The Informers


“I’m not too sure.” He starts to bite his nails.

“You think the Raiders will make it?”

“Raiders have a chance.” He shrugs, looks around the room.

“How’s school?” I ask.

“It’s great. School’s great,” he says, slowly losing his patience.

“How’s Graham?” I ask.

“Graham?” He stares at me.

“Yeah. Graham.”

“Who is Graham?”

“Don’t you have a friend named Graham?”

“No. I don’t.”

“Oh. I thought you did.” I take a large swallow of Mai Tai.

“Graham?” he asks, looking directly at me. “I don’t know anybody named Graham.”

I shrug this time, looking away. There are four fags sitting at the table across from us, one of them a well-known TV actor, and they are all drunk and two of them keep staring admiringly at Tim, who is oblivious. Tim recrosses his legs, bites at another nail.

“How’s your mother?” I ask.

“She’s great,” he says, his foot beginning to shake up and down so fast it’s blurry.

“And Darcy and Melanie?” I ask, grasping at anything. I’ve almost finished the Mai Tai.

“They get kind of irritating,” he says, looking behind me, in a monotone, his face a mask. “All they seem to do is drive down to Häagen-Dazs and flirt with this total geek who works there.”

I chuckle for a moment, unsure if I was supposed to. I get the waiter’s attention and order a third Mai Tai. The waiter brings it quickly and once he lays it down, our silence ends.

“Remember when we used to come here, during the summer?” I ask, trying to ingratiate myself with him.

“Kind of,” he says plainly.

“When was the last time we were all here together?” I wonder out loud.

“I don’t really remember,” he says without thinking.

“I think it was two years ago. In August?” I’m guessing.

“July,” he says.

“That’s right,” I say. “That’s right. It was the weekend of the Fourth.” I laugh. “Remember the time we all went scuba diving and your mother dropped the camera overboard?” I ask, still chuckling.

“All I remember are the fights,” he says dispassionately, staring at me. I stare back for as long as I can, then I have to turn away.

One of the fags whispers something to another fag and they both look over at Tim and laugh.

“Let’s go to the bar,” I suggest, signing the check the waiter must have set down when he brought the third Mai Tai.

“Whatever,” he says, getting up quickly.

I’m pretty drunk now and I’m weaving through a courtyard unevenly, Tim at my side. In the bar, an old Hawaiian woman dressed in a flowered robe, her neck thick with leis, plays “Hawaiian Wedding Song” on a ukelele. There are a few couples sitting at some of the tables and two well-dressed women, maybe in their early thirties, sitting alone at the bar. I motion for Tim to follow me. We take the two stools next to the women in their early thirties. I lean toward Tim.

“Whaddya think?” I whisper, nudging him.

“About what?” he asks.

“Whaddya think I mean?” I ask.

“About what?” He looks at me irritably.

“Next to us. Them.”

Tim looks over at the two women, flinches.

“What about them?”

Pausing, I stare at him, dumbfounded.

“Don’t you go out with girls? What is this?” I’m still whispering.


“Shhh. Don’t you date? Go dating?” I ask.

“Sorority girls and stuff, but …” He shudders. “What are you asking me?”

The bartender comes over to us.

“I’ll have a Mai Tai,” I say, hoping I’m not slurring words. “What about you, Tim?” I ask, slapping him on the back.

“What about me?” Tim asks back.


“I don’t know. A Mai Tai, I guess. Whatever,” he says, confused.

One of the women, the taller one, with auburn hair, smiles at us.

“Odds look good,” I say, nudging him. “The odds look pretty good.”

“What odds? What are you talking about?” Tim asks.

“Watch this.” Leaning against the bar, I turn toward the two women.

“Well, ladies—what are you drinking tonight?” I ask.