The pub was noisy, a debate raging over how the
world would end, the degree of inebriation deciding
the vector of war, of climate, of pestilence, of broken
supply-chains. The more grotesque the imagined
dystopia, the more reason there was to drink. The
world-order won’t change tomorrow, someone said,
but you will wake up one morning and the couches
and chairs would have turned away from the
TV to take in an alternate reality. She giggled
and shifted around, seeing, as if for the first time,
the rest of the bar. He sat in a corner, typing steadily,
looking in their direction from time to time. She
walked up, the question obvious. He shrugged.
Yesterday’s arguments were more interesting, he
said. A lot more technical. Also someone choked
on a fish bone. Imagine that, a man almost died.