Paris has stopped massaging my neck and is slowly stroking it instead. I close my eyes and let the magic of his hands do their work. I am melting under his expert touch—just what I need at the end of a long day. I sigh and let my head drop further forward. Paris is patiently working out the kinks and the knots. I wonder how many people he’s seduced with these magical hands of his, but I don’t ask for fear he will stop. I let the tension and frustration of the last few days slip out of me, trying to empty my mind as well. I don’t want to think about anything more than how good it feels to be touched. It’s not sex that I miss so much as a friendly touch. Although, sex would be nice, too. My mind flits from subject to subject, but I just let the thoughts flow in one ear and out the other. One refuses to leave, however, and buzzes persistently in my head. Suddenly, I pop my eyes open.
“Paris! I forgot to tell you about the email Vashti sent me about Max’s ex-hubby being at the party!”
“What?” Paris is so startled, he stops massaging me. “How did she know that?”
“From a friend of a friend.” I pause. “What was his name again?”
“Harry.” Paris makes a face. “Harry Seavers.”
“Harry?” I frown. “Emil called him something else.”
“His full name is Harrison, but he goes by Harry. He’s one of those haute couture screenplay writers who talks about it more than he actually does it because he doesn’t have to make money doing it. He sells insurance by day.” Paris has a sour look on his face. For some reason, the name Harry is resonating in my brain.
“Screenplays, Harry,” I mumble under my breath, closing my eyes again. They pop open again against my volition. “I remember him! He had a hard-on for Guy Ritchie!”
“That sounds like him,” Paris makes another face. “He likes to think he’s so deep and philosophical, but he really likes the shallow, flashy guy directors.” Paris seems to be feeling low as well. I know something that will make him laugh, however, and tell him the horror story that is my sister’s wedding.
Before I can stop him, he goes camp on me, flipping his hand up and waggling his neck. He cannot believe ‘that heifer’ had the nerve to tell me to lose weight, not to mention her other demands. He is up and stomping before I can stop him, but at least he’s lost the glum look. I let him have his say, rather enjoying his defense of me. When I tell him that she wants me to spend over a thousand dollars for this ordeal which includes me wearing mauve, well, let’s just say he loses his ever-loving mind. He rants and rave about how selfish she is because any fool can see that ivory is clearly a better color for me. He cusses Libby out while questioning her genealogy but in such a way that he’s not questioning mine as well. He is in high camp, and he has me crying from laughing so hard. It is nice to have a friend who cares so much about me.
Once he’s calmed down, he settles next to me again and resumes massaging my neck. We diss Libby some more because it’s a national pastime with us and because she deserves it. When we were in college, we devised an elaborate points system to see who could put her down harder. It was no contest; I am the reigning champion of dissing Libby. “She gets put on hold when she tries calling her conscience,” I say, to cap off the contest. We both laugh uproariously at that before subsiding into giggles. Paris wants to make sure that I’m not going to listen to ‘that heifer’, but I’m not paying attention as he is melting me with his fingers. He lectures me to put my foot down or Libby will run roughshod over me, which I know to be good advice but which I also know will be difficult to follow. He is still massaging and lecturing as the buzzer rings.