All Friends Here

Another Saturday, another interminable cocktail party where everyone pretends to like each other to cover up the fact that they’re all pretending to hate each other so no one will know that they’re all sleeping with each other. None of it works on any level.

Penelope leans against the mahogany bar in the corner furthest away from where John is aggressively playing the piano and doesn’t even bother to cover her yawn. The martinis have gotten to her, made her sleepy and surly, and there’s no one here she hasn’t slept with a dozen times more than she should have. Zoltan, her current husband, is off by the ferns making time with Reedly, the hotshot chemist who just moved into the neighborhood and who is working on some sort of outlandish lavendar lipstick with Chivonne, the other hotshot chemsit who’s been living in the area for a while. Reedly and Chivonne have some sort of complicated relationship, love or rivalry or professional jealousy, she can’t be bothered to keep it all straight.

There was some scandal about them that she only vaguely recalls, a murder, maybe, or some blackmail thing, or maybe just a pair of quick divorces in Reno, who cares, what does it matter. Maybe they’re brother and sister, maybe they’re running a con, maybe they’re just too well-dressed and symmetrical for chemists, it gives her a headache to even try to remember.

She takes a sip of her thirteenth martini of the day and longs for death.