Scene at the bar last night at the holiday party:

Bartender: Yes, ma’am what can I get for you?

Me: I actually donno. Not sure what I want, but I do know I don’t want wine.

Bartender: Fruity?

Me: Yeah, fruity’s good, but keep it simple?  Nothing strong.

Bartender nods. Loads a glass 3/4 of ice, adds Vodka or run (couldn’t make out in those dim lights), adds cranberry juice and some other clear liquid from a can and flourishes it in front of me.

I take a sip. 

The guy is waiting expectantly for my reaction. A colleague of the husband has magically appeared at my side and is looking down at me, eyebrows raised. 

It tastes sharp and soon softens its tempo as it swirls inside my mouth. The cranberries explode at the base of the throat. A quick drag of the pungency by its tail as they disappear down. An echo of the ghost of the acrid taste. One that reverberates within. I turn on my heel and walk slowly across the dance floor. Glass in hand, my silver purse hung on my wrist, the shawl flung across my shoulder. 

Red Silver. Black Diamonds. Brown Chocolate. 

The clinking of the cubes in the blazing red liquid matching the twinkle of the diamonds in my ears. The heels. Oh, how I love my heels. I look down and see them strapping my bright red toenails. I snake between the chairs, between dancing couples, between hurrying waiters, between trays loaded with desserts, and between the music notes. Frank Sinatra plays for me of course. I move to the music, a swing in my hips, the heels making it all natural and easy. I reach my table, and settle into the chair. I cross my legs and lift the glass to my cherry lips, flicking the chocolate waves from across bare shoulders. 

Tiny stars dot my black dress, a gift from the chandelier above. I hold an ice cube in my mouth and bite on it. 

I smile into the drink. 

The bartender sure knows his business.

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