Sarah was sitting on the couch when I got home, reading an ancient biography of Darwin.
"Did you get the money?" she asked eagerly. I grinned and removed five one hundred dollar bills from my wallet. "Sweet."
Sarah and I lived in the apartment left by her grandmother. It was on the top floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. She rented one of the two bedrooms to me. My parents paid my rent and living expenses while I tried my hand at photographer, filmmaker, painter; whichever artistic outlet seemed interesting that week. Neither of us worked, just lived off the success of our respective families. When money got too tight, Sarah sold one of the paintings or rare books or antique pieces of furniture that littered the apartment.
"Pour me a drink," she said. "And I'll tell you a story." In the kitchen a bottle of cheap Polish vodka stood next to some tonic, slices of lime and a bucket of melting ice. Sarah drank a lot. Handing her a glass, I flopped into an armchair and lit a cigarette.
"So my phone rang earlier," Sarah began. "But I didn't recognise the number so obviously I didn't answer it."
"Then the same number rang again and I though it was someone trying to buy this Darwin book." I glanced at the biography. She had left it open, face down on the couch and the spine was already starting to crack. The thing was probably ninety years old and worth a fortune but any more damage and it would be worthless.
"So I answered and this guy starts trying to sell me printer toner. I stopped him right there because, as you know, my printer doesn't work." I did know, Sarah had accidentally knocked a beer right into her printer a few months ago.
"Anyway, this guy has a really sexy voice and so we start flirting and the next thing I know is we're going out for dinner tonight!" Sarah chuckled and took a long swallow of her drink.
"You made a date with this guy and you know nothing about him?" I said, an accusatory tone in my voice. She looked hard at me.
"Hey, he seemed nice and it's a free dinner. I didn't know if you were going to come through with the money today. It's been getting later and later each month."
I didn't care for the direction this conversation was taking so I stood up and walked towards the window. Looking out at the backyards, I told her to be careful.
"I'll be fine, I'll call you if he's a weirdo or ugly or something. So what are you doing tonight?"
"Open Mike Night at the Bowery Poetry Club."
"Are you going to read something?" she asked rattling the ice cubes in her glass. I took the glass from her and poured another drink.
"I haven't decided yet, I'm going to take a shower."
She didn't answer. Instead she sipped her drink and picked up the Darwin again.
Edited by Darth Yossarian, 21 March 2007 - 11:11 AM.