Charlie’s here, talking about his story, about how “life’s an endless pit of chaotic bullshit, but every now and then it all makes sense, like there’s some kind of cosmic order, and that’s what makes life worth living, you know?” and Simon’s telling him, “it’s a substantial idea, but it’s already been done, man. It’s already been done.” It’s Wednesday so Joe and Lillian are here – playing the same songs – she’s high on his guitar and he’s drunk on her voice and soon their composition will be careless and sloppy and they’ll leave as lovers and whoever is scheduled next, probably me, will be too plastered to perform, so the juke box will play Tom Waits. And there’s Alice, sitting by the piano again, that instrument she pretends to know how to play, wearing red high heels and matching lipstick, disguising her writer’s block and making herself available enough for another cheap story that will probably be published the same day she writes it. Michael’s on the patio with his legs crossed, rolling his own cigarettes, wearing that goddamn hat again like he’s some kind of fucking Hemingway in a French café. And Esmeralda’s pouring my drinks and I must say she’s damn good at her “transient position” and my disowned intemperance will miss her if she ever does make it to New York. Thank you, God. Here comes Olivia, being the ridiculously beautiful woman she is, dressed for a fucking Gatsby party, ignoring Michael, asking Charlie how his story is coming along, speaking Spanish to Esmeralda, pretending that she’s got somewhere better to go next. Jake and Allen stumbled in behind her, being assholes as usual. They’ve read so much existential and absurdist bullshit lately that now they’re convinced nothing matters, not even the fact that they’re fucking assholes. Jesus Christ, look at all these fucking assholes, all these goddamn beautiful fools. With their talents and critiques and theories and philosophies and hang-ups and bullshit. And I have to witness all of it. But really, I mean, really? Who am I to judge? I’m just some bastard, drunker than the rest of these bastards, sitting at the bar and scribbling about their lives on damp, used napkins. And in reality, now that I’m swaying on my bar stool, feeling all warm inside, and in such a state to choose my own reality, we’re no different from one another. We’re just a bunch of worried, hopeless, “starving,” artists and writers and musicians and fucking assholes that come to this wine bar for the exact same goddamn reason: it’s Wednesday.