Monday, May 08, 2006

Makeout Party Poopers Day!

She'll be quiet on the drive home tonight, you'll think. Quiet and staring out her window at the passing houses, almost begging me to ask if everything's okay.

You'll move your left hand from her neck to her hip and you'll grab hold tight, but her kiss won't change. Her lips will continue to open and close like she was eating a forgettable sandwich. Her tongue will rest without a quiver in your mouth. Just a few more minutes and you'll have been making out for nearly a half hour, more than an acceptable amount of time before she takes a break to go to the bathroom.

And later she'll stare at the passing houses out her car window, maybe wondering what goes on behind those curtains. Do they talk to each other when they get into bed? Do they say hello when they come home from work? Do they have any trouble keeping up appearances at makeout parties?

"I'm going to go and freshen up," she'll say when the half hour mark has been reached. She'll have been checking her watch then, peeking at her wrist behind your neck. Just like you were peeking at the other couples, checking to see whether anyone else looked unsure of where to put their hands.

When she's at the bathroom, you get to evaluate the other couples squarely, without having to peek. They're all approximately the same age as you and some have been married for even longer than you. You've been to a few of their weddings. And yet they all make out as if they were newlyweds. Wives devour their husbands and husbands knead the flesh of their wives. As with every weekly makeout party, you'll envy these men their marriages to women who still crave their kiss, women who seem to have had no trouble in discarding their pregnancy weight. These marriages are alive and well. The couples arrive at the rec room antsy to shrug off their worries over finances and their children's prep school applications, like the minute they come down those stairs they just want to angle for the couch with the cushioned arms and start sucking face. And your wife will stare out the window on the drive home.

You'll halt your silent survey of the room when the Nilsson's break it up so that Steve Nilsson (a reinsurance broker with a hell of a commute) can head upstairs to fix himself another drink. Angie Nilsson will pull her bag onto her lap and she'll check her cell phone, then she'll wait with her bag in her lap and stare down at the floor. They were going at it so hot and heavy you'll wonder if the bag is intended to cover up any embarrassing stains that might have sprouted on her slacks.

Her eyes will bounce around the room, occasionally meeting yours and quickly looking away. Then she'll quickly cross the room to join you on your couch.

"You can tell can't you?" she'll ask.

"I can?" you'll ask back.

"The way you're staring at us. Is it that obvious? Did Steve talk to you?"

You won't answer. You'll just stare and wait.

"He did, didn't he?" she'll say. She'll pull out her cell phone again and check for a message that isn't coming. "I said we shouldn't come tonight, but he's not ready to tell everybody yet. He wants us to keep up appearances."

She'll drop the phone into her bag and close the bag tight.

"It's such fucking agony." She'll say it as if it were an afterthought. "Thanks. I know you're Steve's friend more than mine, but I wanted to tell somebody. Anyway, you'll probably never see me again after June."

At that she'll race back to her couch and wait for her husband to return with his alcohol. Your wife will come downstairs first and she'll ask to leave. On the drive home she'll stare out her window at the passing houses. Tonight more than ever, the thought of asking her if everything's okay will chill you to your very bones.

Happy Makeout Party Poopers Day!