There are benches inside of this room, and a bar. Two women are seated at the bar. One of them is wearing something the other finds unattractive. She does not tell the woman this, however. In fact, she says, “You look so attractive in that dress.” The other woman, not as stupid as she is unfashionable, says, “Thank you,” but she doesn’t mean it. Truthfully, she resents having to say it.
On one of the benches sits a man named Rut. There is another man sitting next to him. They are strangers. Rut considers trying to speak with the man, but then remembers that he doesn’t enjoy speaking with strangers. He is silent. After a while the man turns to Rut and says, “Excuse me.” But Rut, having already recalled that he doesn’t enjoy speaking with strangers, remains silent. The man turns from Rut with a sigh. Why are people in rooms always so rude? he asks himself. Then he stands up and walks over to the bar where he eavesdrops on the women’s conversation as he orders another drink.