Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Thursday night at Bogart’s American Grill. The dance floor is starting to get crowded. I slide up to the bar, flag the bartender, and grab a martini. Four belles, tan and smiling, grin into a digital camera and take pictures of themselves.
“C’mere, gimme ‘at camera and y’all get together,” I say.
They cuddle up and I snap some shots. One of them points the camera at me. I make a face and she snaps a picture, and she screams with laughter. “Look!” she giggles. “Look how funny you look raht there!”
“You think I look funny?” I say. “Well, take a look at this!” I grab a menu off the bar. “There. That’s my picture at the top of the menu.”
The girls inspect the menu. “No way,” says one confidently. “That’s not you.”
“Yeah,” I say, nodding. “That’s me raht there. Did the photo shoot. In California.”
“No, that guy duddn’t look like you at all,” says the brunette in the red dress.
“If that’s really you, how come ya have to pay fy’own drinks?” says the redhead.
“Well, um, they already paid for my dinner…” I say meekly.
“You look really old in this photo,” says the brunette. “Ahya really that old?”
I mumble something, but I don’t remember what. Their eyes glaze, and I become invisible to them. I pound the martini and try to steal the menu, but the bouncer takes it back at the door.