In kindergarten, he had learned how to make a bruise stop hurting: you pressed it over and over with your thumb. The first time it hurt so much your eyes watered. The second time it hurt a little less.
The tenth time, it was barely an ache. So he read the note again and again.
It didn't stop hurting. His eyes didn't stop watering.
"I would think you'd want to know, too. But listen to you. Of course officer. Thank you, officer. We can't ask for more, officer" ... "I know how to think for myself you know. Unlike some people, I don't just kowtow to the police"
In a blur of fury, Marilyn doesn't think twice about what she's said. To James, though, the word rifles from his wife's mouth and lodges deep in his chest. From those two syllables - kow-tow - explode bent-backed coolies in cone hats, pigtailed Chinamen with sandwiched palms. Squinty and servile. Bowing and belittled. He had long suspected that everyone sees him this way. But he had not thought that everyone included Marilyn.
Tears blur Marilyn's sight, It had not been science that Lydia had loved.