“Let me guess: You feel guilty about betting against Brady?”


“I never bet against Brady. Only a fool would do that.”


Red nails struck white cardboard in unison. “Then you’re concerned Harley is going to start making electric skateboards with ape handlebars? Or maybe you’re just depressed there’s never going to be a Rocky 7?”


He raised his eyes level with hers, as she smiled, then lifted his brow. “You’re good. You should do standup. Then you could buy your own caffeine.”


A snicker followed by teeth. “Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll remember it when I’m bombing on stage. Until then, how about telling me what’s on your mind?”


“Why? You think I’m losing it?”


“Was that present tense?”


He ignored her while barely nodding, his lips pressed, his expression pensive. He thumbed-rubbed the mermaid upon his black, no sugar, with a floating cube to curb tongue scald.


“What has been the cause for all the rioting, looting and destruction during the past half year or so?”


“Oh, that’s easy,” she said, “systemic racism. It’s all over the news. “


“Most of the news. But do you believe it?”


“What do you mean?”


“Do you believe systemic racism is at the root of the riots?”


“Why shouldn’t I?”


“Because it doesn’t exist.”


“How can you say that?”


“Obama,” he said.


“Obama? What’s Obama go to do with it?”


“No democracy with 330 million people, 72% of whom are white and systemically racist, would ever vote a black man into the presidency for two consecutive terms. It doesn’t make sense. Think about it. Ignore everything you’ve heard or read over the past year. Just think.”


She sipped her coffee in silence, her ebony eyes percolating.