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“I’m the production manager.”

As he nodded, the cross-light raked the craters in his face. “Okay, then Molly’ll give ya the bills. You give them to him.”

“How have you done it up to now?”

“She... I mean, I dint yet; it’s only a week so far. He’s spose ta get a bill every week. That’s the deal.”

“Fair enough.”

“Right. Okay, I got work to do.”

As he turned, Diane stepped in front of him and forced him to look at her. “How about getting us some better food?”

He stared at her, blinking, then: “Talk to Molly; she does it. Dumb bitch never could cook.”

Diane kept her voice even: “I’ll tell her you said so.”

“Not even good fer humpin’. If she wasn’t my, like, secatary, I’d dump her.” He held Diane’s eye for an insolent beat, then swaggered away toward the bike shop.

“The bastard.” She said it quietly.

“I know, but I shouldn’t have given him a hard time.”

“Me either.” She paused to look around the dreary street, then spoke softly to the evening: “How on earth did I get here?”

“I wondered.”

A long pause, and then her reply seemed tangential: “You know what I like best? The mechanics. I was always good with machines. Even in grade school, I used to run the projector for the teacher.” A contemptuous snort. “She could thread a bobbin on a Singer slant-needle but she wouldn’t lace up a Bell and Howell.”

I kept an encouraging silence.

Diane sighed. “I wanted to be a cameraman, but no way. They said a woman was too small to hand-hold.” Bitter silence.

A flight wing of mosquitoes had their gun sights on us. When I smashed one against my forehead, my fingers came away bloody. “Come on, they’ll drain us dry.”

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