The following summer series is based on true events. It was inspired by the movie After Hours, a little known dark comedy out of the eighties in which the main character feasts on Murphy’s Law until the sun comes up.
The only thing that goes as planned is time. The rest is a cosmic jump ball.
December 31, 2009- I’ve been invited to a New Years party for the second year in a row, which is kind of like being hit by lightning and then donning a suit of armor in anticipation of the next storm. I say this because of my enigmatic nature. I give off the appearance of a social butterfly but parties make me anxious. I find them to be a random exercise in human behavior to which I’ve never been able to relate.
The only reason I’m going is because I’ve got an idea. It’s provocatively ambitious, sort of like a Hemi without brakes. Page one of the blueprint involves a slight reboot on the standard Martini made famous by old Blue Eyes. Because when venturing into dangerous territory, always have a drink in you. And when said territory involves a married woman, make it a good one.
The room is slanted towards the female persuasion. Still, I ain’t making any Sunday morning pancake plans just the same. I’m riding hard on a bet whose crimson locks would drape nicely over any part of me they wished to venture.
I sidle up to Jen, who’s nailing some woefully inebriated chap to his gold cross for having the audacity to make a pass at her. She’s the anomaly; the only woman who showed up without a pretty sidekick. That’s because her man is out of town, and her friend is the hostess. Oh yeah, and it’s also because the hostess is the one I have my sights set on. Jen possesses a morbid appreciation for car wrecks. And to be witness to the event as it’s taking place? Well that’s just bonus round.
“Making friends, I see . .” I smile as the drunk married guy gives up on her and moves to a ring of peach schnapps gigglers.
“He’s telling me all about his wife and then he asks me what I’m doing after this,” Jen smirks.
“Women are big on honesty, the old boy’s just aiming to please,”
“So are you really gonna do this?” Jen asks. Her eyes are twinkling with visions of fist fights and police calls.
“All systems go. Problemo?”
“Well, you show up to the scene of the crime . . a year later almost to the day. This time you come alone, with the intention of stealing the hostess . . .”
“I’m sorry, I forgot how important the language is for you,”
“Stealing is bad form. It’s what high school boys do with Prom Queens. They chase, steal and score. Whereas an experienced rodeo hand pursues, borrows and makes breakfast,”
“Yeah, awesome. But it seems your expedition is based entirely on assumption,”
“You’re assuming that when she dropped the ‘we should get drinks sometime‘ line in your lap, it meant something,”
“It’s called due diligence. And besides, a married woman feeds me that line, she ain’t planning on baking cookies with it,”
“She could be a tease,”
“I’ve considered that. But when Cleopatra bats her eyelashes in your direction, you jump first and ask the pertinent questions later,”
“Remind me again why you’re still single?” Jen laughs.
“Because I tried coupling. I’ve tried it my whole life, in fact.”
“Chicago girl was a bad idea,” Jen says.
As far as understatements go, this is a platinum mantle piece. The context is that she was a brilliant writer, a former model and a trust fund brat who had legs like catamarans. From the get, she was handing out more red flags than a member of the Soviet Komsomol, but I was blinded by the science.
It’s been three months since the worst breakup of my life and it’s as if the universe talked me into coming here tonight. As if the stars wrote up this destiny whilst sipping on moonshine and listening to Johnny Cash. But I’ve got nothing to lose and that ain’t helping matters.
Time’s gonna do its business, with or without me.