January 21, 2018 | Rome, Italy | °C

The Tour Pro

By Peter Vilbig
Published: 2016-10-10

"I'm not," he says. "If I was carrying it it would have something in it."

"You're not selling then," Ms Holly says.

"I'm always selling."

"How do you know."

"Breathing, ain't I." And adds: "You're from the Bitter Ikons I'll bet."

"It's a band," she says smugly. "A person can't be from a band."

"We don't think it's a band. We think it's a brand."

"I'll buy your crate from you," she says, ignoring him. "Is it for sale."

"Of course it's not for sale," he says. "How much do you want to pay for it."

She throws a seductive curve into her voice: "I have a cash settled OTC derivative in my bag. I'll sign it over to you." (Of course she knows it's worse than amortized junk.)

He shrugs, scratches his testicles through his jeans. "That won't float," he finally says. In silence they keep walking. They seem to be reaching an outskirts, though for an instant she wonders if it's a set used and reused a thousand times for moments just like this one. There are shops, and shopkeepers rolling up the usual striped awnings and beyond them harbor lights, burning on buoys, perhaps, and music from yachts pouring forth. And suddenly Ms Holly Brudge knows she will probably never find the hotel, and somehow knows also that the business of business is to leave marks in the metabolism of nature, just as the business of love is to create a business. She turns then to the boy, sees that he's like one of those ocean goers in Melville. She knows she has one chance [the text abruptly ends here in an erratic line].

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