Friday, July 24, 2009
Does ever a good conversation begin that way? Or continue, for that matter, for any length of time? We stare at each other for another few seconds, my mind racing for a legitimate excuse to skedaddle.
"So, really, red wine? That's your drink of choice? Personally, I was never really into wine, until I was done with college. I don't know what happened then exactly, but I started drinking wine. I always go for white, though; I don't do too well with the red. It goes straight to my head, and in general, I'm not crazy about the taste. I don't even eat red grapes, really. But I'll take a good Riesling any time." She continues to talk. At least, I'm fairly sure of that. I wonder if there was anything in this girl worthy of my attention.
I take a look around the room, this time not caring about being inconspicuous or polite. As far as I was concerned, our friendship was over. There are plenty of people at the party, the room is really beginning to fill up. There are faces there I recognize, but I can't quite remember where from... someone I went to high school with? College? Perhaps an old colleague? Well, I suppose it doesn't really much matter. I haven't been back home in years, and this party was just a coincidence. I thought it was a good idea, but now I think it was all a mistake.
These people, they mean nothing to me, and by and large, they never have. Yet, I came here with an idea in the back of my head. Perhaps I didn't admit it to myself, but it was definitely there. That's the reason why I actually wore a suit to this affair, and perhaps dangled my Mercedes key a little too much. I wanted to show them that Kenny Walters was a somebody after all, a successful somebody. I wanted to show them, the ones that don't matter...
I tune back into the girl, Cynthia I think her name is. "The problem is people just don't get it, like they really don't, you know?" I nod my head yes, even though I don't, I really don't know. I don't really know anything at all.
For years, I've been working hard, damn hard, to prove it to them. But now, all of a sudden, I don't know what it is I've been trying to prove. And to whom. I'm a middle-aged man, with a big house and an expensive car. I'm alone, I'm terribly alone.
I stand here, pretending to conversate with Cynthia, but I realize none of these people matter, not a single one of them. A girl across the room smiles at me awkwardly, as if she's trying to remember. I've stopped trying, I want to tell her that.