N and I sit on the couch. He is skyping V. I am smoking. He says something in Russian, I catch all but a word.
“Poetry?” I ask.
He shakes his head. “Dress.”
“You’re telling people I like wearing dresses?”
“Hey. Dresses are comfortable and everyone looks good in a dress,” I say, defensively.
“I know,” he says, patting my shoulder. “I know.”
I grumble over a few drags of my cigarette. “Everyone is a bunch of prudes,” I mumble to myself. I can here V giggling.
My phone rings. It is my boss. N takes his skype to the other side of the room.
“Hey boss, what’s up?”
“Hey, got a minute?”
I step out of the room, into the kitchen.
“Yeah, yeah. What’s up?”
“Hey, so do you have a picture? I have this company that might want you to work for them and they want to see your picture.”
I try to think.
“Yeah, I should.”
“Okay, good. Cause the only picture I have of you is on WhatsApp.”
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s one they’d like to see.”
I set up WhatsApp years ago. I’ve been using it a lot lately for professional contacts. I try to think.
“It’s a bad one, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” he says.
“Is it me in a dress?”
“It’s you in a dress.”
“Yeah, so maybe you should think about changing that?”
I sigh. “Uh, yeah. Sorry, I was young. It was just a joke.”
“Right, well, I’ve got to get these guys a picture so?”
“Yeah, I’ll send you a decent picture.”
“Good. And uh–”
“Yeah boss, I’ll change the WhatsApp photo, too.”
“Yeah. Good. Send me a picture okay?”
“Not in a–”
“Yeah, got it.”
He hangs up. I finish my cigarette in the kitchen window, trying to count the number of clients I communicate with solely through WhatsApp. I walk back into my room. N has finished skype, he sits there, sipping away at a cup of tea.
“What was that about?” he asks.
“Nothing,” I say, taking off my dress.