Friday, July 22, 2005

The Uninvited Guest

“Meet me there,” he said, and suddenly butterflies began to flap in our young heroine’s stomach. Arrive at a party to which she has not been invited, without the requisite Invited Guest? What’s a girl to do? She considered waiting, but the call of free alcohol and single boys was too strong, so in she went. Into the wrong building that is.

After locating the correct address via the flock of party-goers entering the building across the street, She headed up the stairs to the rooftop shindig. The event was, as advertised, filled with smart, single boys. A few assorted groups of similarly-savvy women mixed in, but the odds were definitely in her favor.

After loitering uncomfortably for a few minutes, margarita in hand, an Acquaintance was located, an Acquaintance that has borne some animosity for her since an incident, several years ago, involving the Acquaintance’s unpleasant behavior toward her best friend and an overheard muttering (drunken shouting?) of the word “asshole.” And yet, this was the only partygoer to which She had any connection. He had forgotten her name. Was it possible he had forgotten the incident? The Acquaintance rapidly extricated himself from the conversation, and her hopes of having him introduce her around were quickly dashed. He had not forgotten.

It seemed an uncomfortable eternity before the Invited Guest arrived, but arrive he did, and quickly put her at ease. Clearly aware of his important role, the Invited Guest showed her around, and as he did, other acquaintances arrived. This was going to be a fun night.

As the evening wore on, many drinks were consumed and many boys were met. In her excitement to converse with one of her new friends, She knocked into a cement planter on the crowded roof. All was fine, however, until her conversation partner noticed the rivulet of blood running down her leg. She had cut her knee. A pretty clean slice, actually. They dispatched themselves down to the office kitchen where a bevy of boys attended to her, getting band-aids, alcohol wipes, and a shot of whiskey to dull the pain.

Upon returning upstairs to party central, She was introduced to a Surgery Resident (on the short side, but, since she had abandoned her shoes hours earlier, She was unable to tell just yet). They spoke of med school, plastic surgery, his hopes of becoming a reconstructive surgeon. They seemed to have a connection. Situated in a secluded corner, a lull came over the conversation (which had gone on, unabated, for about an hour). She thought to herself, “Now would be the perfect time for him to kiss me.” As if the words had been spoken aloud, the Resident leaned over and touched his lips to hers. It was a sweet kiss, soft, and very appropriate. The kissing continued for a while, and She was pleased that the Resident was acting very gentlemanly—not trying to press his luck.

As it was late, the party was clearing out. She retrieved her shoes from their hiding place and went downstairs with the Resident to catch a cab. The Resident, however, had driven his car to the party, and, as he had not had a drink in several hours, offered to drive her home. She protested, as the Resident lives in Brooklyn and She lives up by the Cloisters. But he insisted, and how could she complain about saving $30 on a cab ride?

The ride was uneventful, except for a garbage truck blocking the street—the Resident tried to squeeze by and ended up denting his car. (She remembered the last time She had been in the same situation—in her former friend’s parent’s new car. She took the blame, since She had been rushing her friend to get back to the dorm where her new boyfriend at the time awaited.) At last they arrived at her house. (She panicked, realizing she would have to say goodbye and had forgotten the Resident’s name!) The Resident touched her knee, told her to take care of her injury, and again leaned in for a soft, gentle kiss. As She opened her front door, and glanced back at his car (he had kindly waited for her to safely enter her apartment) her heart dropped. She knew he would never call, never contact her. He had never asked for her phone number.

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