“You are a doctor. Aren’t you?”
The doctor puts his arms over his head in a stretch. “I am so, my dear lady. And *you*… are a nun. We are both servants of the community at large. This, erm, *Teepot*. Is that what we lot decided to call it, hmm?”
“I’m afraid you aren’t a part of our lot, doctor,” spoke New Nun honestly. “You are not an inhabited soul. You are merely a prop. I merely ask if you are the doctor to see if *you* realize this.” She was truthful but not harsh. No need to get testy with this fellow servant, as he called himself. Good. He may be worth saving in the long haul.
“I *see*.” But did he really see? He made the queer observation again in his pleasant, proper British accent, as if he were repeating himself at a set interval. “You know, when I started this bartending gig here those statues over there were nude. I just came to work one day and they were suddenly clothed, out of the blue. I remember it being a clear, crisp morning. I had the same tweed jacket I have on today. In fact…”
“You never remove it from your body,” New Nun guessed about what he was going to say.
The doctor eyed her keenly. “Yeeeess. Me thinks you know more than you let on, madam.” He thought back to her earlier statement, absurd in the moment but becoming a growing, flickering possibility in his diamond-like mind. Although a prop true, he was such an extraordinary learned and storied one that he truly may be becoming alive in the moment. New Nun could be right about him being worth saving. Why would I doubt her? It’s in her business after all.
She looked at him squarely. “But you are not the doctor I seek.”
“No.” She took a final sip of her whiskey drink and was gone. The doctor vaguely waved goodbye before forgetting who she was.
New customer, one blacked out but with dangerous curves. She felt the cross and crucifix disappear from her hand beneath the counter. She remembers Rhode… second life. His head pivots toward her as the sequence begins again.