Fiction: Party Lies
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Author’s note:  This story was inspired by the idea that we all would like to be someone else at times, or to appear to be someone else.  I especially liked that idea. – TJB

She went to the party ready to have a good time.  It was on the third floor of a funny little Spanish-style building in old downtown L.A., where her friend Marilyn lived.  You were supposed to bring your own beverage – most people would bring booze, Marilyn had told her.  But she was on the wagon and she brought club soda.  With a Tupperware container of cut limes.

It was a hard scene for her at first.  Everyone seemed to be drinking and everyone seemed to ask her if she wanted a drink.  She obeyed the recommendations of her rehab therapist, Dr. Clausen, and armed herself with a frosty glass of club soda with a couple of lime wedges to keep the ice company.  When they asked her if she wanted some wine – “Red or white?” – she shook her head, remembering to smile, and when they said, “Surely a beer?  Hard cider?’ she replied, “No, thanks,” as calmly as she could manage.

Of course, everyone thought the smallest thing hilarious, from the dog they saw peeing in the street below – visible from Marilyn’s wrought-iron balcony – to the latest gossip from the NCIS set as related in fits and starts by one of the guests, who was an associate producer on the show.  She, being dead sober, saw little to laugh about in their raucous repartee.

Finally, when she was about to leave, someone she hadn’t seen earlier came over to where she stood, next to the shefflera plant she’d given Marilyn last Christmas.  He was a man who looked like a young George Clooney, or maybe Jude Law before he lost his hair – she couldn’t decide which.  He said, “What are you drinking?” in a very non-judgmental way, or so it seemed to her.  She gave what she knew was a tired smile and said, “It’s only club soda,” with a shrug.

He looked around the room.  “Idiots,” he muttered, and then grinned at her.  She relaxed a little.

“Want to get a coffee?” he asked.

“I was about to leave, actually,” she said.  She felt all used up, having said “No” all night to the demon she’d been determined to banish, alcohol.

“Me too,” he said.  He held up his hands as if to assuage her protests.  “Honest.”

“Well-”  She felt herself soften.  The hard edge she’d been putting up all night seemed to be cracking just a little.

“There’s a Starbucks on the corner,” he said.  “You look as if you’ve led an interesting life.  Maybe you’ll tell me a little about it.  If I’m lucky.”

“Oh, I don’t know.”  She had a sudden thought.  “You’re not a screenwriter?”

He nodded, a rueful expression on his face.  “Guilty as charged.  But I promise not to use your life in a future script.  – At least, not verbatim.”  He grinned again.

Huh.  Well, it might not be such a bad thing to be a little famous in a secret, discreet sort of way.  But she didn’t tell him that, not just yet.

“Randi,” she said, holding out her hand to introduce herself.

One eyebrow raised, he said, “With an ‘i’, I presume? My name is Peter.”

“Nice to meet you,” she said.


The coffee was rich, hot and strong, and the Starbucks was quiet this time of night.  It bolstered her confidence.  After all, she’d made it through the whole evening – the better part of three hours – without breaking her determination to remain sober.  And even better, she had the prospect of an entertaining conversation before her.

“So what do you do?” Peter asked.

“Costume design,” she said.  It was a lie, but this was her story to tell, wasn’t it?


. . . Maybe Randi will meet up with Margy, our Giraffe-Head costumer! Thanks for visiting.

8 thoughts on “Fiction: Party Lies

  1. I felt this was an interesting read, and you described the protagonist very vividly. It seemed like Randi was the very reserved kind, not wanting to show her true colours. As you noted at the start, sometimes we would like to be someone else. That someone else can be anyone we imagine. Then again, that would be a lie in some sense…and sometimes you wonder, if you be someone else, you lie about yourself, and how far until you get caught out. Not that pretending to be someone else is a bad thing – it could be a means to distract you from the life you are currently living, and experimenting with different personalities.

    Didn’t expect to see the word Tupperware in your piece, but it seemed to slide in very nicely and gave the scene a visual description. And don’t we all have Tupperware or some form of it, something we cal all relate to 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “That someone else can be anyone we imagine. Then again, that would be a lie in some sense…and sometimes you wonder, if you be someone else, you lie about yourself, and how far until you get caught out. ” – so intriguing! I’ve recently been working on my Little Book of Lies and realizing, lies can be so varied. Distracting oneself from one’s own life is something to think about. It could be bad – as in being ashamed of one’s own life – but also it could be good, if you imagine the life you really want and then start living as though you have it (like being a writer?). Thanks for mentioning it!

      Your comment on the Tupperware made me go back and re-read the story, which in fact I wrote quite a while ago and forgot about, but when I was leafing through some older stories this one popped out and I imagined my readership would get a kick out of it (it reminded me of my series on the costume designer turned playwright from a few months ago). We do all have some kind of storage containers, don’t we? 🙂


      1. Really like your point about distracting oneself from one’s own life and being ashamed of our life. It’s a possibility. In a sense, daydreaming can also be called lying…a great way to come up with stories 😀

        For me, the Tupperware mention made me smile. It made the scene very realistic…it’s what you see at parties in real life these days 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh! I like the daydreaming as lying (but in a good way) idea. What’s that they say about telling your mind something and it believes it, like that you’re good at something or no good at something, “Perception is reality,”? Hmmm, might be able to use that in one of my Little Book of Lies stories. Thanks for the inspiration! And your observation on Tupperware made me smile, thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

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