The Hundredth Meridian

Western Swing

The Hollows, Hasty and Happy, were hardly ever sure where they were.  At times, they weren’t sure who they were, either, but it never mattered for them because they were very, very rich.

Hasty was from Chicago originally, and Happy from Mississippi, where she had earned half a degree from Ole Miss.  In the days when they still had identities, individually and as a couple, as well as a primary residence (a co-op apartment on the Gold Coast where they spent as much as three months out of the year) and were therefore in a position to entertain, the Hollows had been known to their friends as Gucci and Pucci, respectively.  Since they sold the co-op, bought a string of condos around the country in places that included West Palm Beach, Sea Island, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe, Jackson Hole, and Monterrey, and stopped going out except to take a taxi to and from the nearest airport, they hadn’t bothered with friends or clothes either, except for twenty or thirty dressing gowns apiece by Ralph Lauren.  

Their drink was Johnny Walker Black, and plenty of it.  Hasty took his straight on the rocks, but Happy preferred hers with soda water and a lime twist.  After more than thirty years, both Hollows smoked Players cigarettes, chiefly because it had become a habit for them and they could no longer taste tobacco, anyhow.  They would get up at around 2:30 in the morning to smoke a cigarette...

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