I met Adam at Tina’s party. He’d showed no interest in approaching me, so I went straight up to him and said, “Did someone tell you it was a fancy dress party?” He looked me up and down in a dismissive manner and rather loftily sniffed his nose at me! “It’s a nice outfit,” I told him, “French royal court, early eighteenth century?” The feathers, silk stockings, blue velvet and lace appeared absolutely immaculate and expensive.
“It is my own interpretation,” he replied, “but you’re right on the money. I’m impressed.” He stepped forward and then back again with swagger, before taking a slow, theatrical bow. This vision, together with the white foundation, rouged cheeks and lipstick, caused an idea to pop into my head.
“Do you work in theatre?” I asked, “are you – by any chance – an actor?” I watched on, as he nonchalantly waved an embroidered handkerchief in the air, for no reason I could fathom. “Ought I have heard of you?” Party guests passing nearby eyed him curiously and with some humour, which they kept to themselves.
“No, I’m an invoice clerk for Bergasson, Kempf and Pavel.” He accurately read my nonplussed expression. “Allow me to elucidate: solicitors, on Potter’s Street, not so far from here.” At this point, he picked up an ornate, long cane that had been resting against the wall and swung the thing between thumb and forefinger like it was an archaic, scientific instrument. “Allow me to introduce myself, I am Adam.” In place of a bow, he tipped his hat towards me in a gracious manner and stabbed the cane firmly onto the wood boarded floor. At this point, I fantasised I would blush, bringing an open fan up to my face to peek over while fluttering my eyelashes.
Instead, I said, “Your wig, it’s really amazing.” I sensed a satisfied smile flicker across his lips.
“Thank you miss. Now, may I enquire as to your name?”
“Oh, yes, I’m Ashley, Tina and I are friends, we’re on the same college course.”
“Studying fashion, might I offer a guess?”
“Art history. Blah, blah, blah.” I laughed and shrugged my shoulders. “But, Adam, why are you dressed as an eighteenth century French courtier?”
©Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (story inspired by a collage)