"The Lao woman in the large round sunglasses laughed too hard for the crew in the courtyard. They didn’t need any of that on a Friday afternoon. The week had given them hell enough. The heat was enough noise for them and if there needed to be more noise, they would be the ones to make it.
For these that’s what’s left, a writer might say. Truth is some just do better work out of sight of the rays of summer. A little something in a room, nobody looking. What’s wrong with a little help between the calls you have to make? Between whoops and howdoyadoos to the roving security guards a lot of okay okay don’t get excited. We work something out. We work it out. Like Mexico mañana, mano. We work it out.
The skinniest woman at the table grabbed the lighter with authority and sucked hard. Five beers in, performing Bic CPR is an act of necessity. Marlene, or whatever, stood up quickly, cell phone already to her face. A car horn behind and she’s around the corner in a dramatic exit worthy of Shakespeare. You’ve seen the move before, and not in movies (the film industry hasn’t quite caught up to some parts of real life). It’s a move that seems entirely practiced. It’s a statement of freedom, the proof that should that ship come in, you’re packed and ready to go. To her long-time drinking buddies it always means the same thing. Importance. The call is more important than they are. It is a chance to escape, and she jumps at every one. Every time that Nelly ringtone disrupts the universe, they swallow their pride, left behind again for whatever good might come. The first look is horror, then sadness, then a glance around for their own stroke of luck or at least to pretend it doesn’t hurt so bad to be abandoned so easily. In public a loose hold on dignity becomes a used condom stepped over in a hurry..."
from Twin City, a work in progress