Tuesday, June 23, 2015

And Guest

                           And Guest
                            Chapter 1

I stood in the nearly empty reception hall grinning like an idiot and trying to catch my breath. My ankles wobbled on my poorly chosen footwear and my purse hung impotently on my shoulder- still too light for lack of my fugitive phone and purposefully abandoned wallet. I pictured it on the hotel side table where I had left it in the assumption that I wouldn’t need it in light of the open bar.  I felt a pang of sadness like I used to as a child when I couldn’t take every stuffed animal to bed with me and worried that the others would feel rejected. Poor lonely wallet. Or maybe this time that pang was the more appropriate and adult panic that one normally feels when they've made a huge mistake. Either way there was no time to indulge my sentimental fetishes; my phone was nowhere to be found and I was still grinning at what I hoped was a kind stranger- the only person who might be able to help me- and completely failing to communicate my needs. I commanded myself to either say something or leave. My lips and legs defied me but my throat lept into action producing a series of croaks and hums. “Oh good,” I thought, “...Like a robot. Maybe he’ll think you’ve evolved beyond speech and be very impressed.”

After a moment of peering at me suspiciously he must have said something and I must have agreed because the next thing I knew I was following him towards a lone car idling on the far side of the parking lot. I saw the silhouettes of several other people shifting against the streetlamp glow which filtered through the backseat windows. Good. More strangers. I prepared to explain myself as I apologetically wriggled my body between two meaty torsos in the middle back seat, but quickly realized how very little information I had to offer.  The name of the hotel where my wallet lay languishing had dislodged itself from my brain to make room for the names of all 6 of the bridesmaids and their dates, all of whom insisted on drinking with me after learning whose Plus One I was. It was somewhere between my second Pina Colada and my third Lemon Drop shot that both my date and my phone had disappeared. Without my phone I had no way of knowing if he was trying to reach me but some small voice, be it conscience or aural hallucination, told me it no longer mattered. Had he not abandoned me 600 miles from home in a sea of unfamiliar faces, and had I not consumed an entirely undignified amount of coconut rum, I might have been more concerned.