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reflection to glass

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Jodie makes a point of never going to Hollywood parties.

It's a way to avoid conversations like this: "Because I play a sex cop," Mariska is telling her, "I'm always getting these long letters from rape victims, pouring their hearts out. At first I didn't know how to respond, and kind of freaked out about it, but then I realized God could give me strength to do some good in the world." Mariska is completely in earnest, despite the compromised boundaries of her role. Her lack of cynicism makes Jodie uneasy.

The pretty accessory on Mariska's arm excuses himself to refresh their drinks, as if Mariska isn't already intoxicated enough. She leans closer to Jodie, conspiratorially. "So, where's your girlfriend?" she asks. Jodie just raises her eyebrows, tries not to look down the front of Mariska's dress. "I always had a crush on you, you know," Mariska says. She steals a glance behind her to make sure the beard is out of sight before she touches Jodie's hip.

Jodie makes a point of never kissing girls at Hollywood parties. Certainly not against the door of a bathroom stall, silk under her fingers, and the tang of Cosmos on her tongue.

The casefile is open in front of Clarice, spilling grainy stakeout photos and mimeographed reports onto the tabletop, but she isn't looking at it. She's studying the ice that remains from her glass of lemonade, as if waiting for it to melt enough to unbalance, to fall into a new configuration. Jodie made the lemonade that morning, in preparation for their interview. It's flecked with fresh mint, and a green scrap of it clings to Clarice's upper lip. Jodie brushes it away with her thumb, and Clarice startles as if she'd forgotten Jodie was there.

Jodie doesn't ask Clarice if she can catch him. She doesn't need to.

In bed, Clarice watches Jodie the same way she watches the liquefying ice, like she might reveal new patterns as she disappears. Jodie is a victim, a body of evidence that begins and ends with Clarice's skin against hers, reflection to glass.