Wanda and I spent the better part of the weekend sprucing the place up in preparation for a little party. It turns out our birthdays fall very close together, so we decided to throw a little joint soiree to commemorate both of us getting a little closer to reaching the minimum age to join AARP.
There wasn’t much we were going to be able to do about the house being an ugly, gray, shoebox-shaped eyesore, but at least it’s got a front door now, so people know where they’re supposed to come in.
We both pitched in on cleaning, but I put myself in charge of repairs. Wanda’s perfectly capable of doing them, of course, but she also understands that having testosterone in my system means that I have an instinctual need to use big, heavy tools in order to reinforce what little masculinity I have.
Not long after the last bit of prep work was finished, the guests started to arrive. It was quite a party. There was drinking and dancing, and Mr. Seymour even showed up in his Señor Pimp costume, which is always a good time.
Most of rest of the gang from work showed up, along with the Bjergsens and a few other people with homes on the island, some of Wanda’s old pals from college, and even some people I didn’t recognize, who I think heard the sound of a party from the ferry and came to see what was going on. At least one of them was oddly familiar — a guy named Peter Crockett, who I was sure I’d met before, but couldn’t remember where or when.
Those who weren’t drinking and dancing could often be found at the card table, where a small poker tournament was up being held. After a couple rounds of elimination it came down to just four of us: Wanda, her old roomy Elle, Elsa Bjergsen, and me. Despite my best efforts, Elsa took the final pot with three queens, ace high. Check her out in that picture up there, by the way — she’s all grown up. It seems like just days ago that I was the unexpected guest at the Bjergsen house and she was a precocious little kid who kept hounding me to play chess with her. I hear she’s in med school now. Tempus fugit.
There were two cakes, of course. A chocolate one for me, because that’s my favorite, and a strawberry one for Wanda, because we have a ton of genetically modified strawberries harvested from her garden and really needed to find something to do with them before they start bullying all of the non-GMO produce out of the refrigerator.
That’s Peter Crockett in the background of that photo above, by the way — the guy blasting confetti all over my just-cleaned kitchen. I’m sure I’ll remember where I know him from as soon as I don’t care about it any more.
As great a time as Wanda and I had at out party, it was a bit of a relief when it all started to wind down. Not that we’re anti-social or anything; we just enjoy the time we get to spend together, away from work and anyone else who might try to distract us.
Once we finished cleaning up after our guests, Wanda and I were finally alone, perched side-by-side on our barstools.
“Great party,” Wanda sighed, looking exhausted from all the partying and the work that came before it.
“Yep,” I agreed, “We did good.”
Wanda looked pensive. “Another birthday. We need to stop having those.”
I nodded. “If things keep up at this rate, we’re going to be a couple of geezers before we know what hit us.”
That’s when I saw something in the look Wanda was giving me. Something, I don’t know, serious. She was inching her way toward a point here, which I wasn’t quite grasping.
“You know, Edison, we’re not getting any younger…”
A light bulb went off in my head. A feeling like mixed joy and fear started welling up inside me.
“Are you saying you want to…?”
“Yes,” Wanda said. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. I know we’ve talked about it before, but this just seems like the right time.”
If this is what she wants, I’m all in. We sealed the deal with a high-five and got to work immediately.