February 01, 2009

A Proper Bow-Tie

By Betty Underground © 2008

I woke up groggy. Mouth coated in the taste of scotch and cigars. Where am I? What time is it? The haze quickly clears and I am in a complete panic.

"Shit shit shit. What time is it?"

It's daylight still. We'd dozed off but we couldn't have been asleep too long. My heart races as I spring from the bed and frantically rummage through the clothes on the floor.

Pant pocket. Check every pant pocket. Why do men insist on wearing safari pants with so many god forsaking pockets.

In the last one, a cell phone.

Hearing voices I glance out the window. The crowd is assembling across the lawn. Our friends. Dressed in wedding frocks.

Flip open the cell phone. "4:30." I scream. "Get up! The wedding starts in thirty minutes."

"No it doesn't. It's at 6pm."

On the bedside table is the invitation. I reach over him for it, with a grasp on a clump of his hair on the other hand I pull his buried face from the pillow. Pointing at the text, "Wedding, 5pm."


"You. In the shower," I command, pointing to the bathroom. "I'll get your tux."

I wrap the bed sheet around me. 250 thread count. Scratchy. I hate the fucking country.

His growl booms from the bathroom. Eerie in it's calm. "SOAP?! There isn't any in here. Can you grab my shampoo from my dop kit and the soap off the sink?"

I toss the soap over the shower curtain and dig through the dop kit. How does one man require so much shit to look good?

I pull back the shower curtain, holding the dop kit, "I can't find any shampoo in here!"

He reaches in and pulls out an unmarked container of white stuff. He grins. That slight sideways grin so comfortably familiar already.

"You really should label that shampoo if you ever expect me to help you again. I suppose this other container of pinkish stuff is conditioner. You want that too?" I say, rather snarky.

He grins. Wraps his water soaked arms around me, lifts me over the tub wall and into the shower. The contents of the dop kit scatter across the floor. The sheet still around me is soaked and clinging to my shape. "Sexy," he says giving me a full glance from head to toe. I remain fixed on the upper part of his body, working against the force of gravity to not look down. I try to speak. To discourage his next thought, but before I can he is pinning me to the tile wall, warmed from the heat of the water. He presses his soapy body against me. Roaming hands and body slippery as he is devouring me. The steam filled air is heavy and my head grows lighter. My knees weaken below me and I push him back into the stream, "This is not going to help us get ready any faster."

I wad the wet sheet up, wonder, "What will the maid think," and wrap a towel around myself.

I lay out the pieces of his tuxedo. Pants, shirt, coat, bow-tie. The cuff links from his grand father and the expensive watch he treated himself to. He finishes the primping process. Gathering the necessary toiletries strewn across the bathroom floor one by one, as he needs them. The hair dryer goes off, my cue to do my most favorite thing; run my fingers through his dried, loose, locks and secure them in the back in a short ponytail. I love the way his soft hair feels between my fingers, the curls twirl around them, fighting against the taming. Then he tones, moisturizes and brushes. In that order.

He dresses as I dig through the pile of mutual clothing tossed on the floor for the pieces that I came in wearing.

"Shit." I spin around and see him holding one end of a piece of black fabric. "I don't know how to tie a fucking bow-tie. Why isn't it pre-tied?!"

I had gotten as far as finding my panties and a wife-beater. His. "Let me do that."

"You know how to tie a bow-tie?"

"Yes. Age = Wisdom = me knowing how to tie a proper bow-tie." I finish, close my eyes and breath him in one last time. He smells of cedar and nectarines. "There you go. Perfect. You look perfectly dashing."

"You'll never stop amazing me."

"Get your jacket and get out of here. I have to get back to my cabin without that crowd of people seeing me!" I say pointing out the window.

One final hesitation in his step before he leaves. The screen door slams and I put on the rest of my clothes and plot the best route to avoid being seen.

The screen door slams again and my heart leaps out of my chest. I freeze. Who just came in.

There he is, standing in the doorway to the room with a panicked look. "The ring. Where is the ring?"

"Crap. Where was the ring?"

"In my dop kit."

"The dop kit you tossed on the floor before dragging me into the shower?'

He sheepishly grins, "Yep."

It is 5:53. I scurry to the bathroom and kick a little black box across the floor. "Found it." I open the box. "Eternity band. Nice." I hand it to him, "Put it in your pocket. No, not that pocket, your breast pocket. You don't want to loose it again!" Pushing him out the door, "Now go. Get. They may not notice if I show up late, but trust me, if the groom shows up late, people will notice. Now, go. Get married."

(alarm sounds)

I shoot up in bed. No one laying next to me. It is 5:30am. My room. My bed. A dream.

For now.

Betty Underground is a writer from Northern California.

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