- 8 -

The pretty girl got up late and couldn’t get any reception. “WTF?” she thought. No reruns of Cheers and Friends. She couldn’t even get the news.

No CNN even.

Kylie came down to the bar. It was unusually empty.

“No TV down here either?” she said. She was from New Zealand. From Cromwell. “No TV, miss,” said the man behind the bar.“Nothing?” “Nothing, miss.” “Fuck!” “It’s a shame, miss,” the bartender said. He really didn't like that all these young tourists swore. They all did. “Something to drink? To cool you off.” “A G and a T.” “Yes, Miss. More G than T?” He was polite because she tipped well. He knew she knew he knew. “Yes, please. More GEE Than TEE. And ice, but only if it’s from bottled water.” “Natural spring water, just for you, miss. Froze them last night.” “None of that stuff that’s just London tap water.” “Just the natural spring water, like you told me last night.” “That’s right,” she said.

She tipped well.

The bartender liked the taste of frozen spring water ice cubes. So did she, and for that, she’d tip well. Five dollars. USD. She sucked on an ice cube as he walked into the bar.

“Where is everyone?” said Jayson. “Beats me.” “Still Happy Hour?” “All hour.” “Can I buy you a drink?” “A G and a T.” “Be back in a sec.” "Ask for natural spring water, none of that London tap water shit," she said. He got her her G and T. He ordered a Belgian beer brewed in Czechoslovakia. He talked to the bartender.

“You don’t look like you’re from around here,” said Jayson casually as the bartender made her another G and T. “No sir, I’m from Yap.” “Yap?” “Yes sir,” said the Yapesian bartender. “Yap’s pretty far away from here, isn’t it?” “Yes, sir. They had typhoons, so I moved.” “You had typhoons, so you moved?” “Yes, sir.” “Do you like it here?” “Yes sir, I like it here a lot.” “Do you miss home?” “Yes, I do. Do you, sir?” “No. No, I don’t miss home. I like it here - no cell phones in movie theaters.” “Yes, sir,” he said, not understanding as he passed the drinks. He didn’t know much about cell phones and he had never been in a movie theater.

Jayson tipped him well. He could afford to. He gave him two dollars. USD.

Kylie was lovely: long, sun-bleached brown hair, with a braid in that Temptation Island, around the bonfire kind of way. Her skin was naturally tanned, and she never wore make-up (except around the eyes and a bit of lip gloss). She didn’t need to.

He bet she could cry those green eyes out if she wanted to, and he was sure she would to get what she wanted. Whatever that was. She had that look about her. Her thighs wore some of kind of cotton army-coloured skirt - not too long, but just short enough - and she had on a teal halter that fit her real well, even though her breasts were small.

She was Australian. He’d met a lot of Australian girls over here. They all had to get away from Australia.

“New Zealand. A Kiwis, not a bloody Aussie. Get it straight, you fucking Yank!” “Sorry! What’s a Kiwis again?” “Kind of little, flightless bird. Like an Emu.” “Yeah?” “Yeah.” “I always thought it was a fruit.” “You mean a kiwi fruit?” “Yeah.” “Ha-a. We’re not named after fruit!” “No. I really thought you were.” “Nooo!” She thought he was really kinda cute. Especially if he shaved. “Doesn’t matter,” said Jayson, downing a beer. “It’s important,” she said. “You know, there’s no TV.” “None?” WTF? he thought. “Nope.” “Fuck!” “Yeah. Fucking hell.”

Once they drank and were drunk, she said, “Do you want to go back to my room?”

She bit her lip for affect.