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
“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.”
&n bsp;“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.
&nbs p;Iris cranes her neck, searching the room for Genna.
&nbs p;“I don’t see Genna--oh Jesus, are those elbow patches</ em> on that jacket?”
&nb sp;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.
&n bsp;“Yep, those are elbow patches. He’s going for that junior college professor look, I think.”
&n bsp;“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.
&nbs p;“Jordan, what are you staring at?” I hear Iris say.
&nb sp;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.
&nbs p;“Holy shit!” I gasp, sucking wine into my windpipe.
&nb sp;“Are you okay?” Iris says, thumping me on the back. “Jesus, what happened?”
&nbs p;“That guy over there, I used to go out with him,” I stage-whisper.
&nbs p;“The corduroy jacket,” I say.
“Patches?” Iris cackles loudly. “You used to go out with him?”
&nbs p;“Shhhhhhh!” I hiss. “That’s Mark. I’ve told you about Mark before,”
& nbsp;“Mark,” Iris repeats blankly. “Oh, Mark</ em>,” she nods slowly. “Yeah, weren’t you like, majorly in love with him at one point?”
& nbsp;“I can’t believe he’s here,” I say, ignoring her question. “This is too weird.”
&nbs p;“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?”
&n bsp;This revelation prompts concerned looks from two women admiring a nearby glass vase.
&nbs p;“Say that a little louder. I don’t think everyone heard you,” I tell her.
&nbs p;Iris stares openly at Mark while I cringe behind her.
&nb sp;"I hate to break it to you, but he’s not cute at all. I don’t see why you’re freaking out,”
&n bsp;“It just caught me off guard,” I say, “I haven’t seen him in two years.”
&nbs p;“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."
&nb sp;“Shut up. You’re not helping anything,” I take a slow drink from my glass, trying to steady myself.
& nbsp;“You’re shaking like a crackhead!” says Iris. “I don’t believe you. Just grow some balls and go over there.”
&nbs p; “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.”
&nbs p;Genna reappears then, a bemused smile on her face.
&nb sp;“Okay, number one, where did you and the waiter run off to, and number two, how big is he?” Iris says.
& nbsp;“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.”
&nbs p;“So?” Iris shrugs.
&nbs p;Genna cocks her head. “No. Uh-uh. I am not about to be the other woman,”
&nbs p;“If it’s not you, honey, it’ll be someone else,” says Iris, shaking her head.
&nb sp;“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.”
&nb sp;“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.
&nbs p;Iris huffs, tossing her head in frustration.
&nb sp;“Oh, come on, I’m not standing around with my thumb up my ass until that dork notices you.”
&nbs p;“What dork?” asks Genna.
&nbs p;“Mark’s here,” I tell her.
&nbs p;“Mark who?” she says loudly.
&nbs p;“Shhhhhh!” I hiss, and Iris cackles.
&nbs p;“Remember, the massage therapist?” I say.
&n bsp;“The one who was really good in bed?” Genna asks, eyes wide. “Wasn’t he an asshole or something?”
&nbs p;“Of course he was an asshole. Jordan dated him,” Iris says.
&nbs p;Genna and I both look at her.
“Excuse me, I think you’re the one with the asshole fetish, hon.” I say.
&nbs p;“Yeah, one word: Frank,”
&nbs p;Iris just shakes her head.
&nbs p;“I’m going for a smoke. Screw you both."
&nbs p;Genna turns back to me.
&nbs p;“Well, where is he?” she asks excitedly.
&nb sp;“He’s over there in the brown jacket, talking to the dude with the ‘fro.”
&nbs p;Genna squints in his direction.
&nbs p;“That’s Mark?” she asks, looking puzzled.
&nbs p;“Okay, I know. He’s not George Clooney.”
&nbs p; “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.
&nbs p;“So are you going to talk to him?”
&nbs p;I hesitate. “I think so. I’m nervous, though.”
&nbs p;“Have some more wine."
&nbs p;“Yeah, liquid courage. That’s what I need.” I look around for the waiter. “Where’s your man?”
&nbs p;Genna shrugs.
&nb sp;“I dunno. Maybe refilling his tray. Do you want me to go get you a glass? ”
&nbs p;“That’d be great,” I say, still not wanting to move.
&nbs p;“Okay, I’ll be back. Deep breaths."
&nb sp;I watch Genna’s retreating form, chewing my nails, then turn and pretend to study the giant stone vagina.
&nbs p;“Well, how are you doing, young lady?”
&nbs p;I turn, startled, to stare into the big red face of the Skipper.
&nbs p;“Good,” I manage to gasp.
&n bsp; “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.
&nbs p;He studies me, his eyes narrowing.
&nbs p;“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.”
&n bsp;“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.
&n bsp;“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.
&nbs p;“Yes, it’s very nice,” I say robotically.
&nbs p;The Skipper rubs his chin and looks at his masterpiece, then at me.
&nbs p;“You all by yourself tonight?” he asks my breasts.
&nb sp;I open my mouth to answer, scanning the room for Genna or Iris. They’re nowhere in sight.
&nbs p;“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.