12.20.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo from Mad Men
Photo from Mad Men

December 20, 2013: At the office party…

One Reply to “12.20.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. I don’t really like the people I work with. Not as people. Oh, they’re ok in the office and we laugh some and I know stuff about their families and what they do weekends. But it’s not like we’re friends. Not really. So the Christmas party is a bit of a strain each year – at the start it is.

    We stand around nursing our drinks, and trying not to talk shop and knowing we don’t really have much more in common than shop. And Kit’s trying too hard and he’s playing the music a little loud and laughing at every small nothing. And we don’t let him laugh alone, because it’s Kit and he’s not right in the head and it’s a shame.

    Tony from accounts is standing closer than close and the smell of his aftershave is strong, like he’s just topped it up specially and he thinks to overpower some willing young secretary by his smell alone. It catches in the back of my throat and I take a drink just to stop myself coughing.

    Mary from reception is wearing mistletoe in her hair and her dress is too short and too tight and when the boss leans in for his Christmas kiss you can see his hands just wanting to touch. Mary’s had a few drinks already and she lays one hand on the boss’s arm and she holds the kiss a bit longer than is seemly.

    And Caroline is already dancing with Douglas and his fly is undone and his shirt tail is hanging out and his tie is crooked. And Caroline keeps running her fingers through her hair and licking her lips so they are wet and kissable. And Douglas doesn’t even notice.

    It’s pretty much the same parade every year and maybe I am just getting too old for it all. The firm’s done well in the last quarter and so it’s real champagne we are drinking at least and the bubbles tickle my nose. It has a yellow buttery taste and something like gooseberries. But the champagne is the only thing that’s real.

    Tony says he likes my dress, and he says I’ve done something different with my hair and he likes that, too. I want to tell him straight, I want to say he’s wasting his time. Instead, I blow him a kiss and he adjusts his pants and drains his glass and he asks me if I want another. He’s married with kids, but I see he has removed his wedding ring, and I say another would be just fine.

    It’s won’t be my first time with Tony, if we get that far. He doesn’t remember, but we did it standing up against the fire escape last Christmas. I tucked my knickers in his jacket pocket afterwards and he paid for that when he got home. Paid for it for the better part of a year. And here he was making the same mistake again.

    I notice that Mary and the boss are missing, and Douglas is still dancing with Caroline with space between them, and Jennifer is sitting alone same as always, and Kit is kissing Charlotte’s hand and Charlotte is humouring him.

    I want to leave, just like I want to leave every year. But before I can get my coat Tony is back with my glass full and as he hands it to me I let my fingers brush against his and I don’t know why I do that, except it’s Christmas and I can feel the champagne kicking in.

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