Bobby is on his way. He feels the room spin for a moment. If he closes his eyes right now he’s going to start floating through space. He attacks his beer and then half of it is gone. “I’m not working with Mimi,” he says. He starts to laugh at the idea of it. He laughs at idea that he might ask his wife for work. Or that she might ask him to join her. He laughs harder still. Jonathan starts laughing with him. He joins in. He’s laughing because his friend is laughing. Because they have not done this in so long. Because it feels good, like the late nights in the valley. Before they started drinking wine.
“Remember that night…” Jonathan says before he is lost in the laughter, before the memory of anything is lost in the joy of the present.
When the present is more fun than that past. When the state of your happiness is the result of your current life. When the past is the source of stories but of nothing else. When it does not make you. When it is a part of you. When you remake yourself each and every moment.
Bobby feels the mingling inside of him, the happiness, and the confusion. He is confused. He might be lost. He hopes it’s temporary. He stands up. “I have to piss,” he says, still laughing, his stomach starting to ache. His eyes filled with tears.
He walks to the washroom, squeezing his way past clusters of the semi drunk, no one is quite fully gone yet, at least not those in his way. He passes the bar and Singh is there, at the cash, and he waves and Singh waves back. “How’s it going?” he asks, without expecting an answer, because no one ever does, we’re all so polite.
Bobby enters the bathroom and stumbles toward a urinal. He begins to pee, and reads the ad placed at eye-level, he’s sure this is a Montreal thing, for a car. He’s peeing and there is an ad for a car, a Ford Focus, and he’s sure this is not an ad that will ever work, but what does he know? He thinks most ads don’t work, but they must, or someone would stop making them. Ads don’t work on him and he doubts they ever have.
Where do they place the ads in the women’s toilets? He would love to know.
He shakes and zips up and washes his hands and makes his way back to the table. At the bar, Singh hands him two shots. “You’re going to fuck me up,” he says.
“Come on,” Singh pleads.
Bobby takes them and makes his way towards Jonathan. “Surprise,” he says.
“This evening is going to take a turn,” Jonathan says.
The friends down their shots and reach for their beers. The noise in the bar rises, somehow, and Bobby wonders if this is because he’s more sensitive to it, because he’s crossed another threshold in his drunkenness, or perhaps the bar did just get noisier, perhaps the music was turned up and so the voices had to rise with it, because we all want to be heard, especially in a bar, especially when the music is loud, because that just makes us want to be heard even more.