I should never have come, I knew that now.  Peter wiped his mouth and broke the silence.  “Start-up costs, that’s where they kill you.”

“Mm” I said, forking up the last of my salmon.

“You think you’ve got this golden idea, and you’re not wrong.  But then you realize what it takes to get it off the ground.  The loan, the building, permits, everything.”

“Do you feel that?” The ground was shaking.

“It’s just a plane taking off.”  He gestured.  “There’s so many it makes your head spin.  Most people you meet are dead in the water and don’t even know it.”  I could see the water in my glass vibrating.

“I dunno, Peter—“

“Pete, please, you’re the only one who calls me Peter anymore.”

I sighed.  “I dunno, Pete.  Seems like you have to take the risk, these things never happen on their own.  I mean look, you’re paying for this meal.”

”Sure,” he reflected, inspecting the end of his tie.  “But I’m different, I’m a predator.  I kill to eat.

“I guess ,” I said.

“You have to understand that.”

“Sure,” I said.

“Where is she now?”

“I don’t know.”  I didn’t want to say that.  I didn’t want to be here at all.  I looked down and watched my water shiver in its glass.  He was wrong of course, I understood that much.  Planes have pilots; planes take off.  The earth shook and the windows rattled in their frames.  I could feel it.  It was coming straight towards me.

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