On the floor with Earl Gray, and you say you don’t believe in past lives. Of course, that’s silly because you’ve already had them. You’ve said so.
Life #3, you were in high school, throwing rocks at the girl’s window, but the rock was too big and then pane cracked and shrieked, and you were so grounded.
Life #6, you only listened to Led Zeppelin, on vinyl, with the door locked, while trying to finish your thesis project blueprints and getting a little high.
Cats only get nine lives, but I think you’re up to twelve, sitting on the wood and asking me again why I won’t wear an evening gown. Well I have other lives too, along with some opinions, which go like this:
1. I don’t care how fancy the party is; evening gowns are so ’90s I can’t stand it.
2. I am shorter and rounder than a model, and those are the only women who can convincingly sheath themselves in 10 yards of chiffon without looking like a bolt from Mood Fabrics.
3. I had a great evening gown, but I lost it around Life #10. And I never got another one.
It was inky black and paper thin, embroidered with yellow stars and pink flowers. If it were made from cotton, it could have been a normal sundress, but the sheen of the silk and the spin of the thread pushed it somewhere closer to tapestry. Also, it plunged down my back and I was long and blonde then, so that helped.
I was 21 when I bought it, and it came with a boy, my height and jacked. My friends would fight over which was nicer, his smile or his car. It was a Saab convertible, so I guess that won.
There are some boys whose skin is so tight on their shoulders and wrists that you can feel warm blood underneath, and when they pin you to a wall, it’s like crawling under a tanning booth with your eyes shut. He was like that, and he wrote poems and they were sort of awful – the girls staged readings of them on my rug, with giggles, with screams, with shots.
I finally gave into those girls and came to a sorority dance, and brought the boy with me. We ditched about ten minutes later and walked to a gas station on a farm for beer.
We hauled three cases on our backs and dumped them on the college football field, deserted and thrumming electric with lights. “I can take you,” I gleamed, and we shotgunned the beers until we were dizzy and cheshire-grinned. He picked me up and we danced, but his foot stomped on the wrong edge, and suddenly – sprinklers.
We were soaked but we kept dancing. We ambushed the grass until it turned to green stringy mush under our feet. He leaned in to kiss me but the swish was too much, and whoomp, I was down.
He slammed onto my chest with such a thump that he pushed me through the ground, and at first I thought the squish noise was our kissing, but no – it was mud. My hair, my back, my gown smeared brown, and we rolled so fast that we wrapped ourselves in sludge. It was a Glastonbury dream, and disgusting, and when we finally came up for air, his face was streaked with worms and my hair was snarled with slime. I laughed so hard that I ripped off all his clothes.
Before the sun came up, we doused ourselves in sprinkler drops and he carried me home wrapped in his tux jacket. Now that I think of it, it was very YSL ’06. Anyway. We dumped the evening gown in the trash by the gym. I’ve never bothered to replace it.
As for your party, maybe in my past life I would have worn a long dress, but in this one, I think I have a strapless Luella that I got in London. It’s expensive but short, just like your drinking date. Hope that’s okay.
[NICO - AM I THE IMAGINARY SOCIALITE?]