Party Favor

Madlyn is way cooler than I am, which is why I have to hide behind the jumbo-screen TV where I can watch Madlyn work the room. Everyone wants to talk to her because she's a music video producer and everyone wants to get their face in front of her so she'll remember them when she's hiring.

I don't need to get my face in front of her. Tano says she remembers. Not that I made a huge impression the night I invited Tano and Madlyn to my house and I cooked spaghetti. But I made enough of an impression that she remembers me without having to hide behind TV sets to look at me. Tano says she remembers me so well that when she dumped him and he started telling her about falling for me—because, after all, they were friends—she said, "Oh, God, you don't have to tell me anymore. I went to school with a million girls like her."

I would not say that about Madlyn. There were no girls in my school like her. Even the five who weren't Jewish were not like Madlyn.

Madlyn's jeans are white. The cover of this month's Vogue says, "What's Cool: White Jeans." Madlyn reacts fast. She gets a glass of fancy wine before the hostess offers.

Tano thinks a party is like a pas de deux and we should glide brilliantly together and apart throughout the night. He glides toward Madlyn. They talk about. Well, I don't know what they talk about because every time I ask Tano what they talk about he says they don't have anything to talk about. I watch Madlyn talk about nothing to Tano. They stand close. Madlyn is skinny and she bleached her hair blond and I have to keep in mind that she screamed in her sleep or else I'd think they make a nice couple.

I watch more. I need to figure out if Tano is so studly that someone as glamorous as Madlyn would go out with him, or if Tano is a dork and that's why she dumped him. That way I'll know where I fit in.

Madlyn is yelling across the room to someone, which she can do because:

1) she has a loud, deep, sort-of-sexy-so-no-one-will-complain voice
2) she's friends with the hostess
3) she has such nice and upright, make-your-shirt-tight breasts

Tano misses her breasts. Well, not right now because when she yells, she gestures, and her breasts brush Tano. But usually he is looking at some woman who has breasts like Madlyn's and he is telling me how he wants an opportunity to have sex with all different kinds of women. Sometimes he sounds like he's scheduled to die next week. Sometimes I spot a woman who looks like Madlyn and I ask him if he's attracted to her. Sometimes I spot someone who looks like me, and of course I ask. He always answers like he's doing oral exams for a Ph.D. One time, we were looking at an Andrew Wyeth painting of a field with a woman lying down next to her notebook. Before I even looked at Tano, he said, "Yes."

Tenth Birthday | A Dog's Life | Home