The scene: Jim (J) and Sharon (S) are climbing the onramp in San Francisco to Highway 101 south. The seats in the Lexus are heated and the ride is as smooth and quiet as the felt in the back room of an Israeli jeweler. Jim’s 30th High School reunion was held at the ritzy Fairmont Hotel.
S: That was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
J: Yeah, for me, too.
S: I’ve never seen you dance that much. You were quite popular.
J: Lots of women were there alone. Kinda shocking, actually. I thought it was tacky that most of the other guys wouldn’t dance. Not even with their wives.
He checked the rearview mirror (CRVM), which allowed his peripheral vision to see his wife’s reaction.
S: I think you were quite the gentleman.
J: Thank you.
S: Tell me more about this Leslie. In the red dress.
Leslie Hamilton had insinuated herself between Jim and Sharon and hugged Jim, kissing him on the cheek, then swiping her lipstick from his cheek almost immediately with her thumb. Her tight tube dress had, apparently, been applied through a Krylon can.
J: We knew each other as a Junior and Senior. She was a cheerleader.
S: Noooooooo. Really?
They both laughed.
S: Those tits were clearly won at a local county fair, top shelf and all. Probably a Kissing Booth.
J: I didn’t notice.
S: Yeah, right.
S: She was the only woman you turned down to dance with, why?
J: Uh, I was tired? (He looked at her and shrugged his shoulders questioningly)
She didn’t say anything for a moment.
S: You guys slept together, didn’t you?
J: (hesitating) “Yeah, we did. How could you tell?
S: There was a physical familiarity between you two. And you wouldn’t dance when she asked you.
J: It was a slow dance. CRVM
S: Exactly. A woman knows these things.
Jim turned the radio on. Hank Williams “Your Cheatin’ Heart” was playing. He turned it off.
S: Was she a trollop in high school?
J: Great word. Let’s just say I was not her first and not her last.
S: Anybody else there tonight that you had carnal knowledge with?
J: Sharon, really? CRVM
S: Yes. I can handle it. I’m curious. I know you didn’t like high school. Hated it, in fact. That’s why going tonight was so strange for me. I was shocked when you said you wanted to go.
J: Maybe I just wanted to show you off. “Look at me NOW!” kind of thing.
J: There were two other women there tonight that I had sex with. But you have to guess them. CRVM
S: This should be fun. (Rubs her hands together) No hints, now, let me guess.
Jim nodded. He tried the radio again. Joe Cocker’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On” came blaring out. He snapped it off and laughed.
They were passing the San Mateo Bridge, heading toward Palo Alto.
S: How about Susie, the blonde? Short hair, cute short black dress, called you “Jimmy”?
J: I wish (he regretted it as soon as he said it) CRVM
Sharon just laughed.
S: I’ll take that as a ‘no’. Or maybe more honestly, ‘No, dammit’.
S: Hmmm. The black lady, VeShona, I think, was her name?
J: Bingo. One down, one to go.
S: Not so fast Warren Beatty. Details.
J: You can’t be serious.
S: Not clinical details. Just the surrounding back story. This was 30 years ago. How many of your friends slept with a black woman then?
J: VeShona was the only black woman in the school.
S: So how did you bed her?
J: I asked her to the Junior Prom. She was probably just grateful.
J: My car. CRVM
S: Really? The Firebird? Those back seats are really cramped….so I hear. (Grinning from ear to ear)
Jim tried the radio one last time. Donna Summer was wailing about “Hot Stuff”. He grinned and shut it off.
J: Not my night.
S: Ok, one more. I can get this.
The Willow Road, Menlo Park exit flew by on the right, his old stomping grounds. He nodded in deference to the good old days.
S: Got it! (She screamed, startling him)
J: Who? CRVM
S: The Asian chick…what was her name? Candy? Cassandra? Candice! That’s it, Candice.
J: What makes you think it’s her? CRVM
S: You mean besides the fact you wanted to fuck the entire United Nations?
J: (he laughed) Yeah, besides that.
S: Did you notice the way she looked at you? And the way she let you spin her on the dance floor. Her dress spun up so high I thought she was Brazilian.
J: How do you get from that to having sex?
S: Because you danced that way with me on our first date. And I jumped your bones twice that night, and once the next morning.
S: A woman knows these things.