“It was terrific. Just… y’know… a real great year.”
Burt quaffed his peppermint drink, swishing it a little in his mouth before leaning over to me. His breath smelled like if sugarplum fairies used his mouth to vomit into. “Hey Burt.” I don’t smile. Smiling encourages them.
“Monica… you are a fantastic co-worker. Just… real great.”
“Yeah, Burt. You said that.” I take a step back.
“The way you… answer phones…” he hiccups and leans forward a little more. “Your hair smells nice, Monica.”
“John! Can you go help Burt out over here!”
John is across the room, handing out party favors: those stupid sparkly hats and some old glasses from 2001 where he taped another 1 to them so they say “20011.”
“Whoa people!” John laughs. “Wait until the new year.”
“John!” I elbow Burt away but he leans in again.
“Oh, loosen up, Monnie. He’s just having fun.”
“He’s loose enough for the both of us, John.” I step out of the way and Burt falls to the ground.
“Oops!” Burt rolls around, unbuttoning his shirt. “It’s hot in here. Hot. Hot. Tuh. Tuh.”
John looks over and sets down his drink. “Oh, burt! Maybe you’re having too much fun.”
I check the clock and it’s still only eleven o’clock. Maybe I can fake a sickness or my own death or something.