Fiddling While Rome Freezes


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Scene Title Fiddling While Rome Freezes
Synopsis People choose the strangest ways to spend their time and money as the blizzard continues.
Date May 12, 2010

The Corinthian: Bar and Lounge

Situated on the uppermost floor of the building, the Corinthian Bar and Lounge boasts an arched ceiling whose many small, square panes of glass double as a huge skylight. Of course, the large and open room is also lit by a dozen half-dome chandeliers suspended from that double-height ceiling and several high wall sconces. Brass fixtures gleam in the warm light, while the room's scattered potted palms drink it in with their bladed foliage. A ring of doubled marble columns supports the weight of the skylight dome and defines the two sections of the room: that lofty open space in the center; the quieter, slightly darker and more private edges of the lounge.

The tables are elegant rectangles of fine black glass, the seating a mixture of russet-upholstered couches and comfortably-padded oaken chairs. Most of the floor is covered by carpet shaded in the reds and golds of autumn, save for a runner down the very center of the room which is colored the exact shade of purple found in wisteria blossoms. The bar food at the lounge is much like its decor: expensive and beautifully arranged; but unlike many such spendy places, it's also very good. So is the alcohol.

Since getting turned into a shelter the hotel doesn't quite have the same feel to it that it did just a few weeks ago. For one, there's more PEOPLE. But neither the people nor the shelterness of the place seems to bother Kelly one bit. She's seated at the bar with a light-weight black leather jacket, and is nursing a drink of some sort. Whiskey or scotch or something, judging by the amber color of the liquid. A cigarette is held in hand as well, but it's largely ignored. No, Kelly's attention seems to be on the people. If people watching were an Olympic event, surely she'd be a Gold Medalist for how intently she watches.

And Evan would be Eddie the Eagle, the way he wanders through the crowd with barely a glance spared for those around him— merely tilting his shoulders this way and that to avoid bumping into anyone along the way. Maybe he'll feel more sociable once he thaws out a bit… and once he gets a drink or three in him, nad feels like he's thawing out. "Hey," he mumbles to Kelly as he settles down onto a nearby stool, only afterward glancing over to get a better look at who he's addressed.

What with her fabulous people watching skills and all, Kelly has noticed Evan before he ever mumbles a word to her. It's hardly discreet either. She's hardly a discreet woman. When she doesn't have to be. The single word has her lifting the cigarette to her lips and visibly sizing him up before she nods. "Hi." There's a brief pause, then one corner of her mouth tips up in what could, generously, be called a sort of smile. "Just got the hotel?"

Evan arches a brow at the cigarette— mmm, there's something else he could use, it's been a little while. Note to self, find out her supplier. "Yeah, me and half of Manhattan, I think— the other half's over at Luke's." As the bartender looks his way, he gestures vaguely toward the top rack of bottles: he's not feeling picky. "It's a closer walk from my office, but there's nowhere decent there to get a drink."

"Office? Your place of employment is still open?" Kelly asks, but though her brows are lifted in surprise, her voice is flat, toneless. "Why not simply just stay where it's warm and skip the freezing going back and forth?"

"I'm teaching at Columbia," the younger man explains, "in theory. Some of the students don't have much of anything better to do— and there are endowments set up that haven't got any rules for hell freezing over. So we stumble along, paperwork to be addressed at a later time."

Kelly stares for a moment. "Columbia is open. When it's around seventy degrees below zero? And the snow is high enough in places to cover a single story house?" She shakes her head. "I will never understand people," she says, in a way that makes it sound as though she has no desire to.

Evan shrugs. "Habit, mostly. If you have to venture out anyway to get food— Anyway, it's only a few more weeks till the summer break, I figure everything will fall apart around then." Leaning forward against the bar, he shakes his head. "Summer. I used to complain about the heat— well, never again."

Kelly shakes her head again. "I thought everything would be closed given the weather. Most everything else is since it's nearly impossible to travel. I had to take a snow mobile just to get here to the hotel."

"Nearly, yes, but you underestimate people's ingenuity when they're being stubborn bastards about something. Traveling on foot, forming crowds to help hang on to body heat… you name it, somebody's tried it." Evan nods to the bartender as his glass of 80-proof mystery is dropped off, drawing it closer and resting his fingers on top of it.

"Perhaps, but I think it doesn't make people ingenius. I think it makes them dumb as bricks," Kelly says flatly. "Risking death by freezing for school that should have been closed? Not the wisest of things to do. I thought school was supposed to make you smarter."

This time, Evan doesn't answer right away - he's started in on the drink, and takes a good long while savoring the momentary rush. "Mmm, people getting thrown into the likes of this, I don't blame them for doing something stupid every now and then. What about you, what'd you do for a living before it all crashed?"

"What I do hasn't changed, it's just been delayed for a time," Kelly replies with a jerk of her shoulder before crushing the cigarette out in an ashtray. "I work at the Linderman building."

Everyone's at least heard of Linderman, of course, though Evan doesn't know all that much about his business ventures. "Lucky— they've got a lot of supplies stockpiled, haven't they? Should hold out until someone kills the problem. Or long enough to set up an escape route, if it comes to it."

Kelly arches a brow, glances around the room, before she looks back to Evan as if not sure that she heard him right. But then she nods slowly. "Yeah, you could say that they've got supplies stockpiled," she says in a dry voice. "Like this hotel," she says with another of those faint curves of one corner of her mouth.

"Ah, that's right," says Evan, "I've mostly just kept track of where the safe places are, the politicians can worry about who gets to take the credit. Good to know it's not just hollowed out and waiting to fall over, then."

"If I were you I'd worry more about blame, what with Columbia still being open. Really, that is just one of the stupidest things I've ever heard." My, my. Kelly needs to learn some tact. "But yes, Linderman is helping as much as he can."

If Evan takes the dig personally, then he doesn't show it; surely he's not calling the shots. Perhaps he's enough of a damn fool to bother going along with them… but he's got a drink in him now, too, and that counts for a lot. "Well, good. I think I'll help myself to another round— can I get you a refill?"

There's a long moment where Kelly simply watches him, then she nods once. "Yes." She picks up her glass, drains it, and motions to the bartender for a refill. "What's your name anyway?" she asks when she looks back to Evan.

"Evan. Yours?" A hand is extended, if briefly, his motions damped down to a bare minimum by fatigue and the effects of the first round continuing to play out.

His hand is looked at as long as his face was just a moment ago, and then Kelly takes his hand, her own rough, her grip firm for a woman. "Kelly," she replies before withdrawing her hand.

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