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Hi. Hello. Yes. Hi. Good evening and welcome! It’s been too long. Yes, very long. How long do you think? Two years? No! Really? Wow. Yes. Hi, who are you again? I’m sorry. Oh my, well how about that? Yes. Put your coats in the bedroom, right down the hall there to your right. Just pile them on the bed. I was just mixing the punch when you guys got here. Oh no, you’re not early; you’re just on time. You’re within the bounds of proper etiquette. No it’s not spiked … yet. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. So everyone will be over in the living room, so grab a drink — I have craft beer, we have light beer, I have liquor and mixers on the far table by the TV — and do make yourselves at home. Just be careful because there is a monster sitting in the corner. Oh hi! Yes. Welcome and good evening. Wine, oh thank you! I didn’t get any myself. Coats are on a pile in the bedroom. Excuse me. Yes, in the corner. Uhm … which corner, you mean? That corner. To the right of the bookshelf. Yes, there it is … little scamp. No that’s where it is, mean-looking thing. No I’ve never seen it move, and I couldn’t tell you just how agile it is. It’s certainly hard to be agile in this apartment. Ha. Ha. Ha. I mean, just be careful. Don’t bug it. Oh hi! Coats in the bedroom. More beer! No, very good. I’m not sure I have enough. I’ll put it in the cooler. Coats in the bedroom. Did I say that already? Oh boy! They just got here, they’ll show you. You guys don’t mind, do you? Thanks. What’s that? Oh, well it’s hard to say. I want to say green — or green-ish. But that corner doesn’t get a whole lot of light from anywhere, and it looks kind of scaly in some glances, so I wouldn’t rule out silver. If it’s turned a certain way though, you can probably catch the spikes going up its back, each slightly longer than the last going up. I think. But I’d rather not bother it, you know? I’m not sure when I first saw it. Today, I guess. Oh, if that Pandora channel isn’t to anyone’s liking I’m all for switching it to something more contemporary. I thought the jazz channel would be more … conversational? Oh hi! Yes, good evening and welcome to my humble abode. Wine! No, no, no. The more the merrier I always say. Coats in the bedroom just down the hall to your right. What’s that? No, I think you’re fine. I’m pretty confident you’re fine, in fact. In fact, I think you’re sounding a little prejudicial right now. This isn’t like you. Just because it’s a monster doesn’t mean it’s going to hurt you. What? Oh, yes, there is a monster sitting in the corner, by the bookshelf. Our mutual here is very concerned about it. Frankly I think you’re blowing this completely out of proportion. That’s a very accusatory tone you’re using, by the way. You’re acting as though I planned to have a monster sitting in the corner of my apartment, like it would be fun. I get it. It’s not ideal. But things are going well so far. Well how about this! Aren’t you two a sight for sore eyes? How was Iceland? Copenhagen? Isn’t that in Iceland? Oooooh okay. Well, I think you can see how someone could make that mistake. Coats in the bedroom. Of course you can keep your purse but I wouldn’t worry. Now I resent that insinuation. Yes you are insinuating. I would never put my friends in danger. I would never compromise the safety of the people I care about. I think you’re beginning to annoy the guests. Eye color? Blue. Oh, you mean it? Oh … well, sometimes they are red and sometimes they are black. No I haven’t asked what meaning the color change has. Well it’s a very rude thing to ask for one. It is. How would you feel if some stranger asked you out of nowhere why your hair is blond? Of course it’s the same thing! No if you’ll excuse me, you’re not the only guest. (Thank God.) Oh, such a lovely picture! How old is she now, nine months? Two years? Already? Goodness how time flies. She’s adorable! No I haven’t read My Year of Rest and Relaxation yet. I’m still three chapters into A Little Life. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. What’s that? The dip? Oh, the dip! It’s still in the fridge. I’ll go get it. And more ice? Yes I have that too. Holy shit, you scared me! Have … have you been watching me this entire time? Look, dude, if it means that much to you why don’t you go ask it yourself? I don’t know what it eats; I haven’t seen it eat since I first noticed it. Years, maybe; ions even. Perhaps since the dawn of time on this very spot, before the building was even here. Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it’s already eaten and just wants to have a good time? Far be it from me to tell it to do otherwise. Here, make yourself useful and put this ice in the cooler, please. Okay, fam — the dip. Is. On. No I’m not sure we’ll do a summer rental this year, if you know what I mean. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Well you’ll know just how it feels when you get banned for a decade from the Hamptons! Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. The bathroom is across from the bedroom. Yes, where the coats are. Oh, no need, no need. What I don’t know can’t hurt me, right? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. What is it now? If you’re just going to ask me again about You Know What I don’t know what else I can tell you. It is what it is. Ho. Ly. Shit. You are being just so rude right now. I’m feeling cross-examined. Really, how fucking dare you come into my apartment and ask such intrusive questions about my personal life. They were so about my personal life. I can tell a loaded question when I hear one. You know what? I bet this isn’t even about the monster. This is about Jessica, isn’t it? For fuck’s sake, man, that was so long ago. She lives all the way on the other side of the country. We haven’t spoken in years. Okay, fine, you’re scared, but that’s really a you problem at this point. Everyone else is having a great time with or without a monster. They have zero hang-ups about the monster. Maybe — and this is just a suggestion — maybe you could emulate them and enjoy yourself. I thought that was why you came here. Oh here we go — the words in my mouth again. Just like old times. I meant nothing by it just that you should mingle and join the conversation. Maybe then you won’t be so fixated on the monster in the corner. And if I knew you’d be making such a big deal about it I wouldn’t have brought it up in the first place. No one would be affected by it in the way you’re affecting everyone else right now. Fuck me? Fuck you! Fuck right the fuck off if that’s how you’re gonna be for the rest of the night. And while you’re at it, take everyone with you. Goodbye everyone, the vibe has been brutally murdered and here is its killer. Yes, yes. Good night. So long. It’s been real. Maybe some other time. Coats in the bedroom, make sure you have the right ones. Yes, yes, take back any unopened wine, I’m sure they’ll find suitable homes. Yes, we’ll get together again soon, but with a modified guest list, of people with proper etiquette. Yes. Yes. Goodbye. So long. Well, I guess it’s just you and me again. At least someone spiked the punch. A little too much. You don’t drink, do you? Oh, I see. Well you should have thought of that while they were still here.

“What? Who cares?” –Me

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