My Feet Dissolved In The Carpet

Sometime in or around the year, 1961 —

I find myself along with my wife, at a party being held in a really upscale apartment building in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.  The party is being thrown by my friend, Skip, who is gay, so my wife and I know that it is going to be kind of on the wild side.

Skip is managing a couple of adult book stores and is about as rich as a person can be …high dollar furnishings in the apartment, a luxury automobile, money to burn .. you know the scene.

The apartment is large … there is a white plush shag carpet all over the place … marble statuettes placed on pedestals here and there … crystal chandelier overhead …stark white sectional sofa … glass top coffee table … mirror on the wall with a lot of gold trim ….soft music playing over the intercom system ….

The other guests begin to arrive …. There is a man dressed in a cape and a mask who identifies himself as “Bat Man.”  I find out later that he is some kind of executive at the local telephone company and a frequent visitor at Skip’s place.  Others arrive, each of them dressed in some garish costume or the other …. I hadn’t been told it was going to be a costume party …. so I had arrived in a pin stripe suit and tie … My wife in an evening gown …

Skip had prepared dinner for the group ….long dining table … leather covered chairs at the table …complete formal setting on the table …centerpieces of white roses on top of the table …gold rimmed bone china dishes …. crystal glasses in a pattern called “Versailles” ….dinner was a beef roast of some kind …carrots and potatoes and onions were served on a special platter where Skip had arranged the carrots and potatoes in suggestive erotic arrangements — topped with white sauce — a little touch of probably unintended gaucherie.

Following the meal and some drinks …. Skip was fond of a greenish, creamy-looking drink in a wide shallow stemmed glass …. He called the drink “Grasshopper.” My wife had a pinkish colored creamy drink called “Pink Lady.”  I had a vodka sour.

We adjourned to the living room where Skip offered me a fancy-looking cigarette … with a shiny gold band around it and different colored papers surrounding the tobacco …or what I imagined had been tobacco ….

Shortly after, Skip turned on the television set… and I started to feel really relaxed …I thought to myself, “It must be the drink I had kicking in.”

A little later on, I felt a little too relaxed …. I wasn’t intoxicated …. I had only had the one drink.

But my shoes and socks were off my feet and the carpet felt like it was crawling around my toes.  It was both interesting and disturbing at the same time.

The night wore on and everybody who was staying over got ready for bed except for me.  I stayed up to watch more television.

At about Two O’clock in the morning, Skip came out of his bedroom and asked me what I was watching.  I told him I was watching a Western movie.  He looked at the TV screen and remarked, “I think the movie would be more interesting if you turned the television set on, don’t you”

I have never found out if it was the drink or the cigarette.

As my wife and I left to go home the next morning, we discovered that during the night, someone had smashed the window on the driver side of our automobile.

It had been a strange night all around.