I went out for a beer last night with a friend, and then we ran into another friend, and then we made a friend, although I don't believe she ever told us her name. But then it's hard to remember all that when you're so trashed that you start hatching schemes sure to win you a Darwin award.
"I want a log cabin that's built around a tree, and I want the tree to be a chimney."
"But...then it would burn."
"No no no! I would scorch it. I would scorch it really, really well, and then it would be fire resistant."
Our new friend flicked the ashes from her cigarette into our bowl of pretzels and continued, claiming that, while she did want to live in a forest, she couldn't always tell the difference between forests and cities.
"Well, what if there were more trees than people?"
"See, now that's a forest."
She took a pretzel, swirled it in the salt and ash at the bottom of the bowl, and popped it in her mouth. I tasted it vicariously, the ash gritty and wet between my teeth, and, grimacing, washed it down with a swallow of beer.
And then our friend was standing, grabbing her empty glass, and deserting us - she was, apparently, in search of more beer. It was only after she left that we noticed her wallet, also deserted, sitting on the table. Rachel picked it up and turned it over in her hands, saying:
"You know, if we weren't such nice people..."