rita rae was surprised, but not too surprised, when she saw the new human come through the door.
you didn't see too many new humans in the latin quarter, and especially not in a dump like tony's bar and grill.
this one looked kind of young. but weren't they all "young"?
rita rae couldn't remember.
she knew the new humans were not "he" or "she" but in the privacy of her own brain she classed any that she saw - and she did not see too many, as she mostly stuck to the latin quarter and other low class environments where old humans congregated - as one or the other.
this one looked like a "she".
and she looked bewildered. she slowly approached the bar where rita was the only customer seated.
there were other patrons in the booths but they took no notice of the new human.
the poor thing looked lost.
rita stared at "her", willing her to come over to her. this was something rita considered herself adept at.
"are you lost, sweetie?"
"yes", she answered.
"maybe i can help."
"maybe." jody came over and sat down beside rita.
now that jody was seated at the bar she did not seem quite so lost.
and rita was not quite so confident that she could take some sort of advantage of her.
but there was no harm trying.
"do you want a drink?" rita asked jody. "the bartender must be around here somewhere."
"sure. i mean, it is a bar and grill. isn't that what people do in bar and grills - drink?'"
"it's one of the things they do. tell me, have you ever been in one before?"
"no, but i've read about them in old books."
"oh, you're an intellectual. i am too. "
"stephen king is my favorite."
"mine too. and james patterson, of course. hey, want me to see if i can find mike - he's the bartender?"
"don't go away."
rita slid off the barstool and into the shadows.
jody looked around. it was not very frightening.
not frightening at all.
and no one was paying the least bit of attention to her.
so far, so good.
mike the bartender was sitting in a booth with a couple of his pals sitting across from him.
they were talking about bodybuilding
"excuse me," said rita. "there's a customer at the bar."
mike didn't look up. "anybody i know?"
"i wouldn't know. i never saw her before." rita hesitated. "it's a new human."
"a new human?" mike glanced over. "we don't get too many of those in here. and when we do they don't tip for shit. do you want to serve her - it?"
"yeah, i'll serve her. and take any tip."
"go for it." mike turned back to his buddies. rita was dismissed.
rita turned back toward the bar.
from across the room, through the murk, jody looked kind of sad, rita thought.
just as sad and lost and fucked up and bewildered as any old human.
and as alienated and oppressed and exploited and injusticed and all that shit.
so what was the point?
the point is to take her for what you can get from her, rita told herself.