Brief Love: part one
The party is swankier than what I'm used to so of course I'm dressed to the nines. At least that's what I thought before I left my house. Upon arriving at the party forty-five minutes ago, however, I realized that blowing a hundred dollars on a new top just wasn't enough to impress this crowd. Typically I'm not one to focus on appearance. Goodness knows I have spent more than my share of days with a naked face and rat's nest hair while still feeling good about life, but tonight I am claustrophobic in my own skin.
The moment we walked through the door of the downtown bar reserved for this soirée, Molly ditched me. That's typical of her. As opposed to my more casual apparel, Molly's backless, strapless, and immodest red dress seems to be the choice among the women here tonight. I know I'm the only woman in the room without a dress or a palette of makeup covering up faux tanned skin. For sanity's sake, I ignore the mass of bobbing implants lest I remember my parents were not kind in the passing of genes, although I briefly consider asking someone for a reference to their surgeon.
I'm not sure why I agreed to be here tonight. I know enough of the guests to make the night dreadful. I’ve also been to this bar enough times to know it’s not quite up to the sophisticated standards of this lot. With Molly across the room surrounded by potential suitors, I'm free to explore the depths of a wine buzz and the instant wisdom that trails a few glasses. They're not serving Maker's Mark tonight, not at this pretentious gathering. I finish off my third glass of questionably tasting white wine whose name I can't pronounce even in the most sober state and then I raise my glass at the bartender to order another of the same. Molly doesn't drink and is always proud to be my designated driver, even if it means a late night Taco Bell run fueled by my blissful intoxication.
Forty-five minutes into the party, standing at the bar with my fourth glass of almost undrinkable wine and I'm already a casualty of the night. Buzz riding high, I'm listening to Heath, a yuppie metrosexual wannabe, droll on about his job. My eyes flit about the room to see if anyone interesting is around. Anyone more interesting than Heath, that is. Not that I think I'm better than the man, but Heath is someone that I tolerate when there is no one else around willing to tolerate me.
Molly passes in my view. She throws up a slight and graceful wave in my direction, one that goes unnoticed by the gorgeous flesh on the other side of her. I shake my head at her, partly in disgust, mostly in admiration. In the five years I've known her, she's never altered her M.O. Every few weeks she gets bored with her latest catch, she goes out and finds a new piece of meat to look good on her arm, then keeps him around until he becomes replaceable. A quick once over of her latest treat tells me he may last three weeks if he's good. Then it's out the door, hit the road, later alligator.
Heath the droll is still rambling on in my direction, something about the accounts payable department. I don't even know where the guy works or what he does, but by the intensity in his voice you'd think he was saving the world. What scares me is that the man belongs to the same dating pool I do. He's lurking and waiting to find a woman to tolerate him long enough so he can pollute the population with his little droll trolls.
I put the idea out of my head quickly as I'm sure that one thought alone is enough to send me straight to hell. I nod and smile as Heath continues his monologue, then I turn my head to take one last desperate glance around the room.
My mouth falls open and I clamp it closed before my jaw gets too close to the floor. The latest guy to enter the bar takes hold of my eyes without so much as glancing in my direction. He shakes hands with Jason, a stuttering droll, but unlike my impatience with Heath, this new man seems genuinely interested in Jason's drolling. If the man isn't interested in what Jason has to say, then he is certainly a most polite person and that only adds to the allure.
I calm myself, clear my thoughts, and block out all distractions so I can really take in the man. He's not gorgeous, not by Molly's standards, but I’m pulled toward him without moving a muscle. Blue shines across the room from mischievous eyes under a rough mass of dark hair. His face is a little more filled out than what I'm normally attracted to and under his button-down long-sleeved that couldn't have been purchased anywhere but The Buckle, there is a slight protrusion. The guys I fall for are usually wiry and don't exceed 5'8. This giant of a man, who couldn't be even a slash of an inch under six feet, was definitely different for me. Of course at my age, the only guys who don't have a beer gut are musicians and I have strict rules about staying away from musicians. Past experiences and all.
The man's gaze wanders around the room, scoping the scene much as I have been doing ever since I ended up at the bar with Heath. Then his eyes do the unthinkable. They fall on me. Maybe it's because we're the only two in the room dressed on the casual side, maybe it's because there was nowhere left for him to look, but something about me catches his eye and for the next couple of moments I will be the object of his focus. A corner of his mouth turns upward. I manage a smile and tear my eyes away to the floor. How could I be so dumb? To act like a shy schoolgirl after I flash what I know is the worst smile ever. No wonder I find myself spending my Saturday nights underdressed at swanky parties listening to drolls.
Heath's voice scratches my ears and brings me round to reality like smelling salts. The last thing I want is this wondrous man who captures me so exquisitely to think I'm with the likes of Heath. I tell Heath I have to use the restroom. It's a viable excuse and perfect for weaseling my way out of a horrific one-sided conversation.
I make a conscious effort as I walk-not-run toward the restrooms in the back of the bar by the stage. The band is playing one of my favorite songs and as I get closer to the stage my hips involuntarily sway back and forth to the music. I try to stop them, but it's a natural phenomenon I am forced to live with. A few more drinks and I might be tempted to dance, but right now I simply want to open my bladder's floodgates and get another glass of wine to ease my current suffering.