I frowned into the empty beer bottle. Filtered through the glass, the world around me shimmered in an unappealing shade of brown. This was no starry kaleidoscope that I gazed through, no, this was the gritty lens of too much to drink and not enough to do.
The bar had no walls, just a roof of palm fronds to hide us from the sun. We rested on dirty couches, flopped across them like rag dolls. Hell, we might have been rag dolls.
My assistant, Zoe, came out from under her arm. “Where did we go wrong?”
I stared at her through the bottle but didn’t offer an answer. For me, the downfall of the evening had been the after party: up until six, never long without a beer, smoking an angry joint. Oscar had left early but I was so busy rambling some nonsense about aquaponics to a couple of American kids that I didn’t notice for hours. When I thought to look for him again, a drunk girl pet me on the head sadly. “He’s gone, sweetie. I’m sorry,” she cooed.
Zoe hadn’t fared much better. She’d left the bar on the back of Luis’s motorcycle, her arms strapped around him like foreshadowing. But he’d dropped her off at the hotel and left alone.
I could offer no explanation. I sat across from Zoe in the morning-after-after-party bar and shook my head.
“Men have it easy.”
Zoe grunted in reply.
“I can’t shop for sex. I can’t rent a local for the night.”
I stood and walked to the edge of the shade. There, before me: a beacon of hope; a sign of better times to come.