Trivial Pursuits {?} - Chapter 3, Part 2

She starts to hand me her beer. “I trust you.” Every part of me knows she’s about to touch me. Her hands are free. It’s dark. She’s about to leave. I imagine her wrapping her arms around me in a hug or standing on her tiptoes to kiss my cheek. She may just gently rub my arm, although with two beers in my hands, I’d be unable to reciprocate.

I feel her move toward me. Closer. Closer. “Don’t go anywhere,” she whispers and then kisses my cheek.

I laugh, and she giggles that unusual giggle again. Then she’s gone, her footsteps fading away. I’m loving all this and so happy Warren bailed. Then I remember my cell phone, which has been buzzing in my pocket the past 30 minutes. I didn’t want to check my messages after we met. I put my beer on the floor and reach in my pocket. The glow of the monitor makes me squint. Warren has sent me 18 new text messages.

Warren: what’s happening?

Warren: Holtzy?

Warren: r u really that mad at me?

Warren: i said i’d make it up to you

Warren: oooh, maybe you’re with a girl

Warren: nah, probably not

Warren: did you hear about the black out? half of WeHo is out!

Warren: fine

Warren: ignore me

Warren: fine

Warren: why are you ignoring me?

Warren: fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine

Warren: there goes 13 years of friendship

Warren: i’ll tell everyone you lost your virginity at the Knowledge Master Open

Warren: b/c it’s true!

Warren: Holtzy?

Warren: the KMO!!!!!!!!!

Warren: Seriously. Are you mad at me?

Warren’s messages make me laugh. Clearly, he’s learned his lesson. Not that all those messages took him long to write. For a guy with only one good hand, he’s amazingly fast. He wedges the phone between the two good fingers on his T-rex hand and flies over the keyboard, using only the thumb on his normal hand. It’s really something to watch. Some chick in Singapore holds the record for texting speed—I think she did something like 26 words in 43 seconds. I keep telling Warren he should enter the competition because with a little more practice, he could mop up and get himself in the Guinness World Records book.

I’m in the middle of texting him to take a chill pill when the electricity goes on. Multi-colored Christmas lights begin to flash. Thirty or so people around the room refocus their eyes. One couple on the opposite side is in a passionate embrace. And a girl next to them says, “Get a room!” The couple quickly dashes up the stairs.

Me: chill out, dude. i was stuck in the basement during the power out and was talking to an amazing girl

I put the phone back into my pocket, and it quickly vibrates.

Warren: did you get her number?

It dawns on me, only then, that we hadn’t exchanged numbers, and I never told her my name. I remember going to shake her hand at one point and accidentally touching her breast first, and then her telling me her name was Eos. But between the breast touching and the name, which was so unusual, I totally forgot to tell her my own name and wound up asking her all these questions about hers.

I tell myself to calm down, because for sure Eos is coming back. And by texting Warren as much—i think she’s into me—I help assure myself that there’s no need to lobby the future for her return.

I pick the beer off the floor so that I’ll be ready when she comes back. The music has started up again and the stereo bass shakes the basement with each deep beat. Thump. Thump. Thump. With the lights now on, people begin to venture down the stairs for beer. A girl in a short skirt and high pumps travels down the steps tentatively. She’s followed by her broad-shouldered boyfriend in a pink shirt. I move closer toward the exit waiting for Eos. At least I know her name.

Time passes and with each new set of legs walking down the stairs, I expect to see the girl, whose smile I would recognize. I remind myself that the line is always long for the bathroom, especially at house parties where there’s sometimes only one. And women love to take forever inside as a group reapplying their make-up. She’s probably upstairs dancing a pee-pee dance in the hallway.

I move back to the spot near the beer cooler where we’d been talking. Maybe she’s down here already. I circle around the room, which has already become crowded. There is an African-American girl in the corner talking to another girl. I wave, but she looks at me funny. A tall, blond-haired guy comes up behind her and wraps his arms around her waist, giving her a kiss. Hopefully not Eos.

I check my phone and there’s another messages from Warren. Twenty minutes have passed since she left.

Warren: did you get her email?

Me: not yet

I put the phone back in my pocket. For the first time, I really start to worry that she’s not coming back.

I head up the stairs. What do I know about her? She’s got a great giggle. She’s here with another couple. She’s two or three inches shorter than me, so around 5’6. She’s black.

My friends from San Francisco keep asking me if I’ve seen any celebrities and maybe I just did and didn’t even know it. What if I was just talking to Beyonce? Or Alicia Keys? Never mind. I’m being stupid. I wouldn’t want to be with those girls anyway. After the drama of my three-year Stanford relationship with a literally crazy Korean girl studying molecular biology, who used to threaten to literally poison me if I ever left her, I’ll take normal next time around.

I make my way up to the main party, which is an entirely different world than the basement. The house has an international theme with bamboo plants in the corner and Japanese scrolls hanging off the walls. The walls are painted bold reds and yellows. I circle the room, and to my surprise there are a handful of black women. I go out of my way to make eye contact with each one of them. The first girl, who looks six foot tall and like she could be a model, turns away from me. Then there’s a woman with gray hair, who could easily be my mom’s age. She smiles, but doesn’t register anything else. I make my way to each dark-skinned woman in the room, but don’t even know what to say. Eos? Is that you? Remember me? The guy who smashed into you and then later accidentally copped a feel.


My phone in my pocket vibrates once again. I put down the beers.

Warren: what’s going on?

I look around the room of unfamiliar faces. Music blaring. Lights dimly lit. People dress nicer in LA. Girls in short black dresses and high heels, dark eyes shadow and long, shiny hair. A petite brunette exits the bathroom in the hallway. Turns out, there is no line whatsoever.

My stomach hollows out and I suddenly wish I never came to this stupid fucking party.

I take out my phone and slowly text, I think she disappeared.

{ed note: Special thanks to Chellis Ying for helping to write this chapter!}

Check out previous chapters of Trivial Pursuits {?} right here.

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