It was a tall beer, tall and thin, with very little head to it. His sister had been like that, though she had been paler, generally speaking. He nodded thanks at the bartender, who had already turned to resume his conversation with a regular, a tubby man in his 50’s with a boxer’s nose and ears.
I could know everything about them, both of them, if I switched it on. I could change everything about them. I could rewrite their DNA like a programmer editing code, turn them into Van Goghs or Einsteins or whoever I like, teetotalers both, serial killers either, whatever would be the most entertaining. I’ve done it a million times. “Boring.”
“What’s that?” The bartender called over, thinking he might be ordering something else.
“Nothing. Sorry; talking to myself.”
“That’s the first sign, buddy,” the boxer joked. He raised his own glass, a mug full of Budweiser, probably.
His sister had tried for the Crown, and paid for it. He’d gone into forced retirement, it having been explained that he’d been a bit too neutral even given the circumstances. They hadn’t hobbled him, at least. There was still trust there, of a sort.