“Who’s that guy with Crazy Daisy?” Joanna asks Tara. “And do you have any napkins I can fold?”
“That’s Provo. Her husband. And no, we’re all set.”
“You have got to be shitting me,” Joanna says. “That’s Provo?”
“Yep. Hard to believe, isn’t it?”
“I think he’s the handsomest man I’ve ever seen. Including movie stars.”
“Yeah, and he’s nice too. And makes a good living.”
Matt returns from the men’s room and catches the last snatch of conversation.
“Who are you talking about?” he asks.
“Provo, Crazy Daisy’s husband,” Joanna says. “That’s him down at the end of bar. Sitting with her.”
“Holy shit,” Matt says.
“I know, right?” Joanna says. “You’re a good looking man, but he’s on a whole other level.”
Matt is not offended, because it’s an undeniably true statement.
“He’s a combination of Paul Newman and David Beckham,” he says. He does what Joanna calls the combo game with almost everyone he meets. For instance, when he first met Jim and Leigh, he said Jim was a combination of Russell Crowe and Fred Flintstone, and that Leigh was a combination of Rob Lowe and Princess Caroline of Monaco.
“I can see that,” Tara says. “More Paul Newman, though.”
“Are they still together? I thought she said that he wanted a divorce,” Joanna asks.
“Far as I can tell. They seem very simpatico tonight.”
“What on earth does he see in her?” Joanna says. It’s a rhetorical question; she doesn’t expect an answer, and doesn’t get one.
“What does he do?” Matt asks.
“He’s some sort of consultant, but a real one, not a bullshit artist. Something to do with telephony, whatever that is,” Tara says.
Ben comes in the side door; they hear his big laugh before they see him. Joanna waves him down.
“Hey, Ben,” she says. “Did you see that Crazy Daisy’s husband is here? How well do you know him? What’s the story?” Joanna has a habit of piling question upon question without waiting for answers.
“That’s not her husband,” Ben says.
“Sure it is,” Tara says. “I’ve met him before. That’s Provo.”
“No, that’s his twin brother, Orem.”
“Provo has a twin brother?” Tara asks. “I did not know that.”
“Orem’s an odd name,” Matt says. “Isn’t that a city in Utah, just like Provo?”
“Yes,” Ben says. “Their parents named the older twin Provo. I think that’s where his mother got pregnant. They named the younger twin Orem because it’s the city closest to Provo.”
“Younger twins are always given short shrift,” Joanna says. “It’s a wonder they’re not all sociopaths.”
“Hmmm,” Ben says.
“Oh, Lord,” Joanna says. “You’re saying Orem is a sociopath?”
“I don’t know the exact definition of sociopath, but he’s definitely warped.”
“Examples, please,” Joanna says, leaning toward Ben.
“He’s the exact opposite of Provo. No real job, says he picks up construction jobs here and there but I think he gets his money by selling weed. Slick and slimy and a mean drunk. But what he’s doing right now is really bad.”
Joanna glances down the length of the bar and sees that Orem is eating an olive. She doesn’t think that’s what Ben is referring to.
“What’s he doing?” Matt asks.
“He’s pretending to be Provo.”
Joanna feels a sharp stab of alarm. “That’s terrifying,” she says. “Daisy believes it? What’s his game?”
“She does and she doesn’t,” Ben says, answering Joanna’s first question.
“Meaning what?” Matt asks.
“I think she knows it’s Orem but it suits her to pretend it’s Provo. Especially now that she and Provo have split up. She’ll have sex with Orem and pretend it’s Provo. It’s a win win win.”
“Who’s the third winner?” Joanna asks.
“Provo. She’d be stalking him if it weren’t for Orem,” Ben says.
“Definitely a sociopath,” Joanna says. “It’s more common than you think. 4% of the population. And since the average person knows 600 people, we all know 24 sociopaths.”
“Well, that’s quite a definitive statement, Jo,” Matt says. “And very specific.”
“I read it in a blog. I read a lot of stuff on mental illness. Helps me avoid sending crazy people on interviews. My clients tend to frown on that.”
Something occurs to Matt. “Hey, how’d you know it wasn’t Provo?” he asks Ben.
“He has the eyes of a goat. Soulless.”
Joanna shudders, visibly. “This is really creeping me out,” she says, and turns on the bar stool so her back is to Crazy Daisy and Goat Eyes Orem. “Tara, I need a comfort drink. Can you make me a chocolate martini, with Bailey’s?”