It’s 10:30 pm and the night was already starting to get a little mundane. These type of nights were expected, not only because it was technically the “weekday” but also because it’s just the way the city functions; all the “fun” stuff happens much later at night and Lloe was not having much of it.
A slight drizzle started and she still wasn’t entirely sure if she wanted to head to Intl on Mills or take in the dusty trainyards near LaterLater. Too many choices and not enough time in the night to spend debating with herself, she settled on a personal favorite… Blackbird.
Granted it’s a Thursday night and now 11:15 pm most of the patrons have already put themselves three drinks deep and now came the task of pushing herself through a crowd of millennials way too jazzed for the type of night it was, a work night. “Don’t these kids have a job or even school to get home to,” she groused under her breath. After putting in a quick order for an Old Fashioned-Neat she finally made it to an empty booth. There was no way in God’s green goodness she was sitting outside in almost 50% humidity along with the cloud of obnoxious cigarette smokers.
After putting in some hard work Lloe had developed herself into a “tough as nails” type amongst her peers at the Downtown offices. This is where her staff meets periodically to catch up on stories and talk shop about the days work. You see, Lloe is a “reporter/experiencer” of sorts at this underground Zine she works for and manages called “IMagazine.” She’s had this gig for a while now and it’s on the up and up or that’s at least the talk amongst the team.
Her drink comes out and its stiff… just the way she likes it… The burn of the alcohol reminds her about the grittiness of the job she has, however, the finish is sweet when the truth gets out to the masses. As she shuffles through some paperwork, while looking for her stupid voice recorder, she hears a body plop right across from her with the most eager face she’s ever seen in her life. “Shit”
Lloe?! Lloe…Phi?! Is that you?
The idea of her lack of vigilance to survey the room before entering to see if there was anyone she knew made her absolutely ill, she was 100% sure, no 200% she didn’t recall seeing anyone familiar. She had a knack for sensing when she knew someone in her general surroundings. She gazed over and looked at this strangers face.
“And you are?!”
Lloe Phi, come on you know who I am! It’s me… Debbie from the Courrier!
This cold wave of distrust and just a dash of shame started to bubble up as she had absolutely no recollection of anyone with that name. Much less anyone who worked in the small circle that was the Courrier.”. The Courrier was sort of “dumping place” for overeager, fresh out of college Journalists who just wanted an excuse to call themselves writers. On top of that, there is an undeniable streak of rebelliousness in Lloe that not many outlets could probably tolerate, so what does one do? Live on the fringes of course.
“I’m sorry,” she said… Mustering as much civility as she could in between sips…
I don’t know a “Debbie” from the “Courrier.” She almost used air quotations but she decided not to. This was a complete stranger who has this delusional idea of her. There was no need for theatrics at 5 till Midnight. At least not yet.
“Yes!” She insisted “We were both linked to the same story back in 2015! I helped cover that crazy political campaign. Remember? We both nearly got arrested!”
Lole looked insanely sharp at Debbie, sharper than any knife. She searches her eyes for a sign of confusion or maybe a glimpse into some repressed memory. Nothing. The goal was to make Debbie feel violently uncomfortable from the silence while the sip of her drink lasted what seemed like an eternity. The whole damn bottle was in her glass and she loved it.
She sets down her glass with significant force, enough to cause Debbie to jump a little.
“Look,” she said with confidence and an electricity that could have shorted the whole lounge.
“I don’t know who you are. I’ve never had a friend named Debbie, I’ve never worked at “The Courrier” and I sure as hell have no Idea why you wasted your time coming over here with the faintest idea I was who you thought I was… ”
She pays her tab and leaves with the striking feeling that she was way to hype about being mistaken for someone else. But who does that? At a bar, at well past midnight?!
“I knew I should have gone to Intl…”