We’re standing around in front of the gallery in the soft, misty rain. People are smoking and talking with their hands. A very small woman in a curvy black dress is standing alone with her arms crossed, shiny black curls swinging around her bare shoulders. My friend says hello to her, and then I do too, it’s a friendly night, here in the rain. She seems both relieved and dismayed to have been noticed as a person who is waiting for something. I ask her why she’s standing around.
“My friend is very very late,” she tells me, her shoulders rise and drop, punctuating her annoyance. She holds a palm up to the rain. She’s tapping her foot. She’s smiling through all of this. She’s performing something.
“You could wait inside,” I say, pointing at the massive plate glass windows that separate us from the party.
“Oh no,” she says. “I want to stay here and get even madder by the time he shows up.”
Now I get it. Now I’m interested. “What are you going to say when he does?”
She gives me a look that says, we’re in this together, we women, we know how this works, we know where the power lies. “I’m going to tell him,” she leans closer, “that he better buy me a drink before I’ll even say a word to him.”
We both laugh, and she whisks some of the dewdrops off her pretty arms. A taxi pulls up, a man in a nice shirt and nice shoes tumbles out. He seems earnest even in the way he unfolds himself from the taxi, eager and clumsy. It’s not what I expected at all. I look back at her, she winks at me as he brushes past me to greet her.
Over my shoulder, I can hear her. She’s not mad at all.