I mean, it’s September, so you’d figure at least the guests with kids would’ve shown up by now, because they have to get home early to set the babysitter free. What’s funny is that the fashionably late stragglers are probably going to be the first people here. And they thought they were being so cool!
Let me turn down the music. I checked out some mariachi stuff from the library to add some mexicano flavór. Now I’ve begun to suspect that four months of continuous mariachi music may have something to do with my insomnia and the mustachios I’ve been hallucinating.
One guy who has no excuse for not showing up is my neighbor Jim. He lives across the hall, has no family obligations, and just sits in his apartment getting stoned and holding staring contests with the light on his smoke detector. When I hear him walking down to the garbage room, I’ll grab a trash bag of my own and pretend to bump into him. He’ll say something like “Hey, man,” and I’ll casually respond in kind, waiting for him to acknowledge my serape. But nothing clicks. It’s true he never said yes on my Evite, but he never said no, either. He never even said maybe. In fact, no one replied at all. I feel like I wasted my time coming up with funny response headings (Yes=Sí, Maybe=Tal Vez, No=No).
Wait, did someone just knock? No, it’s just a guy outside working on his roof. Ever notice how you become hyper attuned to sound when you’re waiting for company? You think someone’s at the door, but it’s actually just a thunderstorm three states away or a stray cat’s heartbeat. The false alarms are annoying, but if I prop the door open anyone can just saunter in and crash mi loco fiesta—I mean, should mi loco fiesta come into existence.
Anyway, the co-workers I invited are no better than my neighbors. Denise called on May 9. I thought we were friends, but she just demanded to know why I hadn’t been showing up at the office. Was I sick or something? I asked her if I sounded sick, hoping she’d notice that I used question marks at both ends of the sentence. She didn’t. I couldn’t think of another indirect way to jog her memory, so I just blurted out, “Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!” She asked me why I said that, but instead of answering I observed how odd it was that that particular country should enter her mind so suddenly, apropos of nothing. Was her unconscious trying to communicate something? Anyway, the upshot is that if I ever set foot in the office again, someone will discharge a stun gun.
It’s just not fair! I looked out the window yesterday and saw a guy in a sombrero walking toward my building. He was kind of tall and slouchy, so I just assumed it was Doug. But it wasn’t. In fact, I didn’t even know him. It turns out my downstairs neighbor is going to have a Halloween party, and this guy was more than a month early.
I don’t want to leave the apartment, because I know the minute I do, someone’s going to arrive. But here’s the problem: I’m starving to death. I went through the guac and the seven-layer dip and the taquitos long ago. Then I spent a few weeks trying to break into the piñata, but I was too malnourished to swing the wiffleball bat with any kind of force. I didn’t want to cheat, but I finally tore off the blindfold and gouged an orifice into the burro with a car key. Now I’m out of Starburst, and I’m well into the less appealing flavors of Dum Dums. When the store-brand butterscotch candies are gone, I’ll be in serious trouble.
Plus, when the guests show up, what are they gonna eat?