It took him a minute to understand that he was in his brother’s house, that Baby Ellen had been crying and had awakened him. Jamie was up with her, across the living room, and the light was on. Evidently she’d just carried the baby back down from the kitchen, where they’d been warming up a bottle of milk. She sat down, holding Ellen in the crook of her arm, and for a heartbeat, while she reached with her other hand to switch on the radio, she held the baby’s bottle between her shoulder and chin the way she might have done with a telephone receiver, keeping the rubber nipple in the baby’s mouth. She kept the volume on the radio very low, and the music faded in and out, an old Four Tops tune which Bill Houston recognized from another time and another place. He propped himself on an elbow, spying on her, it felt like, because she was unaware of him now. She wore a teeshirt and otherwise nothing. A purple bruise covered the instep of her left foot. I know half a dozen people your age who are dead already, he wanted to tell her.
Baby Ellen was asleep now. With gentle care, Jamie put her back into her bassinet, checked on Miranda, who slept, covered by a leather jacket, on the sofa. The announcer identified the station and the hour - Llittle Rock, where it was four in the morning - and then his voice receded as the signal washed away in the weather of distant mountains, and Bill Houston had one of those vivid experiences of being adrift, a revelation of how completely helpless they were, the only ones awake in a great darkness, the only light anywhere - God was about to speak - God was here - they were in God’s mouth, this light - and he watched in wonder and dread as Jamie unscrewed the nipple and tipped the bottle of translucent blue plastic to her lips and drank the milk.
—Denis Johnson, Angels, p. 113