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One Rainy Day in May (The Familiar, #1)
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Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May > July 8-13, pages 160-289

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Ian Scuffling (waxingpress) | 96 comments Post thoughts, discussions, tidbits in this thread or create a new topic under Vol. 1 here as you read along with the Facebook Reading Group.

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Ian Scuffling (waxingpress) | 96 comments 7 – Ozgur: Oz happens upon a crime scene with a criminal in reprimand. He talks to a fellow officer, Balascoe, about eating lunch in the part of town you work as a cop. Nyra Carlton, another cop, comes over and gives Oz a hard time. Then they talk about a recent triple homicide (where one of the victims was in utero). Oz starts folding an origami owl (katla is Turkish for “I fold”) and reflects briefly on Elaine, his on-again-off-again girlfriend who is a professor at USC. Then he talks to “Android,” the man in custody. Oz notes that he’s barefoot and seems to intuit that “Android’s” shoes are in a nearby mailbox (turns out to be true). He leaves the scene to meet up with someone.

8 – Xanther: X is at her therapist, Dr. Potts’s, office. Potts asks typical psych questions: how’s school/life/etc. and Potts has one rule with X: no responding to questions with another question until the first Q is answered. X like Potts’s patience with the “question song,” and reflects on the different levels of patience Anwar and Astair have with it, too. Astair becomes frustrated most easily, much like her teachers (but X doesn’t seem to hold it against them). She talks about her family moving state-to-state and about bullies she’s encountered. Mentions that the last school she was at was the first one where she made a ton of friends, but it was in a bad part of town, so they didn’t say there long. She also notes how people think she might be “slow” because of the question song and also remarks about Anwar’s skin (he’s Egyptian).

Asked about her upcoming “surprise,” X muses that she feels a little guilty, like she gets all of this attention and “surprise” because of her condition, while she feels like maybe her younger twin half-sisters, Shasti and Freya, don’t get as much overt parental love. She also talks about the Mefisto prank.

The subject of the seizure at Dov’s funeral in December is broached, but X talks about hearing “strange voices” as if she can maybe hear, or is at least aware of the presence of Narcons. As she talks about Dov, she says she feels like a disappointment because he was so brave. Then she talks about her current, new friends, and a new bully, Dendish Mower. Rumors circulate that he sells drugs. The appointment ends.

9 – Luther: Out and about with his gang (Pina, Victor, and Tweetie) and Hopi. Hopi wants to join the gang, but Luther thinks he’s too “soft.” Hopi speaks with a stutter, appears extremely shy/anxious and leaves Luther unimpressed and questioning why Teyo likes him so much. Pina, too, likes Hopi and mentions having sold drugs to his mother via “balloon” for years, and also says that Hopi “worships” Luther, wanting to be just like him. The crew drives and picks up Juarez, another member of the gang who is great at mechanics and supe-ing up vehicles.

Hungry, the crew decides to head to IHOP. On the way, Luther silently stews, angry at Hopi’s presence and jealous that he has gotten attention from the gang’s leader, Teyo. At IHOP, Quantelle comes to serve them and Luther gets her number. Luther offers to pay for everyone’s food. Juarez asks Hopi to empty his pockets, which is full of a few wrappers and a blue pencil. Juarez offers the pencil to Luther and Hopi seems to become scared of the two men. Luther, though, is still obsessing about the attention Hopi has received from Teyo. Hopi offers to repay his meal by working for the gang. Luther gives Hopi his pencil back and tells him not to worry about it.

10 – Shnork: Armenian cab driver Shnork has his day in court to contest a traffic violation. Shnork was in an accident with a cop, but claims he had the green light and the cop had red. There was a witness, Dwight Plaguer, who told Shnork he would stand up for him in court. Now, at court, Dwight is nowhere to be found. Shnork steps outside to call Dwight who claims he’s in Brazil because “something died,” which Shnork sees through, but Dwight still says he can’t make it to court for his defense. Clearly hurt by this betrayal, Shnork fights back tears and begins a major coughing fit in the court’s hallway. The lawyer tells him to see a doctor.

11 – Astair: With Shasti and Freya in tow, Taymor and Astair are at the pet store buying dog supplies in preparation for X’s return with her seizure dog (an Akita). Taymor is puzzled by how the family can fork out $20k for a dog, but Astair doesn’t mind because it will help protect X while boosting her confidence. Astair thinks back to the seizure at Dov’s funeral, which lasted 5 min. 32 sec. (obvious reference to House of Leaves’s “5 and a half minute hallway”) and when Astair was certain that X was going to die. She thinks about “The Bookstore Girl,” an epileptic girl who died after a 3 minute seizure at a bookstore (was she reading House of Leaves?).

Taymor prods Astair about her sex life, which Astair doesn’t engage with despite her asking repeatedly. When going up to pay, the clerk tells Astair about how the kids have taken an expensive dog bed made of sheepskin in the rain, thus, she must pay for it. Astair’s first card is declined and the second is near max. Then she notices 13k messages on her phone and tells Taymor about Mefisto’s “prank.” She says Mefisto is a former good friend of Anwar’s who was hired to be the head programmer by a web company tasked with “devising a new distribution scheme to gain maximum exposure.” Astair picks up a call randomly and hears a young boy looking to enlist in the army. She tells him not to and talks about Dov’s death in Afghanistan. Astair tries to tell Taymor to get a dog of her own while expressing her excitement about having one in the house herself. Taymor questions if X will be as excited.

12 – Jingjing: Now in the swanky ZSL building (Zhong’s penthouse), JJ and Tian Li get dry clothes while Zhong has their dried. In the bathroom JJ starts to steal toiletries. JJ spots a big bowl of gold and various currencies, contemplating to steal before he realizes Zhong’s bodyguards (who were different color bow ties that hang low) are watching his every move. They speak in Russian disparagingly about JJ and Tian Li, not realizing JJ understand Russian. JJ finds Tian Li again waiting for Zhong. Cocoa Cherry (employee ID’d by tie color) brings tea with cream and sugar while they wait.

JJ leaves the room and comes back when Tian Li calls for him. Zhong, now there, seems to be able to speak Mandarin when JJ had had to translate it earlier when they meet Zhong on the street. Then the three move into a room full of owls (statues, pictures, bowls, etc.). Tian Li begins speaking in Cantonese, which Zhong appears to not understand. In the room, there is a tapestry of Lei Gong, Chines god of thunder. Jingjing translates the Cantonese for Zhong, and Tian Li states “we have been here before,” which confuses JJ at first. JJ then speculates she means the cat. Tian Li starts to feel a great deal of pain and falls to the ground. Zhong catches her and stands her up. She says they can’t live in the building with Zhong, but they’ll be seeing him regularly and asks for more information about his son’s condition.

ENTR’ACTE Two -- An illustration of asters (cf. Astair). The Hebrew written at the bottom right translates to “Petals until Eternity and to inifinity To our enlightened accounts The flowers of esther (aster), cannot count.”

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