Somethings don't change.
|“Hi ya, Sugar,” Sally Bandworth said soft and sweet. She stood close, but not too close. She wasn't quite rubbing her boobs against the tweed of his left shoulder.
Henry had been about to bite into a precarious glob of sour-cream atop a celery-stick.
“Hi!” he said, sounding like a man in a dentist-chair.
Henry didn't know who this woman was, but he liked how she talked. He liked that she was talking to him. He liked the way her eyes sprang back and forth between the sour-cream about to fall from his frozen in mid-air celery-stick, and him. Her eyes were the lightest color blue, and her boobs were about to pop outta her cocktail dress.
Who was this girl? He didn't care. He made a quick decision; a decision quite foreign to any he had ever made before. He boldly redirected his celery-stick. His movement seemed effortless, as though it took no thought. It was something a “Ladies-Man” would do.
“Would you care for a bite?” he asked, unruffled, confident, thinking his luck was finally going to change on this festive New Year's Eve!
Henry Randolph Lester raised his pinkie finger ever so slightly and prepared to deliver a celery-stick with cream-cheese decisively between the waiting bee-stung red lips of a complete, and very drunk stranger who's boobs were about to pop out of her dress.
He watched her blue eyes grow mischievously wider. Her mouth began to open, slowly, like a drawbridge... Slowly, slowly, slowly wider...
His own mouth followed suit without Henry being aware of it.
Everything then seemed to come to a stop. The jazz music in mid-rift. Stopped. The drunk coming down the stairs pointing to his watch. Stopped. Across the living-room, the people on their feet counting down, “Six! Five! Four!” Stopped--
Sally Bandworth looked at this guy she didn't know. Who the hell was he? She was tired of sleeping with just anybody... He was kinda cute in a business-preppy sort of way. He was nothing she was used to... But that was not a bad thing, was it?
The celery-stick slid not quite neatly inside her mouth. Her straight white teeth came down hard, biting cleanly. She smiled with her mouth closed, chewing, her eyes registering sublime contentment.
You could not have asked for a more delightful crunch of celery-stick if you tried. You couldn't stage a more perfect little smear of sour-cream to be left in any more vulnerable corner of an any more willing mouth.
“Three! Two! One!” the people in the living-room chanted.
It was at the stroke of midnight, and with everybody at the party calling together as one, “Happy New Year!” that Sally Bandworth desperately required a gallant, passionate, rescue kiss from this man she didn't know, had never seen before, but all the same, this man she had a very good feeling about. A new beginning. A new Sally Bandworth! Imagine that, dating a nice guy!
She stepped up closer to be kissed. She found an index-finger pointing in a circular fashion to the side of her mouth.
Henry pointed at the left side of her mouth and then pointed at the side of his own mouth, and then back toward hers again.
Sally licked the side of her mouth and the cream-cheese smear was gone from the corner of her mouth that Mr. Whosit was supposed to lick off, and the whole moment was past, and Sally went home that night on the back of a Flathead Harley with a flathead named Casper she knew well and despised for numerous and well-documented reasons.
Henry went home dizzy with self-loathing and firm in his belief that he was a loser and that he would remain a loser forever and ever and ever and ever!