Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Dinner Party

This is a short story I wrote entitled The Dinner Party. It's told from the P.O.V. of a girl in her early twenties trying to find her way in the world. It has won several major contests and is being published in my book of short stories; 'Short Films I Almost Made But Couldn't Convey What The Characters Were Thinking In Their Head'. 

"Hi, is that Ellen?"
"Yeah, hello?"
"Hey Ellen, it's Casey, listen me and my roomates are having a dinner party tonight."
"Oh I will be there, I love that kind of thing, like no t.v. or anything."
"Yeah totally, so bring like some wine if you want, and... yeah."
"I have a few organic beers left from New Years."
"Great, cool."

   We sat around the table that night. Casey had made a really nice Mexican dish, she had just got back from a life-changing three weeks in Venezuela. "It's this dance they do." We all laughed; it was funny to see her move that way, but also so beautiful. Mazie had just returned from India, and the two shared a lot of the same experiences. They both fell in love with the people. Mazie told us lots of nice stories about the smiles on the children's faces. It wasn't an easy trip, but that's what made it so rewarding. Nick was joking around a lot - as usual. Last time I saw him was halloween, he had curled his moustache and kept coming up to us and saying the most random things. I don't know why it was so funny, but it was. 
   We all sat there and we laughed and talked, and for a minute we could all forget. Marq remarked that we all looked so happy, I piped in that it must have been because of the banana bread. I was kind of kidding, but it was really good, and I wanted Kris to know that I really enjoyed it. He had used apricot and water in place of the eggs. Not even because he was a vegan, he said, but because his canvas bag was full of groceries and he couldn't fit the eggs, and he sure wasn't gonna use plastic. Those were his words, it was really cool to be around people who were really thinking for a change.
We were all feeling pretty loose from the red wine and we decided to turn this dinner party into a dance party. Charlie was an official vinyl nut and we listened to some really great old tunes, like real Bob Dylan sounding stuff. Marcy and Tim were doing some of the swing dances they had learnt (they took lessons on a whim), and Casey showed us some more of her great new South American dance. Nick was doing this like Nineteen-nineties rap dance, it was really funny but actually also really good. I was just trying to not make a fool out of myself; earlier I had admitted that my shirt was from Club Monaco, and I didn't want to make another mistake. I loved thrift clothes and usually got them, I don't know what I was thinking!
Later, I sat outside with Peter as he had a smoke. I could tell Peter had a dark side by his full beard, it's not like he didn't laugh, but he had a lot going on, I think. He looked into the night and said; "You know Ellen, things can get pretty fucked up." He was right, but tonight we could drink and dance and eat and come together - at the dinner party.

-The Dinner Party, by Tom Henry, 2008

7 comments:

twiggy said...

i love the 'conemptful' way you portray these foolz...

tom henry said...

you know I love 'conempt'.

Anonymous said...

I pind your insights really inense yet conemplative, with a cleber, meaningpul gemeration Y slanf.

Vargas said...

This poor anon can't quite convey was he's thinking in his head. How fitting. Splendid work, Tom Henry!

seanie blue said...

I like the title of your book. I'm going to one called "All the things I'll never do but would have been big hits if I did." We'll trade copies! Keep the plume pumped.

Anonymous said...

I hear this in going to be published in the New Yorker! Congratulations on your recent success! That is the best in my life.

Vargas said...

I'm puttin' on my top hat, tying up my white tie, brushin' off my tails...and checkin' the New Yorker every week. Till I see your name on those pages or on Broadway in lights, I am patiently awaiting your next story, sketch, memoir, or letter right here in this space.