She took the book and went away from the kitchen where the others stayed, lighting up spliffs with peppercorn-scented candles. After 30 minutes she had gone, he felt like looking for her. He found her in the living room, crouching on the blue sofa, her left leg dangling. She was gone from their physical space – the kitchen -but also there alone, she had gone from her abitual, inner space – her eyebrows furrowed, her mouth half-open, she did not turn to see who entered the room on the creaks of his steps.
She took a deep breath pausing in front of the glass sliding doors. Her tired face reflected on it for a second, she was so worried about her appearance that she did not notice the elephant in the colophon that usually made her laugh. Or at least beam.
When she woke up with him under her bed sheets she felt like to cover her face with heavy make up before starting to talk with him.
The sunset was about to hug the dusty sand and the mild water your feet would never want leave. She grabbed some bugs with the help of her flashy green plastic mould shaped like a sloppy tower. She noticed a little tree branch, small like her arm but thick enough to hold an ants’ colony. She wandered for a good 2 minutes amazed by the speed those little animals climbing on and off the piece of wood, animating it like if it was vibrating.
She was having her quick cigarette break outside the crowded, moisty pub. The night was chill but not to the point to need a heavy jacket. She liked feeling the goose bumps popping out on her skin. She gave some drags to her rolled cigarettes. She could not finish it; she did not have time. She quickly got back inside stepping on the cracked wooden floor, to feel her head spinning like a Russian roulette at the heath of the flushed bodies watching the game.
For one moment, she felt like fainting on the floor.
Were they looking?
Why lights were so strong?
Why lights were pointed directly on his face?
He could feel his hands swelling like hot-air balloons, started sweating, desperately looking for a place where to shoo off their tremor.
And to not mention his legs! Did he still have them? They felt like yogurt stayed in the fridge overnight and about to crack under the teeth of some hungry child.
Because that was about it in the end, the audience was full of children.
So why was he so scared about it?
Because everybody knows children have no filters! They like something? They say it! They don’t like something? They beg you to death until they can leave that room filled with their worst boring nightmare!
The music started.
Shit, that was the time!
He started dancing, not sure if he could make the first step without sliding.
She had vomited for the whole night. It was something like food poisoning, combined with the stress she accumulated in the last few weeks because of the projects that were so difficult to make happen. Nonetheless, she still had a brunch planned with her boyfriend’s great aunt – yes, despite her 70 years she was really ahead of the game – and she could not miss it.
And even though the little dragons were revolting her stomach in front of the cheese and bacon scones, horseradish latkes with avocado, gravadlax and poached eggs, fried egg Florentine toastie, and brioches baked with crispy bacon, she gave the old aunt Maurie a big smile and started eating.