“He’s a fuckwit.” He said. The sidewalk crunches underfoot as they emerge from Brewster’s. Mark lights a cigarette, blows the smoke skyward as is his custom.
“Well, you are an asshole, punctuating his epithet with a cursory tug at the cig, “and damn good at it, too.”
“The hell does that mean? I’m saying he’s a fuckwit, no one believes him." Russell turns to Mark, “do you?”
“I didn’t say I do, just saying that calling him out does you no good, is all.” The two pause at the light. A cab slows, drifting towards them, then accelerates.
He reaches for his wallet as he approach the door,
“And they do believe him, Mark, the fricking do, that’s the sad part,” extracts his license and nods to a man on a stool drinking from a large mug, “Hey Doug how’s things man?”
"Good, Thanks Mark, Russell-ID.” Taking a final drag from his cig and flinging it behind him, says, “They don’t, they don’t believe him, they just choose to go along with it and that’s what’s truly screwed.” A wall of inside swallows their backs.
Two girls, one in dark bangs and black nails are by the beer taps. Shot glasses and beers in front of them. A guy passes them with his bike helmet. “And I was laughing and trying to be nice at the same time, you know, but really, the guy’s wearing pleated jeans, I mean come on.” She’s laughing and drinking her scotch. Her friend is dirty blond and dressed in office clothes, victim of happy hour gone long
“So, what? He’s hitting on you, guys do it all the time, bad fashion never seems to prevent them from trying, so what did you say? “
“Well, I guess I didn’t realize he was hitting on me, because, you know, I never even thought about—anyway, I was being nice, I guess’
“That was your first mistake,” she says, as she pokes a message out on her phone,
“I know, I know, “ her voice rises as she explains, “ but anyway then he asks me what I am doing tonight, and that was when it hit me,”
“What hit you?” she puts her phone off to the side among the beer glasses.
“That’s when I said, Oh shit this guy is hitting on me, so trying! And I made up the story about the conference call and meeting you.” The bartender reaches over a tattooed arm to place flickering votive candles in front of the girls. He nods first at the empty shot glasses then at the girls, turns to the bright screen of the register and begins poking.
As the door closes out the bar sounds outside, Mark steps to the urinal. Russell stands at the sink, leaning in to look at a mark on his cheek. “It’s the game, man. It’s pretend and pretense. Everyone dressed up as something.
"Really? I’m dressed as a man, you…well, you dress for shit,’ he laughs and pushes Mark, who steps forward to avoid tumbling into the urinal.
“We have jobs and credit cards and cars and houses and get up and wear ties, but we’re the same as we have always been, just pretending. I’m just pretending, here.” He turns from the sink. Stands there wringing his hands.
“That fuckwit is pretending, and you know it. And all the girls he gets, they know it too, but what else have we got?” The door swings open and they turn towards the sound of music and conversation. A man stops confused for a moment, then moves towards the urinal, each man careful not to touch the other as they move.
“let’s find another bar, the only girls in here are from my office.”