Anton is here, talking for the hundredth time about what he did during the war, about 'how life’s an endless pit of chaos, but every now and then it all makes sense, and that’s what makes life worth living, you know?' and Simone is telling him, 'It’s already been done.'
It’s Wednesday so Jo and Sarah are here playing the same song. He’s playing the piano and she’s drunk on her voice and soon their composition will be careless and sloppy and they’ll leave as lovers and whoever is scheduled next, probably me, will be too drunk to perform, so someone will get up and sing the anthem of France.
And there’s Alice, sitting by the piano again, that instrument she pretends to know how to play, wearing red high heels and matching lipstick, disguising her writer’s block and making herself available enough for another cheap story that will probably be published the same day she writes it. She thinks we don’t know what she did, but we do, we’re just biding our time, her day will come.
Michael’s stood at the bar, rolling his own cigarettes, wearing that goddamn hat again like he’s some kind of Hemingway in a Parisian café. And Esmeralda’s pouring my drinks and I must say she’s damn good at her transient position and my disowned intemperance will miss her if she ever does make it back home.
Here comes Olivia, being the ridiculously beautiful woman she is, dressed for a Gatsby party, ignoring Michael, asking Charlie how his story is coming along, speaking Spanish to Esmeralda. She’s pretending that she’s got somewhere better to go next. Pierre and Allen stumbled in behind her, drunk and obscene as usual. They’ve read so much propaganda lately that now they’re convinced nothing matters, not even the fact that they are wanted men.
Take a moment. Look at all these people, all these beautiful fools with their talents and critiques and theories and philosophies and hang-ups and memories. It’s like the past few years never happened; they have forgotten what really happened, what real life was like. And I have to witness all of it. But really, who am I to judge? I’m just some two faced liar, thief, and drunk, sitting at the bar and scribbling about their lives on damp, used napkins. I’m swaying on my bar stool, feeling all warm inside, and in such a state to choose my own reality, we’re no different from one another. We’re just a bunch of worried, hopeless, starving artists and writers and musicians that come to this wine bar for the exact same goddamn reason.
Because now we can.