Your Name on a Dinosaur Bone
The curly haired girl peeks at me from across the bar like a parakeet looking out an open cage door. Her friend twirls her finger around the cherry in her glass while Tower leans on my arm and smiles. “Game on?”
“Game over,” declares some guy who points to Tower, or at least to his jersey, and then to the TV with the final score. I’m worried because last month Tower pushed a guy and we got kicked out then he ripped the Christmas lights from the sidewalk tree and yelled "Goddam San Francisco!” to the passing cabs.
Now Tower just puffs up and the guy reunites with his buddies by the door. “Oh you’re cool!”
“Forget it man,” I say. The girl with the cherry drink is staring so I tell her don’t worry.
A pause and then, “Football fans?”
“Oh yeah,” Tower says. “Well me more than this guy.”
“Hey me neither,” says the curly haired one.
“Never played sports?” says Tower.
“Oh I ran cross country in high school but I hate running now.”
“That’s not true, you do races,” says her friend.
“The only fun part is passing people.”
We all laugh and they tell us they’re at a digital marketing startup nearby. Like do you know who really buys soy protein bars? Guys who play video games in blue states. Dina’s the one with curls and she's from the Midwest but didn't wear Victoria's Secret sweatpants in high school. She’s been hoping to feel an earthquake and I tell her I haven’t felt one yet either. Tower proposes we all do shots.
“In college there was this girl who always wanted to leave when we did shots,” says Dina.
“Like a frat party where some girl gets raped in the end like on Lifetime.”
I break out laughing.
“Seriously, she wouldn’t quit crying until we got pizza.”
“Oh pizza sounds awesome right now,” says Tower.
“Hey we have some in our office!” says Dina’s friend.
When the elevator door opens there’s just a dinosaur skeleton greeting us in the hall.
“It’s real,” says Dina’s friend. “Our donation saved this museum in Sacramento so they let us pick. Velociraptor.”
Dina gets the pizza while her friend points to a claw bone. “That’s mine. We all sign one when we join the company. Writing your name on a dinosaur bone makes you feel like you’re part of something really valuable, you know.”
We hear a scream and see Dina hovering by the window, a red light flashing on her face.
“Don’t do it, don’t do it…”
Down below we make out cop cars and then the outline of a man on a roof ledge. Every few steps he stops to swing his arms as if bargaining with the fog.
“Oh isn’t it just awful?”
I place my hand on her shoulder and feel her shaking body and wonder if this is what an earthquake must feel like.