What is not white is black; what is not black is white. Black trees against the white void of the sky; paperwhite skin, black teeth, eyes white, tongue black. Shadows knife-edged, black blood on paperwhite skin; white blood on black skin.
Cedar’s head throbs with figure and ground. Alleyways are dark things until you’re in them, full of white shapes limned against black walls once you are. White stab of barlight spilling from behind black door. She drinks black beer from white glasses, white beer from black glasses, black beer from black glasses, white beer from white glasses. Her eyes ache trying to riddle how much she has finished, how much yet to drink.
“Another round?” A hand full of black ink; change, falling, catches the light, turns black to white to black.
“Once there was red,” she tells the bartender, blearily. “Once there was a thing called blue.”
She looks at Cedar, looks at the beer. Shapes move across what Cedar thinks of as her head; she could be raising her eyebrows. “Oh?”
“And green, too. And… chartreuse? Something like that. Hey, listen—”
Shapes move again. A smile?
“Listen, we should make out.”
“No, really, let’s moosh our… these things—” she gestures helplessly—”listen. Let’s just make out.”
“Okay,” says the bartender. Cedar isn’t sure what happens next, but it’s awesome.