What a strange, strange night.
Halloween. I love Halloween. Love it. I always had a strong affection for it, but after I met Stella, I really got into the holiday groove. Stella treats October 31st in much the same manner as your average six-year old will treat Christmas at six o'clock in the morning, and it's because of her that I've come to absolutely relish the idea of putting on a costume. And besides, dressing in outlandish outfits - well, it kind of gives you license to be someone else for a day, no? Doesn't it afford a sense of... liberation? Sure, why not?
So, October 31st, 2003 almost didn't come together. By the 28th, I was in a state of frenzy and panic, because not only did I have to dress up for work on Halloween, but I also had a party at Sleye's to go to. Really, it was a lucky moment of inspiration, because I was playing with a length of red fabric that I had bought for last year's Lucille Ball costume. Uninspired by all the other items in my store of costumes, I was down to a couple feet of scarlet cotton and a dejected look on my face. I half-heartedly threw it over my head and started playing, twisting it into a kerchief (Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match...), a hood (Oh, Grandmother, what big teeth you have...). I even grabbed a white shirt and tied the red around my neck. (Toro! Toro! Run, senors! The bulls are coming! Run for your lives!)
Yeaaah. No. Not at all.
Then, this is how it happened.
I started clearing up the mess of Halloweens past, and resigned myself to going downstairs to do some work for English Company Canada. On the dining room table. In the basement. Where there is a bowl of fake fruit. Ay carumba! I grabbed the abandoned red, fetched the bowl of fruit, and one banana, a lemon, a plum, an apple and a bunch of grapes later - say hello to Carmen Miranda, boys and girls!
And it was great, poppets! I was really proud of myself! I went to work with all the freakish confidence in the world, and then I took some of that and went to Sleye's, intent on having a fabulous time.
And the weirdest thing happened.
The party was wonderful. The costumes were to die for! Hamlet and his girlfriend came as Linda Richman-Cawfee Tawk type ladies, complete with gold spangled black sweaters and padded hips. One couple came as trees, with a laundry line strung between them, along with socks and underwear pegged and swinging. Teacher came as The Paper Bag Princess, along with Conspiracy Theorist, who came as the accompanying Dragon. Hilarious, I tell you!
And there I was, on the balcony, with what must have been a glass of wine too many at that point. I was talking to... someone. I can't remember who it was. I was looking at them through a happy haze of chardonnay. And then The Strokes came out.
I hadn't met them before. A couple were guys from Sleye's office; young geek-chic, Euro-hipster types. They'd brought a couple of friends and I spent the majority of the evening talking to them. Young, Italian... turns out one of them is paisan to me.
Mike. His name is Mike. A lovely boy. He's got goals, priorities, and a solid head on his shoulders. He's really cute, but not too cute, you know? I mean, he's got a nice, open, friendly face that's totally make-out-with-worthy, but he's not scarily good-looking. And he smelled delicious. He's taller than I am. He's not a low-talker. He even likes Neil Diamond! (I love Neil Diamond!) Oh, and get this... get this! He has a great head of hair, but it used to be longer. See, he decided to cut it all off and donate it to the Canadian Cancer Society. Ok? Ok? And he's from The Same Part Of Italy That My Family Hails From! He's my mother's wet dream! And he's straight! Straight!
Now, this would all be perfect and wonderful, except for One. Tiny. Thing.
He asked me out. He asked me out, poppets! Like, on a date! And because I'd had a glass of wine or four, I gave him my card. So he has my number at work. And he says he's going to call.
I am so terrified he may actually do so, I'm sitting here sweating. No, seriously, this is all just horribly wrong. The good mental health potential here is so high; I don't know how to deal with it.
Donít ask me why Iím being this silly, poppets. I canít explain it either. All I know is that itís like someone came and stuck a needle in my bottom, injecting me with a mother-load of bone-chilling, heart-stopping, teeth-chattering fear.
God help me. He may actually call. Now what am I supposed to do?
I blame the fruit. It's got to be the fruit.