Saturday, June 14, 2008

Coming Apart at the Seams

The Gloria Stories, Part 5

You sew a small, secret pocket to the inside of a very blousy blouse, put a spool of thread into that pocket, of matching color, and with a sewing needle, bring the end of the thread to the outside of your top. Then you go to a restaurant with somebody like Gloria. Someone like her, not easily embarrassed, is needed to make it work.

You wait until some of the other diners happen to direct their gaze toward you, and then you say, not quietly, “Oh, look at that; I have a thread hanging down. Would you mind pulling it for me?”

Gloria, of course, to hook the audience, yanked several inches out. She wadded it up and put it on her bread plate.

I thanked her.

After a few more moments, the others around us now curious, I said, “You know, I don’t think you got it all…”

“No problem, let me try again,” she said. This time. she pulled out a whole foot of thread and added it to the bread plate.

“Nope,” she said. “That didn’t do it. You still look scraggly.” And she pulled out another foot or two and added it to the heap on the bread plate.

The waiter came to offer us drinks. We declined, but Gloria did ask him to take the bread plate out of our way, which by now was piled high with wadded up, black thread.

I don’t know what happened to that waiter, but we never saw him again after he removed that plate. A woman took his place.

By now, people were checking us out quite regularly, so we regularly obliged. Several more feet of black thread were now heaped on Gloria's new bread plate.

Finally, after dessert, Gloria said, “I am determined to get that thing, once and for all.” So she stood up and pulled. She backed up three steps and kept pulling. She backed up some more, winding her way among tables, until she was all the way across the room, and still kept pulling.

Suddenly, I wrapped my arms around my torso. “Gloria, stop!” I cried, in a stage whisper so everyone could hear. “I think you’ve pulled my whole top apart!”

“Grab my jacket!” she stage-whispered back.

“I can’t. I can’t move!”

So she hurried back to our table, put her jacket around my shoulders, and laid our money on the table. Then we made a hasty exit, I all the while clutching at my blouse and her jacket.

You have to be quite bored, I suppose, to do things like that.