THE POINT OF THE BOTTLE - caroline kepnes

Vera snaps, “What’s the point?” “The point of what”, Charlie says. Charlie reads the news. Vera hates the news. She’s an artist. Charlie’s favorite item today:  Bottle lost in a Maine nor’easter is found twenty years later by a beachcomber in Northern Ireland. Vera sighs. “There is no point”, he says. “It’s just beautiful.” He wants her back, he plays, “We’re so white right now, with The New York Times, the eggs benedict and the sugar substitutes. You don’t get any whiter.” “It’s your newspaper,” she says. She won’t play. The waitress comes up, alabaster white, Jet Blue eyes. “The tip’s not included”, she says, smiles, goes. Charlie pats the newspaper. Vera will paint today. In his experience, black girls thrive on incidents like this. The point of the bottle: A bottle has no points, literally. Rounded things float eternally like a fat whitey in a chlorine lazy river. “What’s so funny?” she asks. He leaves a big tip and the waitress clings the bills, nudges the busboy, “My mom is wrong. New Yorkers aren’t cheap.” Beto doesn’t speak English. He sees the photo of the beach, the woman. He will swipe this art and tape it on his wall. Beautiful.  

Caroline Kepnes
Riding on Duke's Train
Mick Carlon