“It just isn’t very artful,” she noted, thumbing at her plastic champagne flute. A plastic champagne flute that was becoming dangerously empty. Sabotage.
“It’s a masterpiece,” the Art Director replied before pivoting violently away from her. He spread his arms wide to greet a corsage of older patrons packaged in waffled pastels.
She choked back the sweet champagne and found herself back at the gratis wine table.
“That’s two.” the table attendant remarked. He tapped his wrist where a wristband would be if he were the guest instead of her. She scowled at her own wristband and then gargled back the second pour of champagne.
“Graduate me.” she challenged the table attendant. He shrugged apologetically. No dice.
Outside the gallery the Chicago streets were slick from a recent downpour. The air was humid and fragrant with wet, mashed flowers. The sun slunk low on the horizon revealing inky, industrial silhouettes. She took out her phone and dialed a stand by.
“Hey. I’m getting destroyed. Six corners.”
Four drinks deep, they laughed and curled around each other, warm in the low evening glow of the woodback bar.
“How was the show?”
“So how are are you going to write it?”
She bobbled her drink glass. “In a haze. Comatose maybe.”
“Hmm. Sounds like the easy way out.”
She snarled at him. “Got a job yet?”
“Good.” She downed the rest of her drink and indicated that the bartender should find her a fifth.
“I think we should go home,” he hedged.
“If you like.”
“I’m thinking about your deadline.”
“I have but one deadline and it’s far in the future.”
“Not if you keep drinking like this.”
“Why don’t you fuck off?”
“You want me to? I can.”
“Sure. Get lost. Have a good time.”
“Alright then.” As he suited up his coat, she avoided eye contact and let him leave without a second goodbye.