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"I'm supposed to be in Mexico right now," she says.
I leave this alone for a minute and the both of us sip our drinks and watch the underwater couple, back behind the bar. The magnifying effect of the water makes their legs look huge, like manatees. They might know we were watching but they might not. In the blue light, their giant legs twine together. God knows what their upper halves are doing but their legs can't seem to stop touching.
"I haven't been sexual for a long time," says the woman.
She stops there, and waits for a response, but I can't think of one. After a minute she says, "It was never really a priority for me, and then I went on the antidepressants. I'll tell you, that whole first wave, Prozac, Wellbutrin, those things would really knock you for a loop in that department. You ever get tangled up with that stuff?"
"No, of course not," she says. "Every woman I know over thirty is on antidepressants, every damn one. The men just drink themselves into the bag every night. That's why the Spanish and the Koreans and all are taking this country over, ten o'clock comes around and the guys are three sheets to the wind and the ladies are, like, wood from the waist down. Do me a favor."
"Anything," I tell her. I mean it.
"I'm going to buy a pack of cigarettes here in a minute," she says, "but when you go, I want you to take them with you. Toss them out, run them under the sink, I don't care. Just get them out of my sight. Otherwise I'll smoke the whole pack and then I'll smell like cigarettes for Bob."
"My fiancé," she says. "Down in Puerto Vallarta."
"Everybody's getting married," I tell her.
"Not quite everybody," she says. She lifts herself off the barstool with a light, undrunken grace and goes out into the hallway, where the vending machines and restrooms are. If she isn't drunk, then what? I think about Justin, back in the room, and think that maybe I should just slip out while she's gone. I don't, though. I order another Daniel's on the rocks and settle back and watch the giant manatee legs afloat in the blue, fake-looking water. The light at this end of the bar is mainly from the swimming pool and filtered blue. The legs seem very friendly with each other. A hand floats down briefly into the water, then gone again into the air.
"You want to hear something strange?"
It was the girl again, or the woman, whatever — somewhere around thirty, plus or minus, with a sweet concerned face and wholesome hair. She shakes a Marlboro out of the pack, then offers me one, which I take.
"What's your name?" I ask her.
"My twin sister's birthday was yesterday," she says. "I bet you can't explain that."
"She was born at 11:59 and you were born at 12:01," I tell her.
She looks crestfallen for a moment, then perks back up. She says, "I hear they have mermaids."