Monday, November 28, 2011

color invasion, an industry party

“Izzy, it’s S___. I just kissed you and I love you. We should get married tomorrow. You let me know. I’ll meet you at town hall. We’ll get married. You know. We’ll do well. You know. I know you left in a limo but we’ll do well because I just love the way you kiss. Either way we’re gonna see each other again. Give me a call. Or I’ll call you. I love you. You’re the best.”
Long acclaimed as the International Interior Design Association’s wildest and most exciting bash of the year, Color Invasion, this year was hosted by Splashlight Studios. The event gathers the people in sales for furniture, carpet, lighting, fabric and all other types of finishes and furnishings with interior designers and architects. The money raised for this event goes to the IIDA which uses it for any number of scholarships and other great foundations and events. Granted, these people all work together regularly, meet together, and have smaller parties in showrooms.
So one night a year, everyone lets down their hair, so to speak and gets together for a wild night of color-themed drinks and hors d’oeuvres. This year’s theme was FLASH and this was translated into… whips and flashing spiked bracelets on all the tables and “photoshoots” set up with dinosaur and sheep blow-up dolls (yes, THOSE kind of blow up dolls) and big white workout balls.
I had gotten there late, late enough to be reprimanded by one of my favorite coworkers, but she had been drinking and this convinced her that this was a worse offense than not finishing my drawings or getting the fabric samples when she needed them…
To get to the bar was difficult. With such a gathering of the forces, in addition to ongoing economical situation, there was a major stench of gossip in the air and it was impossible to get more than a few steps at a time before stopping to chat, or rather, shout about so-and-so’s new job or haircut or unemployment or bankruptcy or this evening’s get-up. Or my favorite, all the gay reps that I work with trying to set me up with their straight friends. Keep in mind that this is the FUN event for the IIDA so everyone’s decked out in their wildest get-noticed outfit. This will be talked about for months to come and at next year’s event. (“Did you see Selina’s red sequined pantsuit?”) Last year I wore a green wig.
But the guy that I "connected with" I met all on my own. It was already pretty late in the night.  I had gotten a ticket for Andres earlier that day, most likely someone had had to give up theirs due to a deadline, and Trina had been attending since she was an intern.  She would direct us to the afterparty when it was time.  The time was quickly approaching, as the crowd was thinning, and Trina was already disappointed that the only blow-up toys left to take home were sheep; she had wanted a dragon.  She and Andres squeezed one between their bodies, trying to deflate it.
"Someone needs to squeeze this," I said, pinching the blow-up nozzle.  Giggles, erupted.

 I had this whip.  It was a party favor I found on a table and wrapped, nonchalantly, across my shoulders like a scarf. Even as people started to clear out, in drunkness, in Thursday nightness, a residual sexual tension stimulated the entire space through the “entertainment”, “decorations” and party favors; the air in the space was electrified. The true nature of this space revealed itself. Pristinely white walls, ceiling and poured concrete floors, this was asking for some whipping. And I don’t know how I end up being the soberest of the drunk crowd but occasionally it’s my turn.
So I have to be careful to direct the whipping of MY whip AWAY from the lingering crowd now that we’ve moved on from collectively deflating the sheep to fit into Trina’s black hole of a purse.

Yes, the correct action is in the wrist!
“What are you drinking?” a guy asks me as I direct Andres’ towards Splashlight’s curved white photo wall.
“Gin and tonic.” Or whatever’s still flowing.
“Izzy,” says Andres, as I reach for my turn with MY whip. “Don’t put your drink down.”
And he eyes these 2 or 3 guys. Does he think that was subtle?
“I like the way you handle that whip,” says this guy. And he’s very close to me.
“It’s all in the wrist,” I explain. He laughs. He introduces himself.
“You’re very sexy, Izzy.” He’s rolling something.
“What’s that you’ve got there?” His friends exchange a few looks and I notice that the music has been ended.* For a few minutes. There are people mingling with the crowd who don’t belong.
The whip cracks, quickly followed by cracks of laughter. Peels.
A few guys are hanging around. I know them, either from work or from networking. They knew I would be here, that’s for sure. And I’ve already clued them into Trina's after party at the Thompson Hotel. And they may or may not have tried out the whip—
“You’re amazing,” says S. I can’t say I remember how everything happened, but he was obsessed with me. I forget what I may have said that triggered it, or if it was an act.
Security ushers us out, into the corridor, to the elevator lobby, to the packed elevator. And I think he kissed me in the elevator. So professional. Did I mention I was the soberest? What happened in the other elevators I can only imagine.
Out on the sidewalk, while my friends wait for me or wait for what’s next, I join him in this rolled pleasure and he holds my waist and kisses my neck and all these things are hard to deny after such a charged evening.
I mean, why not?
He kept telling me that he loved me, that we should get married. And I kept my mouth shut. Or maybe not, I don’t actually remember everything. (it isn’t like me to um, ever, keep my mouth shut.)
And we made out on the sidewalk. Among the crowds of people who we may or may not do business with in the coming months. But they were certainly trashed to still stick around.
Disengaging myself, probably by agreeing to meet him at City Hall tomorrow to get married, I dash into the street, where D$ hopes to hail a cab.
“Izzy!” I turn, and there’s a white-haired head sticking out of a limo. Trina!

*I am aware this is grammatically incorrect.

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