Guests wander around a mid-size rectangular pool, too shallow for swimming. Some are in shiny jewel toned cocktail dresses and very high heels, some wear old jeans with cigarette ashes rubbed into the fabric from 1998. People alternately care and don’t care that celebrities are in attendance.
Armando is 24. He wears a casual suit. His hair has been arranged in a series of sharp, irregular spikes. The top of his head looks like a little mountain range.
Jalisa is 22. Her dress is tight, her heels are high, and her teeth are perfect. She twists a strand of very long hair around her index finger.
Armando: I just–to get through life, you can’t have expectations.
Armando: You have to just take it as it comes, not expect anything. Because the minute you start to expect things, you place limits on the possibilities of what could be.
Armando: Like, we’re talking, we’re having a nice time, but I don’t expect anything of you.
Jalisa: Like, I don’t expect anything of you, either.
Armando: And I try to just wake up, and take every day as a new day, right?
A new day filled with new possibilities. I’m an actor now, but maybe in the future I wake up and I’m a doctor. A surgeon. And if I’d tried to force things, then I wouldn’t have ended up on the path that I’m on.
A self-conscious celebrity walks by. He’s wearing a beige suit, holding a drink. His blue eyes are cast toward his feet. Armando and Jalisa watch him, turning their heads.
Jalisa: (Still distracted by the celebrity) Yeah.
Armando: You just have to take what the universe gives you. Be open to its blessings.
Jalisa: Yeah, for sure. You can’t control the universe, things always happen for a reason.
Jalisa slips off a shoe. She dips her foot in the shallow pool, pointing her toe.
A security guard, who had previously been leaning against a wall, leaps over a set of chairs, pushes past some guests, arriving at Jalisa’s side in under two seconds.
Security Guard: Please don’t touch the water installation, Miss.
Jalisa looks at him blankly.
Security Guard: You need to take your foot out of the water right now.
Jalisa looks at her foot. It’s still in the water.
Security Guard: We’re gonna have to ask you to leave if you don’t take your foot out of the water and put your shoe back on.
Armando: (To Jalisa) It was nice talking to you.
Armando turns and walks quickly away. Jalisa takes her foot out of the water, shaking off the forbidden drops.