watching andrew kidman
ripped off the lo-five collective blog
He arrived at the party late, let himself in and stood alone against the wall. He took a drink and watched the others from under his hair. He looked a little hunched, like he had just left a meeting that had gone against him. A couple of people came by to say hello but they didn’t stay, he gave all of them the same half-smile and head-bob before they moved on to other parts of the room.
Places they would rather be
He watched them go.
Then he smiled down into his drink, and looked over his shoulder for no reason and right into the inquisitive eyes of a blonde woman he didn’t know. He shrank away from her blank stare and he moved a hand to his teeth, which he rubbed a few times.
A characteristic of his.
He put his drink down on the mantelpiece and put that hand in his jacket pocket. Then he took it out and scratched at his arm above the elbow. It wasn’t itchy.
He looked down again, at his shoes, his boots. They were old brown and polished and looked ok sticking out of the ends of his jeans. He shrugged his shoulders into the fit of his jacket.
He looked up again and saw that no one was watching him. He was the only one in the room unaccompanied.
Others were dancing. Others sitting on the lounges talking and laughing. Others mulling up over by the dining room table. A group of women were in the kitchen.
He just stood there with his drink.
The blonde woman walked past him on her way from where she had been to some other place. She trailed a fragrance of perfume tobacco and sweat. She had a little pot-belly that pushed out the front of her dress. She had red fingernails and trod heavily. Away.
He looked at the carpet by his feet and watched her high heels disappear from his right side peripheral vision. Then they all laughed over there, where she was now.
A girl came around with a plate of hot food and a bowl of black liquid, but she was called away before he could dip the food into the sauce. Somebody came by and asked him if he had a cigarette and took it and said thanks without looking into his face.
Time passed by.
He walked outside and nobody he passed said anything to him. He closed the glass doors behind him. It was raining. It was quiet. There were mosquitoes waiting for him. Broken glass mined the ground. Glittered shards.
The chairs were wet and what food was left on the table was uneatable.
A large glass bowel that had held the salad had eleven cigarette butts floating in the watery ruins of a couple of lettuce leaves. Dozens of half-sized beer bottles littered all the level surfaces, some were open and part full. Others were partly drunk and put aside.
A broken Bourbon bottle had been brushed into a corner. Somebody had left a sweater draped over the back of a chair.
He was reminded of Pompeii.
All is ruin.
He was the only one standing out there in the rain, and as he turned to walk back into the room he noticed that a group of four by the glass doors all turned away from watching him. One of them was talking. As he talked he laughed, when he stopped they all laughed and one or two of them flicked a glance at him.
He didn’t know any of them.
The blonde was in the middle of the room, dancing. She had her back to him so he watched for a while. She was heavy hipped and the flesh of her upper arms looked old. She was of a generation older than the music and she just stomped and moved her hips and arms to the rhythm.
He saw her glass on the mantle beside him so he moved away and found there was nowhere else in the room where he could stand alone. All the corners were occupied, as were the lounges and chairs. The walls had no space to stand and lean. The kitchen was still busy with women.
Nobody waved him over. His glass was empty.
He was lost.