The phone rang, just as the guy’s butts met with the Naugahyde of the seats. Victoria and I looked at each other, alarmed; saucer-eyed. I corralled my drink towards my side of the table,walking it backwards from where Ray had put them down, mid-table. Once it was in my jurisdiction, I took a big gulp.
“Go ahead!Pick it up!” Lenny said to V, loudly, clearly agitated… She shook her head no. Lenny reached over and answered it, yelling: “No one’s home!” into the receiver, and slamming it down. Witty, that one. I looked at Ray, who slowly lowered his eyelids, and almost imperceptably nodded his head as if to say ‘here we go again’. I guess on top of all of his other stellar qualities, Lenny was possessive. Goody. In some ways it was like Victoria dated the same guy over and over again: narcissistic, moody, dangerous, flashy…with swagger to spare-yet jealous as hell. Guys who were mirror images of herself. It was true that we all assumed whoever rang the phone had been calling for V- and though it might have bothered me if I were with one of my other girlfriends (‘Why her and not me?’) -with Victoria-well, she was so exotic and stop-a-clock beautiful, that you couldn’t even get jealous. Instead, you had to appreciate the cute guy shrapnel she’d leave in her wake, guys you’d probably never meet otherwise.
“Let’s switch seats!” Lenny demanded, looking at me. I shrugged, and slid out of the booth. Ray stood as well to let Lenny out, and I relocated to Lenny’s old digs. By the time I scoonched in and looked up, Lenny and Victoria were going at it like the ship was going down. I looked over at Ray. He shrugged. We both resumed staring at Lenny and Victoria- they were entwined like disco octopuses, tongues and hands swishing everywhere. I put my hand over my face and asked Ray “Jesus! How far do you think they’ll go?” out of the side of my mouth. Ray whispered back “I’m guessing to third!”, and this struck me as so funny, that I spit gin and tonic out of my mouth, spraying the table, and possibly the passionate couple.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” I said, half laughing, half coughing. Ray was cracking up as well, as we both grabbed cocktail napkins, and wiped off the table, little alcoholic sprinkles dotting the shiny wood.
“I can’t take you anywaya!” Ray said, in his Rocky from New Yawk voice. He had really nice teeth. And eyes, And hair.
“Yeah, well you haven’t!” I replied matter-of-factly, gathering the crumpled napkins, and putting them off to the far side of the table. Ray leaned in, put his hand gently on the back of my head and pulled me towards him. He whispered “But I’d like to” into my ear, and his voice was so deep, it felt like it tickled. I got all shivery. “Ha!” I said.We looked at each other, and I started to recognize that I was beginning to crush on this guy. But it was too fast. It could be a misread. I had to break the stare, lest I set sail for slut-city.
“I still can’t believe they didn’t even notice that“ I marveled, an attempt at changing the direction of the conversation. But I turned my body towards Ray as well as I could in the booth without even realizing it, and he did the same. Lenny and V were still going at it. I made a strong effort to ignore the soft-porn peep-show across the table, but I couldn’t help glancing over. Every time Lenny’s hands were where I couldn’t see them, I would burst out giggling, wondering if Ray’s prediction was accurate.
Ray went to go order yet two more drinks (I liked that he kept them coming) I slid to the end of the bench seat, and sat facing out- no way was I going to appear to be some weirdo, sitting by myself watching Lenny plunge V’s mouth with his tongue. God knows her pipes must be clear by now! The sound system was blasting ‘Lady Marmalade’ when the phone rang again. I quickly scanned the smoke filled room, but it was impossible to tell who it might be, lots of people were on phones. By the second ring, it was clear the almost-fornicators were not going to be disturbed, so I casually reached over and picked up the phone.
“Hullo?” I said, holding my hands over my other ear, to block the club noise.
A deep voice asked “Is Victoria there?”
Out of habit, I answered politely: “I’m sorry-she’s busy. Can I take a message?”- like I had a pad and pen in front of me, maybe a headset on, confidently plugging cords into a switchboard.
“Nah. Thanks. Bye” Click. I put the receiver back in it’s cradle, and noticed Ray on his way back, flush with drinks. Once again, over I went, sliding across the booth. I sure hoped it wasn’t possible to get an Indian burn on one’s ass – because even though I had on a dress, and control-top pantyhose- tonight I was sliding back and forth more than the credit card machine at the bar.