My wrists are killing me.
A repost, if you don't mind. In several parts.
By the time I arrive at Psycho Suzi's, Liza Bean is two gin and tonics in.
The evening is on her, payment for her having borrowed my car the other night.
“Pearl!” she shouts. I scan the deck, an elaborate bit of planking and grass-hut roofing overlooking the Mississippi River, to find the cat seated next to the waterfall, a tiki-inspired water feature near the center of the action.
Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, a cat with a degree in Marketing and a penchant for sushi-grade tuna, has her glass in the air. The waitress – a Betty-Paige lookalike with a tattoo of a devil flexing his muscles running the length of her arm – appears from the shadows with a fresh drink in her hand, sets a gin and tonic at the table in advance of my arrival.
I watch the cat slip her two dollars.
I wend my way through the tables. The crowd at Psycho Suzi’s is a particularly hip one, and I note that I may be the only one present without a tattoo.
I sit down. “Have you ordered something to eat?”
The cat shrugs a delightfully small shrug, leans over and wraps tiny black lips around her straw. “I’m thinking the tater tots,” she says into the drink.
I stare at her.
“What?” she says, mock-offended. “They’re barrel-shaped potato products, they’re campy, and I love them with all my heart.” Here she winks at me.
She knows how much I love that. I wink back and set to squeezing limes into my drink.
“So what’s the occasion?”
“Does a kitty need an excuse to visit with her favorite human?”
My hand goes automatically to my purse, where I feel around for my wallet.
The cat chuckles, a light-hearted sound with a hint of larceny. “Really, Pearl,” she says. “Do I look like a pickpocket to you?” She laughs again, holds up a paw, whereupon our waitress appears. Fishnet stockinged legs beginning in practical shoes and ending in a red-and-white gingham-ed mini-skirt, she pulls a pen and notepad from her vintage, 40’s-era apron.
Liza Bean smiles, teasingly, up at her. “Are the tater tots fresh?”
The waitress barely contains a yawn. “They’re frozen, but then they're cooked, so I'd say they're fresh.”
Liza Bean stares at her, blinks slowly. “Yeeeeeeeees. We’ll have an order of tots, and – Pearl? You want the usual? The pickle roll-ups?”
I lift my drink, by way of acknowledgment.
“And the pickle roll-ups,” the cat says. “Oh, and two more gin and tonics, if you’d be so kind.”
The waitress skitters off, and the cat and I smile at each other.
“So,” the cat says, leaning forward, green eyes sparkling. “Did I ever tell you that I used to drive a cab?”