To Throw a Party by Kira Homsher
I am in prime form. I am unmarketable. I am perched on the tip of my own index finger. I am a velvet jewelry box with nothing inside. I wear my father’s old dress shoes and fox trot into the unknown. I sing Gregorian chants in empty subway stations, plotting my escape from the city. I buy a brown checkered dress so I can sit cross-legged and demure on a high bar stool, rest my chin in my palm, and await my good fortune. The sky is incorrect eleven out of ten days. Were I alone, I’d have run out of excuses by now, but my dreams are chaperoned. I am in love – I have a handkerchief to wave. We will throw a party at the apartment that is now ours. It’s an excuse to sweep the floors and move furniture around. It’s an excuse to mix a big bowl of orange punch. It’s an excuse to coerce our friends to fumble across their incongruities for our viewing pleasure. We shove unsightly boxes into storage. We move our most impressive books to more prominent positions on the bookshelf. We polish the silverware! Music must be selected, decorations purchased, victuals prepared. I’m inclined to tape my doors shut and stuff towels in the cracks, but we’re going to throw a party nonetheless. We will see everyone all at once and then not at all! Here in the city everyone has something of vital importance to contribute. Favors are offered, drinks are bought, suggestions made, talents vested, boundaries breached. It is calculated and parasitic, but we’re going to try and – move to the country. My love, if you get lost at the party, I will peel the tape off the door and usher you inside, safe from the vampires. We’ve given them orange punch and they will ask no more of us, dammit! I mixed the drink myself, staring down into the wavering well of my reflection in the bowl, and envisioned myself sitting in a tall black armchair, feet swaying above the ground. There are pastures of plenty and we could clamber to the countryside and position an armchair by the hearth, where I would sit cross-legged in my brown-checkered dress, waiting brightly for your arrival with the doors untaped. We won’t feel small or preyed-upon in the country; no, I’ll sit tall in my armchair, burning and glowing with waiting. I will never again stare down into the bottomless orange well of a bowl of punch. Will you chop wood? Will pockets of sunlight fall upon a porch that is ours to sweep? We could be two ragdolls of few words or wishes, gladly watching dust spiral and settle in late red sunlight. But for now, I have a handkerchief to wave and by the sink, toothbrushes two. I will buy streamers and plastic cups; I will invite vampires into our home to celebrate the unlikeliness of our unloneliness. The punch will drain and at the bottom of the bowl: another excuse.
A Philadelphia native, Kira Homsher is currently an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. Her writing can be found in Bedfellows Magazine, Ghost City Review, and a forthcoming issue of Middle House Review.
image is remixed detail from a photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash