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Who is this sassy lost child
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((Cristóbal Morales continued from I could live in the world just like a stranger))

The Floyd household was always a whirl of activity in the best possible way. Animals, relatives, Abby in all of her vital liveliness, and Cristóbal himself in the middle of it all whenever he was around, which had been more often than not over the years. Today was no different, and he'd already busied himself with setting up their work stations in the kitchen when the doorbell rang, signaling Maxim's arrival.

Abby had been completely on board with the prospect of another helping hand, even though Maxim was someone she didn't know all that well. Cristo hadn't expected any different from her, and though it might have been nice for her to insist that she wanted to spend some one-on-one time with her best friend, he was glad he'd been given the opportunity to include Maxim. He still felt oddly responsible for him, like he needed to do whatever he could to make things work out a little better when given the chance. It was probably an unusual way to feel about one's friends, even close ones, but Maxim had never lost that fragility that practically exuded from him whenever the walls came down.

At any rate: brownies. Things had come full circle, one way or another.

Abby bustled off to let Maxim in, and Cristo left sorting out the ingredients and cooking tools for a moment to lean out of the kitchen and wave. "Hey, Maxim!"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."

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Wasserweber · The Neighborhood