Alfonso walked to her apartment from his office. She and Vicky were preparing to leave for the concert when he arrived. Delores stood in front of the mirror and touched her ear with both hands. Alfonso sat on the end of her bed and withdrew a bottle of rum from his book bag.
He said, “Would you like some Captain Morgan’s?”
Delores said, “Okay.”
Vicki said, “Alf-o.”
Bob Marley played from the iPod player. Delores drank a shot. Vicki drank Amstel Light. She took a digital picture of Alfonso holding a stuffed panda. Alfonso took a shot and then poured the remaining rum into a plastic bottle containing diet soda. They left the apartment.
Raindrops landed on the taxi windows. They drank the bottle of diet soda and rum in the taxi. Somewhere in Central Park they stood soaked in rain under elm and oak trees. They walked towards a line of people and then back to the trees. Alfonso touched the bark.
Vicki said, “This doesn’t help.”
The rain stopped coming out of the sky. Delores wore Alfonso’s blue shirt over her yellow dress. She wrapped her arms around him and smiled. Vicki took a picture. Alfonso transferred a bottle of white wine from his book bag to Delores’s handbag. He walked past security. He stopped and watched a security woman look in Delores’s handbag. She walked towards Alfonso. He looked at her face.
She said, “Thanks for waiting for me.”
Vicki walked passed a cloaked sculpture of a woman. They bought Coors draughts. Rain landed on them as they drank the draughts. Alfonso shook his head. Water from his head landed on people in his radius. The people turned and looked at him. Vampire Weekend performed the music recorded on their first album. Delores put her hair in a ponytail. They drank the wine from the once-beer-filled cups. Alfonso bought three draughts. He drank half of his draught. Vicki extended her arm and pointed the camera back at herself, Delores and Alfonso. The concert ended and the rain ended. Alfonso jumped on and then off of a bench. They walked next to magnolia trees and passed the sculpture.
Somewhere outside of Central Park a piece of sausage rolled off of Delores’s pizza and Alfonso put it in his mouth. He walked away from the table and outside. Rain passed through the white lights of the oncoming traffic. He stood next to a building and unclasped his belt. He re-clasped it without peeing and ran in the direction of the oncoming traffic. He got into a taxi. He got out at Delores’s apartment building. He touched a bottom on the intercom in the vestibule.
He said, “Hey, can I come up, please? I really have to pee.”
The glass door buzzed. He opened it and walked to the elevator. He walked circles in the elevator. It opened on her floor. He pushed opened the door to her apartment. He peed in the toilet inside the apartment. She lay under the covers of the bed. He stood at the end of her bed. Her phone was held against her ear and she made a sign to be quiet. Alfonso withdrew a copy of Self-Help by Lorrie Moore and a marble journal from his book bag. She put her phone on the nightstand. He opened Self-Help and he opened the marble journal. Each page was wet.
She said, “I knew it was you. It scared me.”
He said, “I got lost. I just remember running and thinking I was going to pee my pants.”
She said, “You just ran away from us in the pizza place.”
He said, “Damn, I really don’t remember. I’m tired. I want to sleep.”
”You have to take off your clothes.”
”I don’t have on boxers.”
He took off his clothes and held her under the blankets. When he woke he saw Delores on the couch.
He said, “Why am I naked?”
She gave him black sweatpants and a 2008 Crawfest t-shirt. He put them on and walked to the kitchen. He saw the marble journal open on the counter. The ink was blurred but you could still read the words. He walked out of the kitchen.
He said, “I want to drink again.”
”Buy something if you want to drink again. I was already drunk and sobered up once today,” she said.
Alfonso bought a bottle of Smirnoff and made two vodka and cranberry juice drinks in the kitchen. They drank them on her couch while watching King of the Hill. She walked to the window, sat on the sill and lit a cigarette. Alfonso put his iPod into the iPod player. They moved a glass table to against the wall. Delores videotaped Alfonso. They traded and he videotaped her dance. She said she felt drunk from her two drinks. A glass of white wine came out of the kitchen for her. Alfonso lit a candle on the glass table. Delores read a page of Self-Help aloud. She put the book down.
He said, “Seems like we’re all one thing. Everyone is a part of a single thing. All my friends are all part of it and it exists because I’m part of it, so I can see it. And it exists for you cause you exist and can see it. You are different from everyone but in the same thing.”
He held the camera now, pointing it at her.
She said, “We’re all part of it, man.”
He sipped his drink. She held hers in her lap and looked at the candle. Alfonso leaned towards her and kissed her. He moved his head away then back again and kissed her again. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and leaned back so she laid her stomach on his stomach. They kissed and Alfonso’s thumb arced across her cheek.
She said, “Let’s go to bed.”
The next day he put his wet clothing in a plastic bag. She lay in bed with her chest pressed on her closed fists.
She said, “Why didn’t you just go home last night?”
He said, “I had to pee and was lost. It was raining really hard.”
“You have your own apartment now.”
”I’m sorry. It seemed too far.”
She said, “I have some work to do tonight.”
He said, “I’m glad I have nothing to do.”
He tossed Self-Help and the marble notebook into a garbage pail on the street. Alfonso sat in the F train and unzipped the zippers at the ankles of the sweatpants. He spread the elastic cuffs so they covered the tongues of his New Balance sneakers.