Keeping Score: Tip Tabulation and being Number 1


(Excerpt from Keeping Score, the precursor story to Capturing Captain America)

“Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Franklin, Roosevelt, Hamilton, Hamilton and back to Lincoln, tabulation is $500 tonight”

Kaja neatly organized her tip money into a small box and inserted it into the safe in her bedroom. That should get us through the next two weeks she thought. Tonight was a decent tip night. Bleue Spinnakers was packed with legally able to drink college students the entire night. Kaja had to take the car keys from at least five frat boys and get them into cabs. On nights like this she cleared around $1000 in tips. Tonight wasn’t a cash flow night. She had ended up talking to Ronan for two hours. Two unprofitable hours listening to him pitch a mathematician summer job with his father’s real estate investment firm. Kaja could have taken the bait but the prospect of having to spend time commuting to and from Malibu held no ROI for her. Except maybe she’d learn a thing or two about real estate and stock picking.

When her sister Zhara walked into the room Kaja noticed her red blistered hands.

“You didn’t use gloves tonight did you? I told you to be religious about that.”

“I was in a hurry. They only took five minutes.”

“What did the dermatologist say about that? If your eczema gets worse you may have limited functioning with a sever flare up.”

“I’m getting a stronger cortisone cream tomorrow. How much did you make tonight?

“$500. It sucks.”

“Don’t tell me you spent too much time on a virgin drinker. Is Eric in rehab and not ordering international cocktails from a nation a minute?”

“Ronan came to talk to me.”

“Malibu Ronan? Your Captain America? You served an underage drinker?”

“No. He stayed sober and wanted to talk to me about working in a finance type internship for his father this summer.”


“Yes. It’s only part-time.”

“You took the job? What about the bar? Justin and Randall want to give you equity ownership in it when you finish college.”

“Part-time in Malibu on the days I’m not at the bar. I was looking for another job remember?”

“With Ronan? You can’t be serious Kaja. I know you think he’s fictional Captain America but c’mon you and he are going fight outside of school?”

“He won’t be around. Just his father and their company employees.”


“He’s going to San Diego for boot camp or whatever it’s called. An ROTC obligation thing. He’ll be training with the Marines all summer. I won’t see him much anyway.”

“How much is his daddy warbucks going to pay you?”

“$1000 a week for a day’s work.”

“In writing?’

“In writing.”

“Kaja I know you strategize about every move. It’s worked for you since you began working at 14. Is this just your inner Athena trying to capture her own Poseidon?”

“Yes. I need to know if Ronan is Captain America. I didn’t think he existed “

“He doesn’t Kaja. We walked through a comic book shop in Manhattan before that workshop. Remember the brownstone building on Broadway and 114th Street? You must have seen some Captain America cartoons and it got your imagination going.”

“What are the odds or statistical probability that a man would show up in my life who matched nearly 90 percent of that list I wrote? Down to the name, location, intelligence?”

“It’s like the horoscope. You wrote something general but specific sounding enough that any number of guys would have fit that description.”

“It’s Ronan. I know it.”

“Yeah I know you think you know it. For a scientist you followed some schoolgirl hunch all the way to L.A. He’s in L.A. I just know it. How does it feel to know you turned down a full ride at St. Mary’s to chase some phantom man who doesn’t exist and the only person who you suspect is him is dating Miss Orange County!”

“Zhara just let me do what I need to do to either prove my theory about Ronan or not.”

“What do you want with this Kaja?”

“Simple. One plus one equals two. One on its own is the loneliest number you can ever be.”

“You want to marry Ronan?”

“Yes but not for his money.”



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