The International Writers Magazine:Razzamatazz
On All Sixes
still taste those sweet whiskey cocktails Bobby made. He always
makes them taste real swell. I dont know what it is that
he does but theyre always so much better than anyone elses.
Janey thinks Ive got some sort of crush on him but honestly
I have never heard anything so ridiculous. Its going to
take more of a man than him to make me go goofy. Last night was
so fantastic though; it sure would have made one hell of a dream.
We managed to dance
all through the night, right into the morning. Janey and Marianna practically
danced from Tommys car straight into the club. I told Sammy Id
stay and wait for her outside though, she really despises going to clubs
on her own and I simply cant stand being early.
I stood and waited for her across the street so I could watch who was
coming in and out. There were people milling around outside the gates
for a while just waiting to go in, it looked set to be a busy night,
but then it always is at the Puncheon. Since Charlie and Jack swung
open its doors its been the hottest place in town. They sure know
how to throw a swell party. Id go as far too say that theyre
the best in the whole of Manhattan, theyve always got hooch and
they hardly ever get raided.
Sammy showed up soon enough but I didnt really want to go in just
yet, so we took a walk down 52nd street and just talked and drank gin
from my hipflask. We were still feeling a little wired from all the
shimmying wed been doing at this joint we went to the night before.
But we thought, what better way to cure the post party blues than by
the hair of the dog.
Sammy was talking about California again; she thinks shes going
to become some big movie star. Truth is she probably could be if she
really wanted; shes really got it, a real doll. But theres
no way Im moving to California with her, not this week anyhow.
I like it here too much.
After our little pre-party pick-me-up, and when Sammy had finally finished
dreaming about being the next Louise Brooks, we decided that we better
go inside. Marianna and Janey might be wondering where we got to and
anyhow my flask was dry and we were both out of ciggies.
We could hear the Charleston playing as soon as we passed through the
big black doors, and we could see there were plenty of fellas in there,
Bobby too, even some fly boys. Some tall fella with dark hair used a
line on Sammy the moment we got in and we just fell about laughing,
he looked so put out. I think he thought he was being really smooth
but boy, was he a flat tire. I cant remember what he said exactly
but it was something about Sammy having eyes deep enough to swim in.
What a gyp. Honestly that sort of talk is enough to make any girl run
Sammy and me took a quick turn around the joint to see who had turned
out for the evening. The usual crowd was there, everyone was dressed
up to the nines. I forgot it was Jacks birthday so everyone had
really gone all out. It looked like it was going to be a real good night.
People were dancing everywhere, the hooch was flowing and everyone was
having a right wild time. It didnt take us long to find Janey
and Marianna. They were both already fried on too much giggle water
and hadnt stopped dancing since they got in. Janey hollered at
Sammy and me to get a wiggle on. Sammy didnt have to be asked
twice she could Charleston better than anyone, but I politely declined
Janeys drunken flails in favor of finding myself a fella to fetch
me another drink.
I walked upstairs and looked around then headed back down toward the
bar, I could see plenty of fellas around but I guess I was really looking
out for Bobby. Maybe I am a bit stuck on him. He was bound to be there
somewhere he always comes to Puncheon. I was pretty sure I saw him stood
somewhere near the back doors just after we got in.
I noticed Charlie and Henry, as I was walking around, they were necking
in the corner. Again. What a pair of fags. I dont know how their
wives dont realize. Theyre either always hopped up, or love
really is blind. Honestly I have never seen two fellas look more like
a couple of Ethels. It sure makes me laugh every-time I see them together.
I went over to say hi and asked them if theyd seen Bobby anywhere
but they started joking around and saying that I was all in love with
him, but I gave it to them straight and said that it wasnt true,
I aint nobodys doll I told them. I dont think Charlie
believes me though, but he did tell me that Bobby was there, standing
up by the middle staircase somewhere.
I went to go and find him and eventually I did. He was stood next to
the stage, laughing and joking with his friend John and some girls.
Bobby was usually surrounded by a crowd of giggling girls, Im
not saying that hes some sort of lounge lizard its just
that girls always seem to like him. I wasnt jealous or nothing
though there are plenty of fellas I could have if I wanted. It just
would have been nice to see him and say hi thats all. Dont
get me wrong the last thing I want to do is go steady with him, because
Im really having a nifty time on my own. Anyway, most of the girls
he was with looked like regular bug-eyed-betties. At least they did
from where I was standing.
I decided not to go over. I didnt really want to tussle my way
in just be another floozy draped over his shoulder. He knew I was there,
he could come and find me if he wanted to say hi. Instead I bought myself
a Martini and went back to find the others. Predictably, they were all
still dancing like wild bearcats. Boy, they would dance all day if they
could. I stood there and just watched them for a while. They sure looked
like they were having a swell time. I was going to go and join in but
first I had to take a trip to the powder room. And boy am I glad I did
because you will never guess what I overheard in there.
Im not sure who the girl saying it was exactly, but she sure knew
who I was and I sure knew who she was talking to. It was Fiona that
English girl who had a thing going with Tommy for a while. Shes
a real nasty piece of work if you ask me. There were a couple of other
girls there too who I sort of recognized. They were from the Upper East
Side. I remember seeing them around some juice joints over the summer.
Anyway, they all came in to the powder room, when I was already in there
and I could hear them beating their gums about something or another.
I wasnt really listening until I heard one of them mention Bobby.
So I stayed real quiet so they wouldnt hear me and pushed my door
open slightly so I could see who they were. I knew Fiona was there Id
recognize that nasty British accent anywhere. She and one of the Upper
East Side girls were talking about how nice they thought Bobby was and
wouldnt it be swell to be his girlfriend. The girl she was talking
with seemed to have a real thing for him but she was getting frustrated
because he was giving her the icy mitt. But then, and I still dont
believe this, she said that she thought his being cold had something
to do with some plain faced blonde shed seen him with, who was
usually all over him.
I heard Fiona mention my name so I knew she was talking about me. Plain
faced, I dont think so. I got more going on than she does, and
Im never all over Bobby its the other way round if anything.
That Jane didnt know what she was talking about, shed do
well to mind her own potatoes if you ask me. But thats not even
the half of it. She said that Bobbys father knows hers and that
if he knew Bobby was playing around with some little two-bit tramp then
hed be in big trouble. So she said that the next time she saw
me she was going to put me in my place and tell me to back off because
Well that got me so mad. But if that was the case, I thought theres
no time like the present. That flour lover had put me in such a lather.
I swung open my door and walked right up to them. You should have seen
the looks on their faces, they didnt even try to hide their surprise.
I stood there for a few seconds just staring at them not saying any
thing. Then I checked myself in the mirror and turned to walk out. They
were deadly silent the whole while, how wet could they be. But before
I left I stopped and turned round and looked that snobby Dumb Dora right
in her piggy little eyes.
Sorry, I thought you had something you wanted to say to me
I said. But she didnt say anything, just went red like a beetroot
and shook her head.
Thats what I thought, I said. Youd do
well to keep your little opinions to yourself anyway. As soon
as I walked out the room a big old smile stretched itself right across
my face. I wanted to hurry back to the dance floor and tell the girls
what had just happened, but not before I paid Charlie a little visit.
If those girls thought that was the end of it they had another thing
coming. I found Charlie in the same corner he was in an hour ago and
told him about the little incident in the powder room. He told me not
to worry about it hed take care of it. He said that nobody is
rude about his little Annabel especially not on Jacks birthday.
I went back and danced with everyone on the dance floor, the music was
the best and once Id forgotten about those nasty girls I had myself
a high old time just joking about with Sammy and Marianna. I danced
so much my legs felt like they were turning to jell-o. And I was so
pleased when Bobby came over to see me and say hi. I knew it, I knew
if I left it long enough he would come over to me, but he said hed
been waiting for me to come over to him. Guess he got tired of waiting.
Anyway he gave me some of the whisky cocktail he had in his flask and
asked me if I wanted to sit outside with him and have a smoke. There
was no point being coy anymore so I just said yes. We started to walk
over toward the main doors but then the funniest thing happened.
and her little crowd were all stood by the door arguing with Charlie
and Jack. It turns out that good old Charlie had told Jack what
happened and he was asking them to leave. He told them that he wasnt
prepared to put up with their sort on his birthday. Hes always
had a big soft spot for me. Fiona actually looked like she was set
to start crying. None of them knew what had hit them. I couldnt
help but laugh as I watched them get escorted out. Jack turned around
and gave me a wink as they were leaving, which I think Fiona noticed.
Cant say I dont think they deserve it though.
Bobby was stood
behind me holding me round the waist as we watched the commotion. He
asked me what I supposed happened to them. But there was no way I was
telling him so I simply laughed and said that why, I just couldnt
© Xara Higgs Feb 2006
xarahiggs at hotmail.com
Xara is a writer on the MA in Creative Writing at Portsmouth University
Dreaded Christmas Office Party
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