"So, where you guys from anyway?"
We looked at each other. There was a collective sigh.
"We already told you. He's from Alaska. We're from California."
She nodded with what appeared to be an attempt at brevity, and then wobbled a bit, not an easy feat to accomplish while sitting, and came dangerously close to falling on me. She caught herself at the last moment.
"Thank Christ," I muttered.
"Well, I'm from England," she exclaimed proudly.
"We know. You told us, remember?" Bryan offered helpfully.
The guest house balcony was playing "Buffalo Soldier" from
The bottle of Black Cat whiskey was passed around again. I couldn't quite put my finger on whether it tasted like formaldehyde or vinegar. The answer may have been both. According to local street wisdom, Black Cat could sometimes provide hallucinogenic visions. From what we could understand, this was less by design, and more due to a standard of quality control that could be best described as...lax. In short, each bottle was different, even if it originated from the same lot. Whatever the case, the visions weren't coming fast enough to make her entertaining. Or cute.
"So, where you guys from?"
Bryan couldn't help himself. "Oh, Jesus Christ!"
She looked taken aback. Leaning her bulk towards Travis and I, close enough to smell the reek of alcohol and sweat, she gave a stage whisper. "Your friend isn't very nice!"
Travis and I nodded with some sympathy. "Yeah, he's from the Ukraine. People aren't very nice there."