"Liver Lady was there at her usual 9PM. When I informed her that we had run out of liver, she didn’t take it well, but she did her best to put on her game face; her game face with wrong-colored lipstick, and her hair about to explode and her quilted too-warm blue, fraying jacket. She got the hangar steak instead, and claimed to enjoy it, but a little of the sparkle had left her eyes and even the purposefully date-friendly lighting of Nick & Eddie couldn’t hide it. She didn’t want to chat. She drank more water than usual. She looked out the window, absently, and worked methodically through her meal. Steak on a hot June Wednesday in New York. Mashed Potatoes. Quilted jacket. So much sadness.
"About 9:15 a young woman came in who looked like she was probably a model. As Nick & Eddie was going through its decline, the neighborhood was becoming fashionable, and models or models-to-be, or aspiring models, or models-cum-actresses were starting to inhabit the walk-up studios and cozy $2,500 one-bedrooms in the area. And this night one of them came in and ordered the smoked trout appetizer, and ate it by herself with a magazine in the back corner, along the window, just a couple tables behind Liver Lady. Their aloneness could not have been more different, like an evolutionary chart of marginal craziness in reverse." - (c) 2010, all rights served.