Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Party Past

The pub is low and dark and carpeted with a scatter of screen eyed boozers. It's my friend's birthday and she should be here, but she isn't. I make a phone call and a ladder appears before me and takes me up to a room I never knew existed. It's gracious and high ceilinged, cheese is out on the tables and drinks are for sale.
"You're too young to be here," says a man I've never met.
"Come here and talk art," says a woman.
"Weren't you in another state?" asks a man I once knew.
"I am in another state, " I answer. This is the end of our exchange.

My friend, magnificent in sequins and raspberry plush, laughs loud as her son brings out a cake. A rich, dark number seventy studded with handmade chocolates. I slip back down the ladder.

"Terrible rain," says the cab driver.
"Beautiful rain," I say. "We all need to drink."
"Good girl," he smiles. "You are the first to say this today."
Rabbits on wheels, we swing out of the traffic, into a narrow tiled tunnel. We curve away under the heart of the metropolis, merge, and emerge into a green place. The roadside is laced with many-trunked trees, there are moored yachts in the bay.

I buy a small dark cake, and after dinner I share it with my brother and his friends.

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