Listen to what I say, he says. When I get up and move into
the middle of the room, sneak out through the men's bathroom. There's
a large window you can use. You understand?
What are you going to do?
Keep low and against the wall. Get ready.
Without hesitation, so as to not give her a chance to back out, he
pushes himself away from the table, the chair creaking as it tilts
back on its two hind legs, and he is reminded of the old trick in
which you can drain a soda can of three-quarters of its liquid and
stand it on the edge of its bottom rim, and it will remain there indefinitely,
neither falling nor regaining its original upright condition. Then
the moment of stasis passes and the back of the
the floor and he tumbles out. He gives out a loud laugh which comes
out more as an exclamation, for that is what it is, a new catalogue
of pain marking the back of his head. Belatedly, he notes the sharp
crack he heard when he fell -- the VCDs crushed against his
Hey! one of the cops yells. Hey!
He stumbles up onto his knees, letting his head roll about his shoulders
in an approximation of drunkeness. It actually feels better this way;
the aches in his body seem to retreat at this loose-limbed display.
All eyes in the room are on him.
Where'd the music go? he speaks in his flawless native Texan
English. What's happenin' here? I came here for drinks and music,
and they're both gone!