By Simon Behenna
She had obviously arrived.
The band had not faltered in its rendition of Samba e Amor, the dancing had not stopped, and the clusters of bejewelled revelers were still animatedly conversing. Yet, seemingly all at once, everyone was aware that she had entered the room.
Two butlers in dark suits with white gloves continue to hold open the ornately carved entrance doors even after her passing. Their hair is worn firmly smoothed back from their normally staid faces and their gazes are, contrary to explicit directives regarding comportment around guests, fixed decidedly on the passing figure of Ms Bebel Apollonian.
Blood red polish crowns her curvaceous feet. A scant golden strap, almost invisible against her skin, winds gently upwards to an elegantly raised heel. Cascading layers of azure silk fall from a tight, strapless bodice. Her lips, glistening and full, smile gracefully at those around her whilst rings of black hair cavort around her naked shoulders. Her make-up, barely noticeable, is just so. Her eyes, wide and brown and highlighted by thick black lashes, dance coquettishly when she spies her lover sipping champagne on the other side of the room.
As much as one’s gaze is attracted to a glint from the sun, such is the effect of Ms Apollonian’s presence. Almost in a single well-practiced movement, men swing their dance partners around in an effort to catch a better glimpse of her. Whole groups of ladies spot her, peer at her intently for a few seconds and then turn to their friends to comment about Ms Apollonian’s ways. Single men gape at her longingly from behind the raised rim of wine glasses and the debutantes, of course, look unabashedly at her to eyeball the latest of the classic fashions.
Ms Apollonian begins to sashay across the room, the fullness of her gown clearing a comfortable space around her. Once within the crowd, people quickly blur into a mash of tuxedos and puffed gowns. From her left a waiter with pursed lips and excitable eyeballs appears, a thick silver tray laden with flutes of champagne held expertly in front of him as he minces through.
Her lips leave a lined imprint on the edge of the glass and as the bubbles effervesce inside of her, she is reminded of exuberance from parties past.
Her lover stands in a small group of three men and two women, all of whom are sipping champagne. The men, their tuxedos impeccably pressed and with fresh gardenias poking daintily from lapels, bow slightly as they kiss Ms Apollonian’s raised hand. The blonde lady, wearing a tightly gathered silk dress and nimble red pumps, greets her as the old friend that she is. And then—finally—she is face-to-face with her lover. Their heights are wholly compatible, their styling similar, and their lipstick of the same hue. They kiss fervently.