The Hem of My Dress
He's a sleazy, easy, unctuous kind of guy. A sycophant. He presented a rose to my sister that he filched from a vase on my end table. He's sleazy. He snuck into my house. He undid the bolt with a swizzle stick.
He's the only dog owner I've ever met who forces his grown dog to wear the sort of complicated braced harnesses made for pups. He named Suzy for my sister.
He wears cutoff jean shorts. This quality of shoddy lumpishness, albeit posing as humility. Which he mostly certainly is not. Humble. With Suzy he at least attempts to hide that malicious eager-to-please streak of his. With her he'll keep from kneeling on all fours and lapping at women's crotches in public.
Yes, Suzy, my sister. She lives here. I've told you.
I tell you he does do that. A sycophant, really, although who on earth would be impressed by crotch-licking? Apparently Suzy. I was certainly never impressed and neither would you be. His first time at my Friday evening cocktail hour he knelt like a dog and licked at the hem of my dress. Long before you were invited.
He performed all manner of repulsive oral feats in public. For instance he taught Suzy to hold a rose in its teeth. By the stem, a canine Don Juan. Recall that he pilfered the rose from this very house.
No, Suzy, his harnessed dog. I said canine, did I not?
Though now that you mention it I may not be able to forget the image of my little Suzy on her knees, panting through teeth that clench a rose stem. That is quite humorous. It would serve her well to learn a little humility. She would bite into the stem such that it broke in her mouth.
As he stood at this very door, Suzy took the rose from the dog and bound it to her wrist. She fastened it there with a stolen metal wire I had used to affix a charm to the stem of her wine glass. After her acceptance of the purloined rose, I asked her to plan to attend a movie during subsequent cocktail hours. And he knelt, sucking the fabric between his lips.
Of course not, darling. You do make up the eighth, which everyone knows is the correct number for a cocktail hour, but Suzy's presence would not necessarily preclude your invitation. She does live here, of course, and is welcome. But she is not invited. You, however, are a gracious, humble presence. You count.
And I of course never counted him. Imagine it: he stood, chuckling. His tongue left a most disgusting wet spot on my garment. The fabric—my gown that evening was silk, did I mention—stretched and soaked. Suzy smiled and beamed like I've never seen her. My rose strapped to her wrist. She has lived in this house her entire adult life and I have literally never seen her smile like that. His dog had been outside the front door the entire cocktail hour, barking. Leashed and yoked. They laughed themselves out the door, the dog's barks fading as they left the neighborhood. But I had to change into a pantsuit for the rest of the evening and it was over for both of them. And I invited you.
He never counted. He was sleazy. But I count you in on our little get-togethers now, darling. I remember his parched kiss after he sucked the hem of my dress. And he turned to Suzy, grinning. He gave her the same kiss. When he went she went. Dear, you have a little winestain at the corner of your mouth. No, the corner. I must remember my little Suzy on all fours, broken rose between her lips. He is perhaps the least humble man I've ever met.
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