snorted even. “Mishka,” she laughed, shaking her head, “You are full of surprises.
Ruthanne and Andy began eating dinner together regularly. It was no trouble doubling her recipes and Andy seemed to appreciate the free meals. After all, he was on a student’s budget. Ruthanne didn’t mind the lack of leftovers. She was becoming fond of paninis. She and U shared one in the back room together every day now, along with a giant chocolate chip cookie that Ulyanna always split perfectly down the middle. Ruthanne glided through her days like a small stone skipping across water. She felt lighter somehow. Twice she’d actually weighed herself, but discovered no change. She and Andy were falling into a kind of rhythm. They’d usually cross paths in the morning. Andy would come into the kitchen looking for coffee, his hair still wet from his morning shower, towel around his waist, while Ruthanne worked to keep her eyes above waist level. He’d pour coffee into his oversized mug from the pot Ruthanne had made, spilling a bit on the countertop. “Oops, sorry,” he’d always say. Sometimes he’d lean over Ruthanne’s shoulder and read a headline from the Newsday she was holding. “What’s new in the world Ruth?” he’d ask. She’d pick the environmental topics to tell about; The Paris Climate Agreement, fracking--all that. He praised her for her insights and they smiled at each other over their steaming mugs.
The coffee was brewed using a special blend Andy preferred that involved re-using half of the grinds from the previous day. Ruthanne invented this concoction after waking one morning to find her coffee can nearly empty. Andy confessed immediately. It seemed that he’d been up late studying the night before, and needed an extra boost. Ruthanne made the best of the situation, creating the coffee hybrid. She’d had it in mind to ask Andy to buy some more next time he was out, but the conversation got waylaid somehow, what with him congratulating her on her resourcefulness. He told his friends about it too.
“Guess what Ruth does with her used coffee grinds?” she’d heard him say. She loved it when he talked about her to his friends. It connected her to them somehow, like they were all part of one big raucous group.
Andy rewarded any and all recycling efforts with the warm glow of his approval. When she served wine in scoured-out jam jars, Andy sipped appreciatively, when she scrubbed pots with a sponge made from old onion nets, he made a clicking sound with the side of his mouth--like what you say to get a horse to move. Privately, Ruthanne reflected on this change. Marvelled really. She’d been so hesitant to recycle before. Partly because of how much trouble it seemed, but mostly, Ruthanne knew, mostly, because she’d liked the idea of her bottles and cans sitting in landfills somewhere, like little tombstones testifying to her existence. “Ruthanne was here!” they yelled out--like a scrawled message on some faraway bridge. She didn’t need tombstones anymore. She had people.
When she and Andy began to share groceries, it only solidified their bond. “Are we out of cream again?” Andy would ask, and Ruthann would feel her spirits lift. She loved his liberal use of the word we. She tried it herself—overused it probably. “We’re running low on bread,” she’d say, or “Our lettuce looks a little limp.” Any needed items would be posted to a list on the refrigerator, held down by a magnet of Andy’s that read, Recyclers Do it Over and Over Again. The communal list worked out well. This way Ruthanne knew exactly what to shop for. Things went on like this for some time. They had fallen into a pattern, the way couples sometimes do. Of course they weren’t an actual couple, Ruthanne knew that. But there was a certain familiarity between them that she enjoyed. She enjoyed it so much that she began to make certain allowances. When July rounded into August and his rent was late, she picked up extra shifts at the dry cleaners.
“Careful now, “ Uylanna said.
Ruthanne flinched. The comment reminded her of her parents. “A person can never be too careful,” they’d always said. But that wasn’t true was it? Ruthanne thought of their short and joyless lives. She thought of the accident at the intersection, her father’s foot hovering over the brake. The pernicious pause. Their cautiousness had in fact, been the thing that killed them. She thought of the dozens of missed opportunities in her own life. Smiles offered by strangers that went unreturned, jobs never applied for, college. All avoided, so as never to have to deal with the pain of rejection. No, Ruthanne decided, she was done with being careful.
That night temperatures hit ninety-eight. Ruthanne lay in bed naked, sheets thrown aside, a damp washcloth draped over her forehead. The fan swung its oscillating head back and forth, as though looking for a way out. At around two in the morning, Andy arrived home. Ruthanne heard him fumbling with the door lock, tripping over something in the hallway, sitting on his squeaky mattress. “Don’t...” her parents whispered. She ignored them. Quietly, she slipped out of bed.
It wasn’t like she went into his room or anything. She was in her own kitchen after all. Shortly afterwards, Andy stumbled in, searching for something to eat. He tugged open the refrigerator door, didn’t see her at first. As the light from the refrigerator illuminated the room, he finally did. Ruthanne stood naked, a glass of water raised to her mouth, tipped way back. Cool liquid spilled down the front of her, making her nipples go hard. It followed her curves; trailed down her stomach, and licked between her legs.
“Woah-- hey-- sorry,” Andy said, backing up a little.
“Don’t be sorry.” Ruthanne walked past him, back to her room. She kept her door open and waited.
The first night with Andy was everything Ruthanne could have hoped for. His hands on her body, his eyes on her face. The frenetic pace, the urgency, the fact that he was finished in minutes-- those were all signs that he had wanted her as desperately as she, him. It did hurt when he entered her, but it was worth it. When he nuzzled her neck for those few seconds afterwards, Ruthanne was overwhelmed by the intoxicating fragrance of alcohol mixed with sweat. So this is what a man smells like, she thought, and for a reason she could not quite pinpoint, Ruthanne began to cry. It was an unexpected welling up. A brimming over. It would have been completely humiliating, if Andy hadn’t already been asleep. While he snored next to her, Ruthanne revelled in the luxury of being so close to him. From this vantage point she could admire his face in its minute detail,examine his eyelashes and pores, touch his hair even.
The next morning, she’d been staring at Andy for a full hour, before his eyes fluttered open, and suddenly there they were: face to face, only inches apart.
“That was fun,” he murmured, smiling. He patted her head before loping off to shower. Ruthanne was filled with joy. She was fun now. She’d never been called fun in her entire life.
Andy wasn’t one for public displays of affection and that was fine with Ruthanne. They continued on with their regular routine. Andy would visit her room late at night, usually on Thursdays, after he got home from carousing. Ruthanne didn’t begrudge him a social life. She wasn’t one of those clingy girlfriends. On Fridays and Saturdays, he stayed with friends. They were in study groups together and whatnot. That worked out fine. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. On Thursday nights her door was always open. She loved the way she’d learned to signal him without using words, and how he understood. It almost felt animalistic.
This went on for weeks, until things started to get busy for Andy at school, what with the fall semester starting. He wasn’t coming home at all on Thursdays, though Ruthanne’s door gaped wide. She tried opening it on Mondays and Tuesdays, even Wednesdays, to no avail. In the mornings, Andy never paused to talk, just grabbed his coffee and went. They’d fallen into a slump, Ruthanne reasoned, as couples sometimes do. Ruthanne decided to make him an extra special dinner-- a shepherd’s pie using leftover steak and mashed potatoes; Andy would love that. She’d buy some candles and flowers for the table. Maybe even a negligee. Ruthanne arrived home that night with her arms full of packages. As she unlocked the door, her heart raced when she heard Andy’s voice. Probably on the phone, she thought. She imagined herself entering the kitchen, her arms full to the brim with interesting and savory ingredients for their meal together. “Guess what Ruth’s making for dinner?” he’d ask whatever friend he was talking to. Oh, she loved the way they were together.
When Ruthanne bustled into the kitchen she was surprised to see that Andy was not on the phone at all, but was instead sitting at the kitchen table across from a young woman with a long blond ponytail. Their books were spread out before them. To Ruthanne they looked as though they were in grade school.
“Ruth!” Andy said, jumping up, nearly spilling his drink. “This is Courtney.”
Ruthanne nodded in the young girl’s direction—this Courtney in the ponytail sitting at her mother’s Formica table. Andy couldn’t even look her in the eye.
Ruthanne tried to act natural and began unpacking the groceries. Courtney was the flirty type, giggling with an irritating staccato that reminded her of a machine gun. They didn’t seem to be getting much work done. When they both reached for the same pencil and Courtney jumped up out of her seat and engaged in a mock wrestling match with Andy, Ruthanne excused herself. She retreated to her bedroom, leaving the grocery bags untended, the cottage cheese still left on the counter.
It was nearly eight o’clock when she heard them leave. Ruthanne emerged sluggishly into the dimly lit kitchen, made supper with just the light from over the stove to guide her—a ham sandwich with three potato chips and one rolling olive. She ate dinner in the dark.
Two nights later, at around three o’clock in the morning she heard the click of turning lock, followed by hushed whispers and furtive giggles and Ruthanne knew the truth. The staccato giggle was undeniably Courtney’s. They tiptoed down the hallway to his back bedroom—every creak of the floorboards an affront. Did they think she was deaf? Any idiot could figure out what was going on. But maybe, she realized, that was the point. Maybe Andy was sending her some kind of message. A message through paper thin walls, the thumps of their lovemaking a Morse code, easily deciphered. Ruthanne didn’t want to, but she couldn’t help it. She climbed out of bed and stood in stocking feet, her ear pressed against the wall to listen. Afterwards she crept into the kitchen and stuck a note on the refrigerator, written in scathing red ink. RENT DUE, it said..
Courtney left before dawn. Ruthanne prepared to confront Andy. “This has gone on long enough,” was going to be her opening line, but when she saw him that morning he surprised her. He filled his coffee cup, topped hers off as well, and joined her at the table. “How’ve you been Ruth?” he asked, for the first time in a long while. She told him about a cold she’d been battling and he leaned in to listen.
The next day Ruthanne put croissants out with the coffee and even cooked little sausages to go with it. Again Andy joined her, commenting favorably on the meal. “Someday I’ve got to take you to this little breakfast place near campus,” he said.
Ruthanne sat up straighter. “Will you be home tonight?” she asked.
“Of course,” he said. “It’s Thursday.”
When Andy came to her that night Ruthanne felt a relief so enormous that it almost felt like joy. He was slower than he’d ever been and put his mouth on her in new ways that made her shudder. Ruthanne understood this to be Andy’s apology and she accepted it.
True that he missed another month’s rent, but he became more reliable with his Thursday evening visits. Ruthanne found the encounters satisfying in the moment, but not necessarily afterwards-- like eating an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting. She dreaded the heavy bloated feeling that always came after Andy did. Two more times she heard Courtney come to their apartment in the middle of the night. Ruthanne consoled herself with the knowledge that Courtney was being reduced to skulking around. Ruthanne was not skulking! Courtney was the mistress in this scenario, Ruthanne the treasured wife.
At work, she slogged through, sorting stained clothes into damp heaps, attaching warning labels to seemingly innocent casings -- WARNING: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children. She stopped eating paninis altogether.
Then one Sunday in November, Courtney didn’t leave when she was supposed to. Dawn came and went with Ruthanne waiting in her bedroom for the sound of the clicking door, but Courtney had the gall to stay through the morning. Ruthanne was a prisoner in her own bedroom. Pacing in circles, she heard the coffee percolating. Her coffee, in her percolator. She heard Andy complementing Courtney on her blend; it was so “fresh” he said. Well, of course it was fresh, Ruthanne sneered, she could make fresh coffee too if she hadn’t been forced to re-use old grinds. She was fuming by the time the two of them finally sauntered out, laughing unabashedly, bold as can be.
A part of Ruthanne had always held out hope for her and Andy, but another part, a more secretive part, had wondered what the straw would be that would eventually break the camel’s back. The coffee, it turned out, was the straw.
It took five hours to have the lock changed and to move all of his things onto the sidewalk. Ulyanna helped her, never once saying I told you so, or any of that nonsense.
They lugged the foosball table down the winding staircase, ignoring the deep gashes it left in the wall.
“I can’t thank you enough,” Ruthanne huffed, as they struggled together.
“Of course,” U said. “That’s what friends do.”
They dumped his underwear in a pile on the table and Ruthanne set her porcelain cat on top.
“A parting gift,” she said.
“From one assclown to another,” Ulyanna added, and they both laughed.
When finished, the two women stood side by side and inspected their work. It pleased Ruthanne to see the recycling containers and compost bins out of her house. Stacks of old newspapers and used bottles lined the street, looking as ridiculous as her porcelain cat had on that first day. Let him feel ridiculous for once, she thought. It was a feeling that Ruthanne had come to loathe more than feeling invisible.
Andy never even rang the buzzer when he got back. He knew what was what; and now, so did Ruthanne.
Alison Bullock's short fiction has been published in the Momaya Annual Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Every Day Fiction, and Mississippi Crow.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.