Thanks, That Was Fun Blog Tour
PLAYLIST for Thanks, That Was Fun by Andie Nash
"Lover, You Should've Come Over" -- Jeff Buckley
"God Help the Girl" -- God Help the Girl
"A Little Sugar in My Bowl" -- Nina Simone
"A Question of Time" -- Depeche Mode
"Trip Through Your Wires" -- U2
"Dancing Barefoot" -- Patti Smith
"Falling is Like This" -- Ani Di Franco
"Broken Hearted Savior" -- Big Head Todd and the Monsters
"Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" -- Stars
"Disconnect the Dots" -- Of Montreal
"Flying High Again" -- Ozzy Osbourne
"Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" -- Elton John
"Sunday Morning Coming Down" -- Johnny Cash
"The Part You Throw Away" -- Tom Waits
"Thanks That Was Fun" -- Barenaked Ladies
Chapter 3 "Stepping Out"
“Okay Jordan,” Iris says. “Point me toward the most fucked up guy in the room so I can get this over with.”
“You’re on your own tonight, sis,” I tell her, scanning the gallery. “I don’t recognize anyone here. They must all be Herron people.”
“Look, there’s the Skipper.” Iris deadpans, pointing with her glass at a rotund, white-haired man in a black turtleneck. He’s clutching a whisky glass in his fat fingers and talking enthusiastically to a skinny blonde, who looks like she’d rather be receiving an enema.
Iris cranes her neck, searching the room for Genna.
“I don’t see Genna--oh Jesus, are those elbow patches on that jacket?”
I follow her gaze past the Skipper, where a lanky man in a turd-colored corduroy blazer is standing with his back to us, chatting with a pale redhead.
“Yep, those are elbow patches. He’s going for that junior college professor look, I think.”
“Lord, the fashion crimes you see at these things.” Iris shudders. “That’s gonna drive me to drink.” She swallows the last of her wine.
I can’t put my finger on it, but something about the guy in the corduroy jacket seems eerily familiar. It’s something in his stance and demeanor, something that’s giving me a déjà vu feeling in the pit of my stomach. I raise my wineglass to my lips, obscuring my face from view as I squint across the room, trying to get a better look at him.
“Jordan, what are you staring at?” I hear Iris say.
I take a large swallow of Merlot just as the corduroy guy turns to the woman on his left, giving me a full view of his profile.
“Holy shit!” I gasp, sucking wine into my windpipe.
“Are you okay?” Iris says, thumping me on the back. “Jesus, what happened?”
“That guy over there, I used to go out with him,” I stage-whisper.
“The corduroy jacket,” I say.
“Patches?” Iris cackles loudly. “You used to go out with him?”
“Shhhhhhh!” I hiss. “That’s Mark. I’ve told you about Mark before,”
“Mark,” Iris repeats blankly. “Oh, Mark,” she nods slowly. “Yeah, weren’t you like, majorly in love with him at one point?”
“I can’t believe he’s here,” I say, ignoring her question. “This is too weird.”
“What, seeing him at an art opening?” Iris says. “Why is that weird? Do you know how many men I’ve slept with in this room?”
This revelation prompts concerned looks from two women admiring a nearby glass vase.
“Say that a little louder. I don’t think everyone heard you,” I tell her.
Iris stares openly at Mark while I cringe behind her.
"I hate to break it to you, but he’s not cute at all. I don’t see why you’re freaking out,”
“It just caught me off guard,” I say, “I haven’t seen him in two years.”
“Are you going to talk to him?”
“What am I going to say?”
“I don’t know…ask him why he’s wearing my father’s corduroy jacket from 1983."
“Shut up. You’re not helping anything,” I take a slow drink from my glass, trying to steady myself.
“You’re shaking like a crackhead!” says Iris. “I don’t believe you. Just grow some balls and go over there.”
“I can’t. I don’t want him to think I noticed him first,”
“Oh my God,” Iris rolls her eyes. “Jordan, it’s happened. You are officially lame.”
Genna reappears then, a bemused smile on her face.
“Okay, number one, where did you and the waiter run off to, and number two, how big is he?” Iris says.
“Number one, we were over by that steel sculpture-which is his-and number two,” Genna pauses, shooting a disdainful glance at Iris, “I have no idea. He has a wedding ring, anyway.”
“So?” Iris shrugs.
Genna cocks her head. “No. Uh-uh. I am not about to be the other woman,”
“If it’s not you, honey, it’ll be someone else,” says Iris, shaking her head.
“This argument sounds mighty familiar,” I say, rolling my eyes at both of them.
“You guys are tight-asses,” Iris proclaims. “I need a cigarette.”
“Hold on, I’ll join you in a minute,” I say, looking over her shoulder at Mark, who is now engaged in an animated conversation with Ty and his big Afro.
Iris huffs, tossing her head in frustration.
“Oh, come on, I’m not standing around with my thumb up my ass until that dork notices you.”
“What dork?” asks Genna.
“Mark’s here,” I tell her.
“Mark who?” she says loudly.
“Shhhhhh!” I hiss, and Iris cackles.
“Remember, the massage therapist?” I say.
“The one who was really good in bed?” Genna asks, eyes wide. “Wasn’t he an asshole or something?”
“Of course he was an asshole. Jordan dated him,” Iris says.
Genna and I both look at her.
“Excuse me, I think you’re the one with the asshole fetish, hon.” I say.
“Yeah, one word: Frank,”
Iris just shakes her head.
“I’m going for a smoke. Screw you both."
Genna turns back to me.
“Well, where is he?” she asks excitedly.
“He’s over there in the brown jacket, talking to the dude with the ‘fro.”
Genna squints in his direction.
“That’s Mark?” she asks, looking puzzled.
“Okay, I know. He’s not George Clooney.”
“No, he’s kinda cute.” Genna said. She looks at me, then back over at Mark. “He’s cute in that nerdy sort of way that you go for.”
“Yeah,” I agree, smiling wistfully.
“So are you going to talk to him?”
I hesitate. “I think so. I’m nervous, though.”
“Have some more wine."
“Yeah, liquid courage. That’s what I need.” I look around for the waiter. “Where’s your man?”
“I dunno. Maybe refilling his tray. Do you want me to go get you a glass?”
“That’d be great,” I say, still not wanting to move.
“Okay, I’ll be back. Deep breaths."
I watch Genna’s retreating form, chewing my nails, then turn and pretend to study the giant stone vagina.
“Well, how are you doing, young lady?”
I turn, startled, to stare into the big red face of the Skipper.
“Good,” I manage to gasp.
“Oops, sorry-didn’t mean to frighten you there,” he chuckles, and reaches out to squeeze my forearm. I look down at his hand, wondering why I’m being groped by the doppelganger of a dead sitcom star.
“Oh, that’s okay, you didn’t,” I say, laughing artificially along with him.
He studies me, his eyes narrowing.
“You don’t remember me, do you?”
Oh good Lord. What a time for one of these. I try to force another weak smile, knowing for sure that at least I’d never slept with the guy.
“Um,” I fumble. Okay, elderly artsy guy, I think, searching for a possible connection. “Do you-know my mother?” I ask.
He looks vaguely insulted. “Ed O’Malley,” says the Skipper. “I monitored the Stone Sculpture class last spring.”
“Oh! Oh, I’m sorry.” Okay, now I’m remembering him. He used to leer at me creepily when I would go in to check on the Wednesday night Stone class. “I, uh-I guess I just didn’t recognize you without your safety goggles.”
The Skipper coughs out a loud, wheezy laugh, and I fidget with my glass uncomfortably.
“I was actually working on this piece during that time,” he says, gesturing toward the giant stone vagina. So this is his work. That makes sense.
“Yes, it’s very nice,” I say robotically.
The Skipper rubs his chin and looks at his masterpiece, then at me.
“You all by yourself tonight?” he asks my breasts.
I open my mouth to answer, scanning the room for Genna or Iris. They’re nowhere in sight.
“I’m here with some friends and my boy-“
Suddenly Mark is standing next to the Skipper, smiling at me with wonder and amazement.
“Hi,” I squeak.
He doesn’t answer right away; he just stands there for a moment in his brown corduroyed glory, his eyes crinkling up as he takes me in, grinning with approval. I stare back at him paralyzed.
About the Author:
Originally from Indianapolis (Kurt Vonnegut's hometown), Andie Nash is the author of Thanks, That Was Fun, available on Kindle and Smashwords.
She is currently working on a sequel to Thanks, due out in early 2014.
She lives in Reno, NV with her husband and their two cats.