stand in the balcony while hearing ice clinking in the room

You step close to me in silence, our lips touch and we kiss. God’s breath whipping all around us in the cold.

We separate- your dress, which is black and stringy, with threads just begging to be tugged, gets caught on my fingernail and makes the separation last just a moment more. Your eyes lock onto mine. We both smile and I see how white your teeth are. I become self conscious. I maneuver my other hand over and loosen the grip my nail has on your dress.

We walk back into the party together, but don’t stay that way for long. I’m talking to Fred, a commodity trader. You’re talking to Melinda, about four groups of people away. You’re laughing up a storm. Yes, I notice this.

Fred says nothing of value. I make a joke about how no matter how bad a recession, people still need commodities. Fred laughs. The other two people in our group pretend to. I guess everyone needs a laugh sometimes. You join us, your fingers squeezing my side.

I excuse myself to get another drink. My friend, Jack, is tending. I ask for a Gin Martini, asking him to make it strong.

“Just a hint of vermouth?”

“The gin can spy the bottle from across the room and that would be perfect.”

“Old Churchill joke?” Jack laughs.

“Never said I was original mate.” I smile.

He swishes the vermouth in the glass, spills it out and strains the gin.

I sip the drink.