The night is winding down. We've eaten oysters, lobsters, crabs, and meatballs. We've drunk cocktails, Verdicchio, Armagnac, and more cocktails. But Hammer isn't done. "A nightcap? Bourbon?"
After asking the bartender for her cocktail recipes, Hammer reaches for his wife's hand and helps her up from the table. It's a gentleman's move. For all of his swagger, Hammer, the proto-Prince Charming, is aware he exists in the story only for the sake of a girl—and maybe for the waitstaff of the restaurant we've been keeping open with our drinking. On the way out, Hammer flip-flops around the place as the floors are being mopped, thanking every last person who made our cocktails, brought our food, cleared our plates. This is a man with old-school manners—and liquor tolerance. Seemingly, Hammer isn't the least bit drunk.
The staff at Le Bremner is asking for him to return, and soon, as if he had just saved the kingdom. Hammer waves goodbye one more time. "Thanks again," he says. This is not how an asshole eats. This is gratitude. "I could have turned out that way and run in those circles," he says as he ducks to fit his frame through the doorway. "But I'm glad I didn't. Besides, I have too many real friends, and this wife, who—if I ever acted like that—would smack me so hard, right in the mouth."
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