"I have to talk to you," Evelyn says.
"What about?" I come up to her.
"No," she says and then pointing at Tim, "to Price."
Tim still glares at her fiercely. I say nothing and stare at Tim's drink.
"Be a hon," she tells me, "and place the sushi on the table. Tempura is in the microwave and the sake is just about done boiling..." Her voice trails off as she leads Price out of the kitchen.
I am wondering where Evelyn got the sushi - the tuna, yellowtail, mackerel, shrimp, eel, even bonito, all seem so fresh and there are piles of wasabi and clumps of ginger placed strategically around the Wilton platter - but I also like the idea that Idon't know, will never know, will never ask where it came from and that the sushi will sit there in the middle of the glass table from Zona that Evelyn's father bought her like some mysterious apparition from the Orient and as I set the platter down I catch a glimpse of my reflection on the surface of the table. My skin seems darker because of the candlelight and I notice how good the haircut I got at Gio's last Wednesday looks. I make myself another drink. I worry about the sodium level in the soy sauce.
Four of us sit around the table waiting for Evelyn and Timothy to return from getting Price a lint brush. I sit at the head taking large swallows of J&B. Vanden sits at the other end reading disinterestedly from some East Village rag called Deception, its glaring headline THE DEATH OF DOWNTOWN. Stash has pushed a chopstick into a lone piece of yellowtail that lies on the middle of his plate like some shiny impaled insect and the chopstick stands straight up. Stash occasionally moves the piece of sushi around the plate with the chopstick but never looks up toward either myself or Vanden or Courtney, who sits next to me sipping plum wine from a champagne glass.
Evelyn and Timothy come back perhaps twenty minutes after we've seated ourselves and Evelyn looks only slightly flushed. Tim glares at me as he takes the seat next to mine, a fresh drink in hand, and he leans over toward me, about to say, to admit something, when suddenly Evelyn interrupts, "Not there, Timothy," then, barely a whisper, "Boy girl, boy girl." She gestures toward the empty chair next to Vanden. Timothy shifts his glare to Evelyn and hesitantly takes the seat next to Vanden, who yawns and turns a page of her magazine.