Kiosk, by Bruce Sterling.
I didn’t make it to Sweet Nothings last night, instead I was caught in a crime-scene on my way to the art gallery/tattoo parlour where Claire and Noah have their paintings up. I knew going down that there had been a murder, two people shot in a black SUV outside Gotham, the overly expensive steak-house across the street, but what I didn’t know was that by the time I arrived, the police were locking down the entire block.
I had perfect timing. As I walked from the bus-stop, cutting between buildings, they literally blocked off all the exits with police tape around me. I tried stepping under it to get out onto Seymour where the gallery is, as I tried to find my way out, and I was shouted at to get back, this is a crime scene, then I tried the alley to the same results, then the way I came in to the same results. Finally, having used up three of the four cardinal directions, I decided to hell with their shouting, I was going to breach the damned line, and ducked under the tape out onto Dunsmuir.
Next thing, I was sitting hand-cuffed on the hood of a police car as four cops shouted at me for sneaking in, possibly tampering with evidence, and theatening to arrest me for obstructing the law. It must have made an odd little scene. Four large men shouting at me in my long black coat, a top hat with a pretty ribbon, and gold lipstick, as I explained as patiently as I could that no, I had simply gotten off the bus, I was not involved in any way, and yes, you can go through my things as much as you like and would you please take these damned things off me, I am not twelve years old, thank you, stop treating me as such.
There were so many police present at the scene that I can’t imagine there were any left in the rest of Vancouver, so it took twenty minutes for them to find anyone who could verify my story. When it finally came crackling over the radio, “what, you mean that chick in the top hat?” I was testy enough to bitch them out for being unprofessional enough to call me a “chick”.
The rest of the night was lovely, however. Frank and Claire, once they were allowed out, picked me up at the Tim Horton’s across the street, and we stayed up immensely late taking incredibly silly cleavage-filled photos at their place. So there you are, internet, you’ve been warned. Breasts are imminent.
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley.