Saturday, December 8, 2012

CFF #8: The Christmas Party by Kate Baggott


Who says there's no such thing as Santa or love at first sight? You may still doubt the fat guy, but this little romantic tale from Kate Baggott might make you believe in the miracle of true love. Read on and leave a comment.



by

Kate Baggott

It happened at the Retro Motorcycles Night Club.  The Web development agency I worked for had designed their web site. You hire us to do your web site, we book your club for our Christmas party. Capitalism survives on these little loyalties. I was on deadline and shouldn't have been at the party at all, but there was an open bar. 

I hadn't slept much and I wasn't dressed appropriately, even for a web agency geek.  While waiting to be served my third drink, I approached two Creative Hipster Types . I knew they were advertising clients and I wanted them to schmooze with my colleagues. My programming co-workers needed help with their social skills.

It was my honourable intention to create a dialogue between the worlds of old and new media, to build bridges between the intellectual, if anti-social web geeks and the arrogant, if untrained advertising slaves.

My intentions were honourable, but cranberry vodka courage is cheap and tawdry. 

Creative Hipster Type Number 1 was a red head. He had that kind of translucent skin that gave him an other-worldly look, especially paired with his periwinkle shirt.  He looked like a Botticelli cherub grown-up and masculinised.

I looked Creative Hipster Type Number 1 in the eye and said, "You are extremely good looking."

A funny thing happens  when women use the tacky lines men use on women. 

The lines work. 

"Really?" he asked. 

I’d never seen a man light up with interest so quickly. Clearly, I was speaking his language.

"Well, you're exactly the kind of man I've been looking for."

"Really?" he said.

“You must be married?” I asked.

"No."

"Engaged then? You live with someone?"

"No, I'm single."

"How did that happen?"

"I'm really single," he said.

“I declare,” said Creative Hipster Type Number 2, “as soon as the free drinks dry up in this club, so will their clientele.”

“That’s  clever,” I told him. 

“Thanks for throwing me a bone,” said Creative Hipster Type Number 2. “Do you have a friend?”

The Retro Motorcycles Club was not the first place in town to deploy over-stuffed leather couches throughout their cocktail lounge. Perched on the arm of those couches, you could look inviting, aloof, or for sale, depending on how you angled your flesh and your level of skin exposure. Sit in the middle and the people on either side of you would slowly slide into your personal space. It worked to create a sweaty intimacy that could be used for good or evil.

Between two couches facing each other there was  a highly-polished coffee table for resting cocktails on. 

While I was trying to bridge the gap between old and new media tribes, I acquired a seat on the table itself, forcing everyone to hold their drinks in their hands. It was the prefect place to act as translator between one generation of men with floppy hair in periwinkle shirts and another group of men with sideburns in vintage t-shirts. 

“And are you really single?” Creative Hipster Type Number 1 asked me. 

I smiled and sat between Creative Hipster Type Number 1 and his friend. Within seconds my flesh, from knee to shoulder, was moulded against the flesh of Creative Hipster Type Number 1. Of course, the opposite side was moulded against the flesh of Creative Hipster Type Number 2, but I turned away from him, blocking Creative Hipster Type Number 2 off from all interaction with his friend. This trick I had learned from men in bars trying, usually successfully, to chat up my better looking and bolder best friend over the years.

"So, Irish?" I asked red-haired Creative Hipster Type Number 1.

"Scottish," he replied.

“Nova Scotia?”

“Newfoundland.”

“No accent.”

“Townie to start with and we’ve been living in Etobicoke since I was a kid.”

"I can look past Etobicoke,” I told him. “I have a soft spot for working-class suburbs. Catholic?"

"Anglican."

"I can work with that and have a church wedding," I said, "but we have to have pre-marital sex because, with you, I’m not sure I can hold out until the 3rd date. Unless we count tonight as our first date? Could we?"

“I think we most definitely could,” he replied. 

“I know I should take off my glasses to signal I’m interested in you,” I told him, “but I forgot my purse at the office and I’m worried I’ll forget them if I put them on the table.”

“I love your glasses,” he said.

“They’re temperature-sensitive glasses.  You’re so hot, just looking at you is fogging them up.”

“You are the woman of my dreams,” he said.

Creative Hipster Type 1 and I decided to go play pool at Upscale Billiards, but after leaving the dimmed lights of the club behind, I suddenly felt ridiculous about my inappropriate clothes, the sleepless circles under my eyes, the not-yet-in-style librarian glasses and my cranberry vodka courage.  I put my embarrassment aside for another moment, stood on my toes, noted that Creative Hipster Type Number 1 was the perfect height for me, and brushed my lips against his.

Then, I left my love-at-first-sight experience at the club door.

"Hey! Marina?" were the last words I heard him say.

I’d started the long walk home through snowy streets, cold and lonely.  

In the morning, I got up, went to work and stayed at the office until I met my deadline.

That Thursday, there was an “I Saw You” ad in the free weekly newspaper. It was a few days before Christmas and I had hopes, like all people who are alone in big cities, that someone might have seen me at some random place,among all those strangers, and decided I was the one. 

The ad said, "You were at the Retro Motorcycles Club and so was I. We should talk." 

After dinner on Christmas Day, I left my parents’ house and went home to call the newspaper’s voice messaging system. 

“You are very good looking, aren’t you?” I asked my husband’s mail box. 

****

Bio: Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer living in Europe. Her wrok ranges from technology journalism to creative nonfiction and from chick lit to experimental fiction. She is the author of the short story collection Love From Planet Wine Cooler. Links to recently published pieces can be found at http://www.katebaggott.com

11 comments:

  1. Loved this. Really well-written and highly amusing. I shall keep an eye on this author.

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  2. I enjoyed this very much. Loved the dialogue that told us a lot about Hipster Type Number One.

    Great twist at the end.

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  3. Hey Kate :) I loved this cute story and also thought the twist at the end was cool. Great way to keep the romance and spark alive in a marriage! Great job on this and a happy Christmas and warm holiday to you and yours!

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  4. I liked your descriptive sentences. You were able to give us a picture of the characters in a few words. I also liked the twist at the end.

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  5. Wow. I am completely overwhelmed by these comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    If you'd like to read some more of my work, Finnegan and Grandfather Cheng is available as part of the America's Next Author contest here:
    http://www.ebookmall.com/author/kate-baggott

    If you'd like to vote for me in the battle round for a spot in the finals, I'd really, really appreciate it.
    http://www.ebookmall.com/americasnextauthor/battle

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  6. Great pick up lines. I'm impressed. I enjoyed the tone of your story--the girl's voice was pitch perfect.

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  7. This was very interesting. One sentence led into another an I couldn't wait until I knew what happened next. (It was easy to guess she was married)..

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  8. Great story, and thanks for the twist. Marian

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  9. Loved this! Loved the humor, the dialogue, the setting - Great job!

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  10. Loved the style of this - it was an easy read and very enjoyable.

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  11. Funny and cute, haha. Really liked the ending.

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