She waits on the rooftop, scanning the horizon for my return. She runs down the stairs, wiggles into your lap and you tell her things about the places you’ve been.
You tell her about the beautiful boy with perfect abs who was carried into the back of the Uber by the bartender and the bouncer at Revolver who told me how hard it was to find love in WeHo. How you dropped him off at a house that looked like SpongeBob, and how he walked through the gate mouth and waved, and when you passed the other way, he was sitting on the stairs with his head down, exquisitely miserable in youth and luxury.
You remember the woman with the bamboo stick, out walking late, who hid behind this tree in Cheviot Hills while you waited for your rider to emerge.
And you tell her about the giant donut.
You recall the girl who waited in the car across the street from Tao until the traffic built up behind us, and people began to honk, and then slowly crossed the street, stopping momentarily in the middle to adjust her dress.
The rest of the night is a blur of signposts and unironic conversation.
The rides run together when you think back on your evening, a glass of whiskey resting on your forehead, your bare toes wiggling over the edge of the couch, listening to the crickets.
But if you open your phone and look at the waybills, the route maps work like a pneumonic device. Trivial details sharpen into focus: faces, smells, glances, snatches of dialogue.
It’s your memory palace. You’re the charon, taking people across the river.