The warm giddiness left her face and body almost instantly. She stepped back.

"What do you mean, 'no'?", she asked.

"If this were a couple of years ago, I'd have gladly swept you off your feet, carried you over my shoulder, and the whole nine yards. It's ironic that I even have a nice hotel room I could take you to, for the nine-yardsness and everything. But I can't. I really am just here to visit these guys." I motioned to the stage, where my friends were milling about, a few minutes away from starting their set.

"Well, what's different from a couple of years ago?"

"I'm a Christian."

"You don't look like one."

I looked myself over for a sec. Cup of brew-on-tap in one hand, cigarette in the other. Dressed like someone who just stole a Harley and eluded the chasing cops. I guess I don't look like one. Is this a compliment?

"Maybe my uniform is in the cleaners. It's not what you look like on the outside that matters anyway."

"You're drinking a beer."

"I'm still very nervous around people. I drink a beer to loosen up. Just one. One's my limit."

She then moves in closer, reaches under my jacket. Nice perfume. I wonder what it's called? "I could loosen you up, too," she coos. We both giggle at the line and at the vamping, something out of the Old Days, but surely we both also grasp the truth in her statement. I put out my cig, and put my free arm around her.

"I'm celibate. You know, 'master of my domain' and all that. My actions are now to be weighed in terms of the bigger picture. Fucking you, as wonderful as it would no doubt be, isn't worth the price of sin. I'm required to see you as a total human being now, not as a fuck partner." The words sound weird; I'm not used to having to explain myself. I'm not sure if I have explained myself.

"You're an idiot." She steps back, fuming, throws the last of her beer in my face, then walks away, her ass momentarily distracting me from my new king-of-beers facial. Then she walks back toward me, studies my face for a sec, like I'm some exhibit on display (See the stupid xian! Step right up!), or maybe to see if I'm some late April Fools joke; she then repeats her parting words:

"You're an idiot!"

Maybe so.

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