‘I was five when my mother gave me my first perm and I was eight when she put make-up on my face and paraded me around the neighbourhood.’ I look about the table to detect a hint a sympathy in the eyes of my friends, plus it enhances the tension. So I continue: ‘which brings me much closer to this sad left-over brownie than your I lost my dad at the airport and had to be brought back at the hand of said Lady with great legs and large breasts.’
‘In my defence,’ says Max staring at the brownie in the middle of the table as if that were to help in bringing it closer to him, ‘it was an ugly guy that brought this teary eyed little boy back to domestic safety.’ He gestures two large hands in front of his chest to Levine and thinks I don’t notice.
‘See,’ I say. ‘now how would you know she had big boobs, you were only five.’
‘Did you see that? Do you have eyes in the back of your head? And just so you know, there is more wisdom to five-year old boys than you know.’
‘Hey, you were teary-eyed. You had no vision!’ says Macy.
‘Well, then that is one of my talents,’ he says while he winks at me. ‘All right, Levine, your turn.’
‘Well, as you all know I’ve had a good and therefore privileged life.’ Everybody joins in an aah. ‘But there was, however, this one incident that I will never forget…’
‘You mean beside the one where you live on a flat, all alone, playing sad songs on an old guitar, whilst growing old, your Angelic hair growing thinner…’
Max continues: ‘And you were once handsome, but are now growing a little squishy around the edges.’
‘Anybody else want to have a go? No? I don’t think so. Levine is the absolute, indisputable winner of the sad left-over brownie because it resembles all that he is. It’s all yours old man,’ Eric hands him the brownie as if it were a trophy. ‘Cheers.’
We all raise our glasses to the most pathetic man at the table.
‘Now why hadn’t I heard this sad little make-up story before?’ Asks Max with what seems genuine interest.
‘Well, I usually don’t tell this sad little sob story because I don’t want to be sentenced to the eternal headbob.’The whole table starts laughing.
‘You know, the ‘ooh you poor little girl’ head tilt. It’s just too embarrassing and besides I have risen above the make-up molestation and am now at a school girls summer job as a pool girl where you can wear absolutely no make-up at all otherwise the water will turn into every color of the rainbow.’ And I stomp my elbow against the table while I finish.
But all of a sudden everybody starts clapping. Max, the monstrous surfer and his mini wife Charlie, Eric and Julia, Levine and of course Macy.
‘Now, if you would have told this story sooner you probably would have won the delicious brownie,’ says Max.
‘I’m not sure,’ adds Eric, ‘I mean Levine is becoming a rather sad case, isn’t he?’
‘You’re right, but he still has hair as if Angels reside in it for pleasure. That was it, wasn’t it?’
‘Yes, my friends, ‘ I say in a victorious moment, ‘I believe I have written this most brilliant line. Au!’
A big piece of glass enters the ball of my thumb.
‘Oh good heavens,’ Julia jumps up and runs to the kitchen like a fully trained mum.
‘Oh, I wish I hadn’t eaten the brownie yet.’
‘Yes, we could have used it to stop the bleeding. Are you always this clumsy?’ asks Max leaning over my hand as if he could see right through it.
Almighty Stripe, I can read it from Levine’s lips across the table.