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TWO


"You seem quite distant today, Mary." Mary is busy adjusting her hat and looking at her reflection in a body-length mirror. Too busy in thought to pay attention to the words that I speak while I stand patiently behind her.

"I'm sorry. What was that, Patrick?"

"Hmmmm…I believe I might have startled you or, at the very least, interrupted you in thought."

"No, I'm sorry. I guess I'm not being that much of a friend tonight. You’re right. My mind has been somewhere else of late."

"Yes, I know. I was hoping when I asked you to go out tonight that I would get your mind off your problems. It would appear that my attempt is not off to a good start."

"Don't be silly. The night has just begun."

THREE


Mary finishes the last adjustments of her hair-to-hat ratio and we leave her home. We frequent the Aura Nightclub, which is just down the street and we walk towards the club as our nighttime destination. “You know, when we were at Aura last week, I saw some sort of community sex thing going on in one of the back rooms." Mary says, catching me off guard. She rarely discusses anything of a sexual nature.

"Really?" Aura is where people who never listen to the radio go to dance to music that people who listen to the radio will never hear. On Fridays, the club is called Gotham’s Sin: A Den of Sin for Those Gothic or Industrially Inclined. Tonight is Friday. Realistically, sex at any club big enough to have back rooms does not surprise me. But I keep that thought to myself.

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