‘Sorry,’ I say, because it’s the right thing, ‘I’m having trouble with temporal dissonance,’ which is wrong but true. She looks at me from the pity end of the spectrum and sticks a worried smile over it. Dane slips an arm around her shoulder and manoeuvres her away with sly parental subtlety. I watch the ice melting in my drink and count to ten for a minute. Next time, I tell the bartender’s back, I’m not going to do anything. Nothing happens and I stare into the clot of people filling up the room, wondering if I’m really here.

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