Company XXXmas Party

i swear, all these so-called "good", upper middle class folks are hanging on to the appearance of having morals by a very thin string. let them dress up a little, put them in an unfamiliar room with their colleagues, fill them with booze and BAM! pretty soon even the most aged and unexplored of hormonal impulses is squirming on the floor like a yellow-eyed snake.

i take up position with my seltzer and my lime and my cigarettes and my cell phone and try not to get in the way.

i know the chicks are good and buzzed when they make a big deal out of introducing me to their husbands and boyfriends.

"THIS is sterling," they say, in such a way that I'm almost tempted to fill in the rest-- "that LESBIAN i told you about..."

the biggest favor i could do for them would be to flirt shamelessly with them in front of their man, thereby creating a neat and safe little fantasy that the two of them could save for a moment of need...

"...did you see that, honey? that LESBIAN was totally flirting with you!!! right in front of me, too!...hey...do you think that maybe she wants a THREE-WAY?"

this year's party was no different, except that the woman in question is drop-dead gorgeous, thereby rendering my powers of flirtation null and void.

i mean, this is the woman who has a pair of green leather pants that made me literally fall out of my $800, ergonomic chair trying to keep her in view for as long as possible after she passed my office door...

as the evening wore on i watched as she drank everything in sight. she ran over to me and asked if i could see the glitter she smeared across her chest. i could. she asked if she could get me a drink. no, thanks, i said. not even one? she asked. no, i said. not even one.

she introduced her husband to me as her "partner", her eyes wide as she stared into my face for my reaction.

and, in fact i had one. i was surprised.

"yeah, i hate the word 'husband'," she said, as she followed me (sans partner) outside for a smoke. "almost as much as i hate the word 'wife'."

"really?" i said, trying to look slick with the unlit cigarette dangling from my lips.

"I kind of like it."

"what?" she said.

"that word. 'wife'."

"really?" she said. she bent forward so that i could light her smoke.

i caught the scent of her hair. it smelled like candy.

"hmmm," i said.

"what?" she asked.

"when you leaned forward like that I could smell your hair."

"oh yeah?" she said, excitedly, her eyes twinkling through their boozy glassiness.

"what does it smell like?" she asked, giggling.

"like lollis," i said, with a fake english accent. now i was giggling too.

"for real? wow. here."

she leaned forward again. i started to take another whiff but she turned so that her mouth was nearly against my ear.

"wait. don't move. i want to tell you something."

"k," i said, swallowing hard.

"i'm a virgin," she said.

"really?" I said.

i blew out a thick puff of smoke in a long, meditative exhalation.

i felt my left eyebrow rise-up on its own--the way it does when i'm excited but trying to hold it in.

"which version?" I asked.

allison krausse

radio goo-goo

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