I was sitting at the Little Café Near Home, writing, when the message came. There’s some sort of Olympics Thing going on right now, so the TV was on, directly over my head, and the few other patrons were all turned in my direction but not looking at me. The two dogs in the place seemed indifferent to the sports, but were very disappointed that their owners were not allowing them to play. Such is the life of a large dog in a small café.
My phone chimed and when I got to a good stopping point in the prose, I hauled it out to find two messages from Belladonna. “Reserved Stones tickets”, one said; the other read “We’re going out tonight. Wanna come?” I slowly typed out a message to respond to both her texts, left out an important word, and sent my confusing reply, which was supposed to say that I was interested in the Rolling Stones in June but tonight I was working and would not be coming out to play.
Work was going well; I had thought of a very good nuance to the way Hunter is messed up in later chapters of The Monster Within. (Man, I’ll be glad when that book is published so I can get it out of my head.) Except for a brief stint of Internet access at the bowling alley I had been writing for 13 hours, but I wasn’t tired. When it works, you run with it. I was scruffy and wearing the same clothes as the day before. It was after 9 pm when Belladonna and Firenze finally convinced me I should come out. It was, after all, Saturday Night. I figured if they were going to stay out late enough I could scrub down and join them.
Stay out late enough? Hah. They weren’t even going to get started until midnight. The style here is to get to the club district before public transportation shuts down, and party until it starts back up again. So, at a time I would ordinarily be considering sweet slumber, I was heading back out the door. I found the designated place, was soon joined by the ladies, and after answering a few questions (“What do you mean, ‘the evening ended awkwardly and uncertainly’?”) we danced the night away.
It was fun. Toward the end my poor small-talk skills began to show — I’m good at listening but not so good at sustaining a conversation. I’m comfortable with silences; unfortunately the interesting things going on are all inside my head, where they stay.
The evening ended with a walk through silent cobbled streets, snow falling gently around us.