I’m sure Betsy wanted to grab Malcolm and disappear from the event the minute the keynote speaker began his spiel, but she had to remain – pretty much glued to the table – till the bitter end. Janet took a few shots at Malcolm as the evening wore on. “You must be Betsy’s husband,” she queried in her drifty voice. “It’s so nice to meet you. What do you do? Wait, let me guess. You’re a gastroenterologist.”
“Keep guessing,” said Malcolm.
“Only of my wife’s heart,” said Malcolm, squeezing Betsy’s hand that was clenched in a fist on the table.
“Sweet,” said Janet. “A gynecologist?”
We were all thinking: Only of Betsy’s pussy as Malcolm grinned and said, “Nope, try again.”
“I’m a lawyer,” said Malcolm.
“Oh, useful.” Janet looked around the table as if to ask the rest of us what we did.
“I’m a painter,” offered Graydon, who’d had a few glasses of wine.
“I’m a therapist,” said Emil.
“I’m an art dealer,” said Alicia.
“And you?” Janet said, staring pointedly at Betsy.
Betsy had had a few glasses of wine, too. “A business person,” she said imprecisely. “Did I hear you say you’re moving to Austin?”
“Yes, uh huh.” Janet smiled sweetly. “We’ll have lots of opportunities to meet again. Talk and get to know one another.”
“Wouldn’t that be lovely,” said Betsy.
The live auction started then, lots of noise and activity as a troupe of scantily dressed girls fanned across the ballroom with baskets to collect checks and orders. The auctioneer, who seemed to think she was a rock star, was so shrill and imposing that I had to get the hell out of there fast and used the opportunity to go to the ladies room. In the outer hallway where the silent auction was about to close, I checked the bid sheet for my portrait commission. There were only three contenders so far, the highest bid an embarrassingly low $3900. My head down in shame (my portrait commissions usually start at $5000) I proceeded to the ladies room, passing women in long beautiful gowns and a man in a kilt and knee-hi’s. In the stall, pulling my dress up and my tights down, I heard a woman in the stall next to me say on the phone: “Yes, sweetie, I miss you, too. I’ll see you the day after tomorrow.” Janet. Impossible to mistake that drifty voice. I finished my business and hastened out to the sink to wash my hands. And then there she was, smiling at me in the mirror. “Hello, Nicole,” she said. “Nice to finally meet you in person.”
To be continued…
Cover photo ~ http://karenvwasylowski.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html