The Regulars (part IV)

I was thinking about bringing up Nicole. I had decided that I shouldn’t let this rare opportunity pass. And since Jenny’s a girl, maybe she could give me some pointers on how best to approach a co-worker in a way that was charming and not harassing. Before I had the chance to say anything, the door flew open. As it closed, Mike straddled the seat next to our two person table.

“’Sup?” As he put his gloves and hat down, he sat up straight and tilted his head upwards to get the attention of one of the Wongs. When he did, he gave two quick pokes at the air with his chin. Mr. Wong nodded and gave a thumbs-up sign. Mike then looked at each of us in turn. “One super-power. And only one. What would you choose?”

“The Soviet Union,” I said, giving him a sideways glance.

“Ha ha. You know what I mean.”

I sighed and crinkled up my now-empty tinfoil into a little ball. Francis, the cat I’d had growing up, would have loved to bat it around. Shiny metal lumps always attracted him. “Haven’t we done this before?”

Mike seemed personally affronted. “What, like this isn’t a subject worthy of continued debate? Opinions can’t change? You only get one shot. One. You want to make sure you make the right choice. So what’s your super-power?”

I sighed. “It’s still flight.”

“That’s bullshit. Flight is an awful choice. I keep telling you: invisibility. You can sneak onto a plane if you’re invisible and fly anywhere you want. Free games at Shea, standing next to the guitars at shows, women’s showers. The possibilities are endless, brother.”

“I want to be able to fly. I think it would be a great release.”

“You’re an idiot. Jenny?”

She was looking down at her salad, picking out the jalapeños from the bottom with surgical precision and pushing them to the side of the plate. Without looking up from her operation, she answered immediately. “I want a tail.”

Mike and I looked at each other with brows furrowed, not entirely sure we had heard correctly. I leaned forward. “What? A tail?”

“Yeah, a tail.”

Mike looked around the restaurant as if something on the walls might explain this answer. “What the hell is that? What purpose would that serve?”

“It wouldn’t have a purpose.”

“Then why the hell would you waste your one chance at a paranormal ability on it if it doesn’t have a purpose?”

Jenny shook a pepper off her fork and looked over at him. “Do you know anyone who has a tail?”

“No.”

“Well, that’s why I’d want one.”

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