It was another, lifeless, small-talk filled, Leon Bridges soundtracked, cocktail party. Which is to say it was a cocktail party. If you’d been to one, you’d been to them all. Tonight’s edition had delicious finger foods, a probably good selection of wines that I could not tell apart, enough IPAs to keep the bros happy, and more degree-collecting, weather-complaining, resting-bitch-faced bores than ever before.
I was doing shuttle runs between the window and the buffet for most of the night, trying not to get stuck in those “And what do you do?” conversations that sap my will to live and keep me from the pigs in blankets.
Somewhere between the cocktail weenies and more weenies enjoying cocktail, I got hit by a bolt of lightning.
From across the room, her piercing green eyes caught mine, suggesting, coyly, that she had noticed me. Suddenly the party’s pulse sprang to life, or maybe that was coming from inside my chest.
I’m not sure how I hadn’t noticed her. It was like not noticing the color in Pleasantville, but in my defense, the room was jammed with small groups of blatherers. I retreated back to the window and tried to stay composed. I chose my spot in a group talking about WeWork or something, so I could survey the living room for the only sign of life.
After waiting the appropriate minute, I looked back and found her across the room, slowly advancing towards the middle of the room, from where I had withdrawn. She slipped between and through conversation circles, her hair crossing her face like windshield wipers, intermittently revealing an evasive grin. It wasn’t until she got to the middle of the room and swooped down upon three of the remaining pigs in blankets that I realized what was happening.
Toting the napkin filled with her bounty, she vanished back amongst the crowd, opening the door for my next strike. I ducked low and squat-shuffled, popping up in front of the spread for long enough to grab another minidog and catch her mocking clap before crouching back out of sight. If the other partygoers weren’t hypnotized by their own self-importance, they would likely have wondered what an odd sight I had become.
She used a spin move. I moonwalked. She hid behind some guy, basically moving in his shadow. We parried and riposted to and from the buffet, exchanging volleys until the only things left on the table were room temperature veggies and crackers.
We could have been a funhouse mirror, a playful, almost perfect match. We could have been something other than pigs, in a blanket. We could have been a lot of things. But once the pigs in blankets were gone, so was she. I couldn’t find her anywhere. As quick as she had popped into my life, she disappeared even quicker.
I described her to the host, but he didn’t recognize her. I asked around but that was about as useful as room temperature veggies and crackers at a cocktail party. I left alone. And with a stomach ache. But with a renewed spark. I was going to find Miss Match if I had to eat every hors d’oeuvres in D.C.