Coffee Next Time

“This has… has been a lot of fun,” Kathy slurred. “Although… maybe next time, we should just get coffee?” One of her cultured curls had flung itself over an eye. She hadn’t bothered to correct it. One of her legs was also flung over mine. I hadn’t bothered to correct that.

“It’s just possible that… our jobs are a little too. Too stressful,” I said. “Or at least they have been.” I wasn’t really sure of the position or behavior of my own hair. Or my legs. Or any of my limbs, really. I was slightly aware of the analytical stare of the bartender.

“It’ll get better, right?” Kathy replied. “It has to, right? I mean… there’re people a lot dumber than me who’ve done this job. It’s gotta get easier.”

“Course,” I said. “Just look at me. I’m pretty damn stupid but a year in and I’ve got the hang of it. Sometimes people even listen to me.”

Kathy waved her wrist limply in my direction. “You’re not stupid. You got all that… on lock down. I’m surprised you put up with it. You should come do research, like me!”

I giggled. Yes, giggled. Probably first time in my life. “And how’s that working out for you? Better than midnight etching runs?”

“Well, yeah. It’ll get better, though, right?” Kathy smiled lazily and leaned in toward me, lips puckered.

I stopped and held up a hand, pulling myself upright. “Just a second,” I said. I pulled together whatever sloppy threads of thought I could. “Hold on that… that notion.”

“Oh, right,” Kathy responded, pulling herself away. She seemed to finally notice her leg and withdrew it.

“We are entirely too drunk to make rational decisions right now,” I said. “Maybe next time it… it should be coffee.”

“Yeah,” Kathy said, her eyes staring intently into mine. “I want to be stone sober for it.”

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