I’m trapped.

I’m sat upright in a tastefully-lit room. A tablecloth prevents me from freely moving my knees and they ache. Societal convention forces me to wear trousers despite the fact that I do not ride horses. My balls are in a vise and they itch like an ant farm.

I’m wearing a tie. Probably out of style, considering it was my father’s. No jacket, because I’m young enough to pull off a more informal look. There is exposed brick in the walls. I want to squeeze the makeshift vase (Mason jar) in front of me so hard it shatters, severing the nerves in my hand.

There is a woman sitting across from me, beautiful but unforgivably stupid. She at least knows how to look like she’s enjoying herself. God knows everything I say seems to manifest a mask of horror and embarrassment on her perfect face. Younger, dumber me would say that I’ve “made it.” I wish I was at home lifting weights.

I decide to speak. Big mistake, but I don’t care.

“If you order what I think you’re going to order, I’m not going to pay,” I jest.

Horror and embarrassment. Apparently, God didn’t deem it necessary to implant a sense of comedy when he fashioned a rib into the first of the fairer sex. This woman is a whore. She goes out with me because I can afford blow. She hangs out with music producers. I pray that one of the exposed bricks in the wall behind her falls out and connects with her perfect whore skull. She catches my apelike grin.

“What’s so funny?” Women can’t not ask stupid questions.

“Nothing,” I reply, deadpan. “You’re just so beautiful.”

“You’re being nice for once. What a pleasant surprise.” This dryly rolls past her lips, a champion in a weight class of sarcasm only available to women.

And you can speak in complete sentences. A bigger surprise.

I ignore her and stare at the tablecloth. It’s completely white. I like off-white. This is white, capital double-you, trademark, copyright. I hate this restaurant, but it’s the only place you can get scallops without fear of second-hand iodine poisoning from Portuguese chefs.

She starts yammering about a friend who saw an off-Broadway show on Broadway or some such nonsense. I contemplate whether I could survive the two-story drop from the mammoth window to my right. It gives a great view of other such windows on other such restaurants.

My balls still itch. If I scratch them, I’m poor. I’m the junkie wreck who jabbered something crude about her backside at her on our way inside. The only difference between him and her are guys like me. Nobody rich is going to have sex with him.