Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A cocktail party, sans cocktails

A sticky silence pervaded the small, strangley decorated room. It made me think that possibly the interior designer in charge of this one was suffering from some acid flashback at the time of decoration and thought people might feel comforted with carpets up the walls on two sides and a completely mirrored wall on another. A mirror which everybody was avoiding, in case they caught a glimpse of one of the other’s eyes.

There were about ten of us, all strangers, standing about, a tiny cocktail party but with no cocktails. I looked around for one of those pineapples with sausages and pickled onions on toothpicks sticking out of it. A snack hedgehog. But there wasn’t one.

Three well-dressed, middle-aged men stood together at the back, looking like overgrown schoolboys in their shirts and ties. I imagined they might have marbles or catapults in their pockets, and perhaps a half-chewed toffee.

In the mirror, I surreptitiously watched a flash of lust pass through the tallest man’s eyes as he looked at the pretty young girl standing next to him. She was wearing jeans that she must’ve put on when they were wet, so tight they were, and a low-cut t-shirt, the top of her bra peeking tantalisingly out above the neckline on one side. She smelt like Issey Miyake.

The frumpy lady in the corner was looking uncomfortable. She rummaged around in her bag for nothing in particular, avoiding eye contact with the fat man who was standing in her space. I felt claustrophobic for her. The silence was getting thicker as our time together lengthened.

Then the young girl sneezed. A chorus of “Bless you” and a ping to announce our arrival on the ground floor. The lift doors opened, a rush of fresh air, and our little cocktailless cocktail party was over.

Lifts. Strange places aren't they?

2 comments:

Angela said...

A lift, haha! I couldn`t figure out why nobody spoke! But in a lift speaking is NOT ALLOWED! And yes, that mirror, so embarrassing. Funny situation, and well observed. When are you going to write a book? I`ll buy it, I promise!

allie said...

Its a short story -
Just as it is.
Brilliant!