I look at the new Dennis-branded computer, still in its packaging, siting over by the front door. I really want to unbox it and put it all together, but I simply do not have the energy to do that kind of thing tonight.
Instead, I’m laying on the couch next to Karina as we watch a rerun of The Scott Stutzman Show. Only, tonight, despite the brilliant sketches and skits as in every episode, neither of us are laughing. We’re just too tired for it.
For me, I spent the entire day wandering around, finding out that the world terrifies me, and for her, it was working fervently to help her dad in any way she could as his Home Bot exhibit refused to function.
“I’m so tired…” Karina says.
“Me too… Did you know rich people dinner parties are bad?” I ask.
“You got to go to a party? And you didn’t invite me?” Karina asks, though instead of her usual playfulness, her tone is flat and expression flatter.
“I would be twenty percent as dead as now if I didn’t go to that thing.”
“Why did you, even…”
“I have no clue,” I lie. Once again, still not telling Karina about the task R8PR gave me.
On the TV, Scott is currently dressed in a cowboy outfit and shooting off guns while doing a funny dance. I want to laugh so hard, but I can’t muster the strength. I only giggle.
“I forgot to take off my bra, Morgan…” Karina whines. “I want to go to sleep but I can’t move enough to take it off. Help me.”
“I’m not taking off your bra,” I say. “I will take off my pants though.” I’m still wearing the suit pants that Larkins let me borrow, and these pants are not only too short, but pretty tight as well. Why am I allowing the menace of pants to haunt me in my own home? I get them off.
“Ugh,” Karina grunts. She gets up and undoes her bra, before plopping it on the floor and plopping herself back on the couch. She pats her thigh a couple times. “C’mon.”
On command, I lay down and set my head on her lap. Then Karina puts her hand on my head, patting me like I’m a puppy. We continue to watch Scott still dancing around like a maniac even as a rival cowboy is trying to duel him. I enjoy this situation very much, being super tired with my best friend and watching a good comedy show.
We’re kind of stretching the definition of friendship, aren’t we?
A beautiful woman running her hand through my hair, under any other circumstance, would be very different than it is between us. And why? What the heck is going on?
Whatever. The only thing that matters is that we’re best friends, and that will never change because neither of us will let it.
Speaking of beautiful women, though… Who was that one at the party? The one who was just really caustic about everything around us? She seemed just… so cool. I wonder if she was someone rich or famous, seeing as she was at the party.
“Hey Karina, are you still awake?”
“Mhm,” she says.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Not right now, I’m resting my eyes…”
“Okay, so there’s this woman,” I say. “I met her at the dinner party, and she was really cool, but also really bitter. Which kind of made her cooler. Do you know who she is?”
“Yeah, let me check my phone book,” Karina mutters. “Bitter and cool? Ah, she’s your next door neighbor, Carol.”
“Um, what I mean is, she might be someone famous. She had long blonde hair, and was about as tall as me, and wore a really fancy dress. I think she called herself… Hope? But I think it was a fake name.”
Karina stops patting my head. “Morgan, did you say ‘Hope?’ Do you know who that is?”
She leans forward and presses some buttons on the remote control on the coffee table. The TV station flips to the nightly news.
The woman is on the TV, chatting with reporters about fiscal policy, wearing the same dress as I saw her in tonight.
“Is that who you were talking to?” Karina asks.
“That’s Hope Winters, the famous politician. The one running for mayor.”
A mayoral candidate.. and I made friends with her by insulting all the rich people in Atlanta several times over. Oh, man, my life is never going to change, is it?
“You really don’t know her?” Karina asks. “She’s the secretary of the New Hope Party, and she was the ambassador to Britain about five years back.”
“I really don’t pay attention to the news enough–wait, did you say the ‘New Hope Party?’”
“Yeah, I did…”
“And her name is…”
“If I wasn’t so tired, I’d be bursting out laughing right now.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Well, I guess I accidentally met a celebrity,” I say. “Working for Mr. Larkins has its upsides sometimes.”
“He’s kind of a jerk though, isn’t he?”
“A total ass. I should look for a new job.”
“Well, you can do that in the morning,” Karina says. “For now, let’s just…” She yawns, then she doesn’t finish the rest of her sentence.
I fall asleep with visions of robots dancing in my head.