The two of us sit at the kitchen table. Staring at each other over two pizzas, four litres of coke and two garlic breads.
I know what she will say before she says it, and I glare at her, willing her with all my mental power to keep her fat mouth shut. “They won’t turn up,” she says “nobody’s coming.”
“Did you say something to piss them off? Shouldn’t they be here by now? Maybe something’s happened?”
Doubt wont shut up. She never does. “Anyway, shouldn’t you be working tonight? I mean, you have that big presentation, and its only two weeks away. Are you even going to be ready? Maybe you should let one of the guys in the office do…” Doubt’s unending monologue is interrupted when Critic enters my kitchen.
Critic picks up a glass, and takes it to the sink. Pinched between two fingers, not wanting to touch it.
does she think I pissed in it
She starts washing the glass. Her face, in a permanent sneer, looks down on me, looks down on everything I own. Her expression looks like I left a dog-shit on the table. No – worse than that. Its like I’ve ordered dog-shit pizzas with extra anchovies.
“This is a lot of food isn’t it?” Critic’s rhetorical questions are her most irritating habit. “And don’t tell me – ice-cream in the freezer? Chocolate? Is this much food really necessary? Ugh, this glass is really disgusting, has it ever been cleaned?”
“Maybe you should think about buying new glassware?” Doubt starts again. “Can you afford new glassware? Don’t you need to be focused on saving for your own home?”
I hear the door open again. The doorbell never rings, except when I’m getting food delivered. Otherwise the girls just let themselves in.
mi casa, su casa, bitches
Its two more girls – Apologetic and Compulsive. “So sorry I’m late ladies,” Apologetic speaks like she has been running, her words rushing out in a single breath “It’s my fault. I really should have planned better for the traffic.” Compulsive doesn’t talk, simply dropping her considerable bulk into a groaning chair, immediately opens the garlic bread to begin gorging.
Watching Compulsive eat when she is on a food-jag is sickening, but it’s a thousand times better than when she diets. Seeing that gaunt, skeletal face always reminds me of Amnesty International adverts for starving refugees. Oh, and she always hangs around with the twins. The Double D’s. D-one and D-two.
god I hope the twins don’t turn up tonight
I hear the TV come on in the other room, and an argument immediately begins. Bitter’s shrill voice is complaining about the choice of DVD’s “Not fucking Bridget Jones’s Diary. Not again. If have to watch that shit one more time…”.
“Fine – you choose. Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing?” Dependence’s voice is soft, needy and insipid. Not the voice of a woman with a ten-year career as a commercial lawyer. I hate that voice.
“Ugh. Fine. Bridget fucking Jones’s fucking Diary.” Bitter hasn’t been part of the crowd for long, but since Marcus left us, it’s like she’s been with us since forever.
The rest of us pick up the pizzas, garlic breads and cokes, and move into the TV room. My place is small, but there are enough chairs. There are always enough chairs for the girls and I. I switch the light off, and we sit in the dark , eating pizza as Renee bumbles between Hugh and Colin. We are mostly silent, except for the occasional comment from Critic about how quickly Renee Zellweger lost all her BJD weight and that ‘some of us’ should probably consider the same program, or the sarcastic ranting of Bitter on how Mr Darcy perpetuates a myth about how men are capable of change.
“Its ridiculous,” Bitter says “ALL men are Daniel Cleavers. Arseholes.”
I hear that sister
Doubt, sitting next to me as usual, whispers in my ear, “Is… Is that… Them? Are They here?”
I don’t know when they got here, but the twins have arrived. Double D’s. D-one and D-two.
Depression sits in a darkened corner, not speaking to anyone, not making eye contact. She stares at the floor with eyes that are red-ringed and wrinkled from insomnia. She smells slightly damp and mouldy, like a neglected bathroom. The room is darker with her in it.
Despair is entirely different. Not content to sit in the corner sucking the life out of the party, despair stands in front of us, naked. Blocking the TV, forcing us to see her and all her damage. Self-inflicted scars run the length of her arms and ride up her thighs.
scars from constant cutting with the super sharp box cutter that is in the third draw of the bathroom cupboard near the antiseptic and spare tooth brushes that I always seem to think about on these nights
oh no oh no oh no
“WHOOOOOOO HOOOOO!” A deafening yell fills the room. “IT’S PARTY TIME BITCHES! GET READY TO ROCK!”
oh thank god
I know the cheerful yell is fake. I know the party attitude is forced. But when Denial, the last lady to show for my girl’s night in, hands me the first Sav Blanc of the evening, I don’t care. Everyone takes a glass, even the twins. The twins are not diminished by the alcohol, far from it. But they do seem just a bit easier to bear with every drink.
Compulsive hands me the tub of ice-cream and we settle down to one of the Twilight movies.
The bottles are mounting up on the coffee table when Doubt whispers something to me, something only I can hear. “Is… Is this normal?” Doubt looks around the empty room, taking in all my friends.
“I don’t know if its normal,” I answer, slurring just a bit, “but it’s better than drinking alone.”
This was inspired by a blog post from P.S.Hoffman, How to Write like a Girl.
I’d be very interested in your thoughts. Does this work? Does it read like a believable female perspective, or have I failed?