The girl asks how old I think she is but that’s not what she means or it is and I’m just reading an under layer that’s asking how old I think she wants to look. It’s a brain trick people don’t know they’re using, maybe a brain tic I think I’m using, so I bet high, gambling on her lust for maturity. I shouldn’t be looking at the slow creep of red flush corrupting her décolletage. She’s beaming at me, ‘People always say I’m sophisticated,’ a real woman with too much sibilance, ‘but I won’t be nineteen for months.’

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