He had enjoyed the first half of the night.  The formal suit forced him to feel smart.  Boys don’t wear suits; men do.  Walk into any room in a formal suit and your first emotion is pride. It can’t help be.  You look fantastic: you know it and they know it.  The alcohol had dulled every self-hate and Peter threw himself into happiness.  He had pulled himself back now though.  The alcohol was over; the tables were growing quiet; there were more important things than the suit.  He dismissed earlier as hysteria.  He sat back and thought about more important things. The central question was whether Camus ever married.  It is crazy to say it, but that’s what really bothered him.  Camus was an existentialist. He lived morally without God.  Pete loved his ideas.  Camus did not try to fill the void God had left – he told Peter to stop looking.  But now Peter wondered if such serious people were ever happy.  Happiness shouldn’t matter, but it does.  Doing the right thing is a hell of a lot easier if you enjoy it.

    Jane interrupted this.  She was wearing a dark red dress.  It had probably cost her a fortune; she looked perfect in it.  Her cheeks were flushed from one glass of wine.  She was alone for a minute as her boyfriend got more drinks.

    “You’re very quiet tonight - ”

Peter knew he had been.  He hated himself for it.  He had fucked up again.  These people were his friends.  It was disgusting that he couldn’t even spend a day-

    “… But, I forget, you are always quiet.”

Peter smiled. He sat forward in the chair and started chatting at ease.

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