I can see everything unfold as if I’m in the middle of a cellophane lotus blossom. I already know who’s going to blackmail the young attorney, which Film Studies undergrad will hang himself in the communal room of his dorm, and where the police will find the prostitute’s fingers.
Sally hooks the heel of one of her sling-backs onto the bar stool and kicks her other leg over her knee. Her red skirt parts like the sea over a long stretch of pale thigh. She slides a thin cigarette from her case with a slow flourish to give the john next to her time to fish out his lighter. He has one of those collars with a tab under the tie that advertises his not-quite-partner status in the firm nearby. She waits to see what he’ll open with. She’s decided, arbitrarily, if he asks her name before telling her his, she’ll make quick work of it and ask him to take her across the street to the Hilton.
“My name’s Ted,” he offers his hand.
Too bad, buddy.
She snubs his handshake, so he picks up his beer instead. “And you are?”
“Not interested.” She makes a slight wave and looks past him to pick a new mark. The guy in the Armani is gay, the kid with the beer is a broke college student, two stools over she catches the eye of the married man swirling his cab-sav and shakes her head. There will be plenty of choice tonight and she doesn’t need to ride someone else’s pony.
Behind the bar, Gina mixes a cocktail that turns blue, and Tommy snorts. She flashes her middle finger and racks the drink on a tray with two beers and a glass of chardonnay for Julie to ferry out to the room. Tommy sips his single-malt.
He condemns everyone in the room, but he doesn’t look at me. Something makes the creator immune to the venom of his creation. I don’t know if he can even see me. I want to ask, but I’m busy wrestling the pen.
At least, that’s the excuse I make.
Is this why God doesn’t talk to us anymore?