Achilles was a 17 year old who lived in a shed surrounded by Celtic crosses and ancient milestones in the corner of his parents’ lawn. His father was an archaeologist who collected chipped bowls and ancient animal droppings and lectured him on the merits of Mesopotamian hygiene. His mother hovered over him in afternoons and smoked so much the white walls of his shed held a buttery tinge. She had red hair like him and piled it up on her head like a sleeping greyhound. The only time I could find him alone was on Saturdays when his parents drove to Farmer’s Field with metal detectors and martinis in search of old treasure. We’d drive to folk festivals in their wagon and eat powdered donuts on the tailgate. Sometimes he’d bring back girls for me named Dandelion and Lake and we’d all go down on him as he sang out the chorus to Ludlow Massacre.
Breaking point: Dropping him off at school every morning and his mother’s habit of massaging his ankles.