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All this end-of-the-world sex talk makes Spartos wonder if she's been living in a cave all these months! (Actually, she's been living in a makeshift fort in her living room, from which she's been drinking 40s and watching CNN nonstop.) To her rescue comes on-again, off-again love interest Trust Fund, a philosophy grad student who likes to give Spartos long-winded answers to questions she never asked. "I don't know about all this entomology crap," retorts Spartos, "but I sure could use a drink."

Trust Fund wines, not dines, Spartos at romantic Japanese hideaway ANGEL'S SHARE (8 Stuyvesant Street, 777-5415; walk upstairs and take the door on your left), where the hushed atmosphere is maintained by three golden rules: no standing, no screaming, and no groups of more than four. Spartos—who grew up in a large family of Greeks constantly standing and screaming at each other—is immediately intrigued. But what intrigues her more is the mammoth menu of cocktails listing close to 100 specialty drinks. Spartos imbibes, in no particular order, a gentile, not gentle, mint julep ($13); a warm and fuzzy chocolate martini ($10); and a sweetly tart apple martini ($10). "So tell me about these Hegelian Dianetics," hiccups Spartos between swigs. "I think I saw a commercial for them the other day." Trust Fund orders a gin martini "up with an olive" ($9) before taking a large gasp of air.

When the lecture's over, it's off to dark and sensuous COZ(511 East 6th Street, 995-8889) for some vino and vittles. The upstairs S-shaped bar—with its dim red glow and low-key vibes—offers a friendly, noncommittal atmosphere for first-date feelies. Equipped with a well-poured Chilean cab ($5) and a Heineken ($4), the duo devour an amply portioned meze platter (assorted Greek cheeses and meats, plus pita, olives, vegetables, and tahini; $20). Unfortunately, Spartos's buzz-induced bravado wears thinner with every toasted pita bite. So, while Trust Fund is engaged in a lively Socratic monologue, Spartos daydreams of buff Mediterranean men in sandals. "Wait a second," interrupts Spartos, "Was Socrates gay?" But before she gets an answer, she drags him out the door.

They stagger down rose-petal-strewn steps into sexy and cavernous CHEZ ES SAADA(42 East 1st Street, 777-5617), where shadowy lanterns and giant bowls of glistening gratis olives are crowning touches to the sultry Moroccan mood. Although Spartos has to compete with lithe belly dancers and too-hot-to-trot waitresses in dainty pink frocks, she gets a major ego boost from a mouth-puckering Cleopatra (Absolut Mandarin and puree of blood oranges; $11) and a sassy Topaz Teardrop (Absolut Citron, pomegranate, molasses, and apricot nectar; $10). Imagining herself some kind of Dionysian nymph, Spartos shimmies suggestively toward Trust Fund. With a wink and her best sacrificial-virgin look, she whispers something involving "olive oil" and "orgies" into his ear. And for the first time during the night, Spartos gets the last word in.

 
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