Peace And Quiet


errol_icon.gif tess_icon.gif

Scene Title Peace and Quiet
Synopsis Errol, who just wants some peace and quiet, gets invaded by Tess, who just wants fun.
Date October 31, 2010

The Nite Owl

It's still an hour or so before curfew, which means that there are still people hanging around diners like the Nite Owl, trying to get dinner before they're shoveled back into their homes or wherever they're spending the evening. The Nite Owl isn't too busy, thankfully, though it certainly gets louder when Tess opens the door and limps in. "Oh it's so cute!" she says, beaming as she looks around the diner, then starts moving, slowly, towards a booth.

Errol is already seated in a booth, facing the entrance. Arrayed in front of him are a cup of coffee, a newspaper, and a menu. The last is getting scrutinized at the moment. His eyes slowly pan up to look over the top of his menu toward the sound of the lady's voice. He looks at her for a moment, then returns his attention to the selection of diner grub he has to choose from.

Tess comes to an abrupt stop, not something that's difficult with her slow pace, and her head tilts as she considers Errol for a moment, then the other booths, both occupied and non, then back to Errol. Finally she grins and moves towards his booth, inviting herself to plop down across from him. "Hi, I'm Tess. Mind if I join ya?" she asks, her Cajun accent more than noticeable.

Errol folds his menu and sets it down sideways in front of him, his thumb remaining between the pages he was reading. He looks at the bundle of energy sitting across from him and considers her for a moment. "Why me?" He finally asks, his Irish accent obvious even with those two syllables.

Laughing, Tess shrugs and reaches for a spare menu. "Why not? You're alone, you're cute, isn't that reason enough? And now that you've spoken, there's that accent. Mmm mmm mmmm. Very nice. Seriously though, you don't mind, right? 'Cause I hate sittin' alone but I'm hungry and have no kitchen."

Errol looks at her for another moment, and then shrugs as he reopens the menu and resumes his apparently arduous decision-making process. From behind the menu, he says, "Was gonna read my paper, but I s'pose I can do that later." There's a pause, then he folds his menu. "You know what you want, or do you need to look?" He holds out the menu for her.

The menu is taken and Tess grins. "Bah. Why read the paper when you can hang out with someone?" she asks, glancing over the menu. "So what's your name, cutie? Or should I just come up with a nickname for ya? Only Irish thing that comes to mind is Leprechaun, but that doesn't really suit you since you're not itty bitty." She glances over the menu to peer at him. "Well, you're tall anyway," she says, before giving an impish grin and going back to browsing.

"There's power in a name," Errol says. "Especially with all the Registries and everything these days." He picks up his coffee and takes a slow sip from the cup, setting it back down on the table. "But, you can call me Errol."

"Man. Everyone's obsessed with the Registry today," Tess says, sighing and shaking her head. "Went on this ghost hunt thingy a bit ago. This one guy, part of the tour, not the tour guides, put on a show. Cold ghosts dancin' around. Friggin' DHS agent jumped on him and carted him off. Was a shame. The show was fun."

Tess grins at him then as she motions the waitress over. "Errol it is. Sounds British though, not Irish. And here ya are in the Big Apple. You're just a meltin' pot all your own, aren't ya? But nice ya meet ya, Errol." A soda's ordered, along with a burger and fries, before she looks back to the man across from her. "You ever smile? It'll help ya live longer, yanno."

Errol chuckles. "The Errol most people think of was one of you Yanks," he says. "I'll admit it's not a Seamus or an Aidan, but it's Irish enough." He shrugs then. "But, I'm a man o' the world, really. So, it doesn't matter much to me."

Tess leans back and points at him, grinning. "See? Meltin' pot. Irish, British, American…A nice lil' mix. I like it. I'm just Cajun, through'n through. Right down to bein' spicy," she says, giving him a wink. "But I'm shocked! You laughed, a lil'. It looks good on you. Ah! Sugar, thanks!" she tells the waitress as her coke is set down, and she sips at it. "So what brings an Irishman like you to the new world?"

At some point, Errol got his order in too: corned-beef hash, and two poached eggs. He shakes his head. "Same as any other," he says. "I'm here to work on the railroad and live the American dream." There's a pause while he takes a sip of his coffee. "Wait, shit, I'm late for that."

Tess laughs. "Yeah, 'bout, what, a century too late? I mean who actually takes the train anymore? 'Less you're countin' the subway. But I gotcha. Nothin' you wanna tell a complete stranger, even though she's totally cute and cheerful," she says, giving him a big grin.

"Trains are all the rage across the pond," Errol says. "Trains here are slow and old, it's no wonder you Yanks don't use 'em. If you ever get over to Japan, take a ride on the Shinkansen. That'll get you places."

Again, Tess laughs. "Japan? Darlin', I only just left Louisiana for the first time. I think I'll settle in here before I even think about crossin' an ocean for any reason. Haven't even been here but a month, give or take a week."

Errol chuckles again. "Well then, Tess, welcome to New York," he says. Coffee is sipped and she is considered. "So what got you out of the Big Easy? Didn't like singin' the blues anymore?"

"Mmm…Well, mom died back towards the beginnin' of the year, and my dad's here, so…" Tess trails off and shrugs, but a little of the shine disappears from her.

Errol shifts in his seat and looks a bit awkward. "I…um…sorry for your loss." His coffee is quickly raised to his mouth to give it something to do other than talk. One sip, two sips. Then he sets it down. "You close with your father?"

The laugh that comes out of Tess's mouth is genuine, but sharp and short. "Close? No. He'd be happy if I dropped dead on the other side of the world so he didn't have to deal with me or my funeral. But hey, who needs him? Got friends, don't need a jackass dad. What about you? Been here long enough to make friends?"

Errol shrugs and then nods. "I know people, yeah," he says. "Been away from the city long enough that I'm not sure who I know here right now, though." Coffee is sipped, and then the cup is set at the edge of the table for the waitress to refill.

Tess considers him for a moment. "You camera shy?" she asks randomly, before she starts in on her fries, leaving the burger for last, it seems.

"Yes," he says. "I don't much care for having my photograph taken." His plates arrive in front of him. He scootches the poached eggs off of one plate and on top of the hash. Then he stabs the eggs to let the yolk run out over top. He cuts out a bit of egg, and scoops up a bit of hash, and stuffs it in his mouth, chewing carefully.

Tess sighs. "So many camera shy people in the city. Makes it hard for a girl like me. I'm camera happy. Take pictures of everything and everyone. Nearly got in a fight over on Staten Island last week actually, over a picture."

Errol considers her words for a few moments as he chews over another bite of his breakfast-for-dinner. "What were you doing down there?" He takes a sip of his coffee. "Not the nicest of the five boroughs."

He's eyed for a moment while Tess munches on a fry. "Don't you start too. Had a friend jump my ass about it already. Tried provin' a point even. An' I was takin' pictures. I want pictures of the whole city, and Staten's part a' the city."

Errol shrugs. "Sorta," he says. "Don't know that the folks on the island really think of themselves as part of New York City so much any more. Last I checked its sorta its own little world."

"Maybe, but I still consider it New York, so it's part a' my shoot New York thing," Tess says, shrugging and digging into her burger now.

Errol knows when it's time to drop a topic. He shuts up and eats his food. Omnom. Coffee rinses a few bites down. "So, aside from photographing the city, what do you do, Tess?"

"I dance. I'm a dancer at this strip club over on the Lower East side," Tess says with another shrug. "Nice place. Wasn't the place I wanted to work at, but that place has a bitch workin' there, so I moved elsewhere. You?"

"I like to read," Errol says, nodding toward his paper. "You know, stay up on current events. A lot of those these days." He takes a couple more bites of his food, and a sip of his coffee. "Sometimes, I get out to clubs."

"Well that's not interestin'. Clubs, maybe, but not the readin'. Why read about current events instead a' gettin' out there and livin' 'em?" Tess asks.

Errol shakes his head. "'Cause I don't want to be ignorant of all the events everybody else is livin'," he says. "World is bigger than just you and me. What other peoplepeople we don't even knoware doing today can affect us both tomorrow."

"Yeah, can't argue that. But nothin' can affect ya if you're just holed up at home readin'. Or at leawst not like it can if you're livin'," Tess argues.

Errol shrugs and nods. "Some people just want peace and quiet," he says. He shovels the last of his eggs and hash into his mouth, chews it slowly and then swallows. He takes a sip from his coffee. He reaches into his pocket, and pulls some bills out, leaving them on the table. He grabs his paper and slides out to the edge of the booth. "Was nice meeting you, Tess, but I've got to get across town before Curfew."

"Yeah. Curfew blows. You take it easy, Errol. And try to get out some'n have some fun," Tess tells him with a grin.

Errol chuckles and shakes his head, standing up and giving Tess a little wave before he heads out the door.

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