Single, Female and 25: Love Among the Ruins

“For what?” Cici asked.

“Me,” he said.

“How old are you?” Cici asked.

“Thirty-six,” he said. Lying.

The party was crowded. Vodka in plastic glasses. Cici had just turned away from the bar when she saw an apparition barreling toward her. A large girl with long dark hair, wearing red lipstick and a long “dress,” which appeared to be made of flowered chiffon scarves. Arabian nights.

The guy turned. “Carolyne!” he said. “Love your dress.”

“Thanks, Sam,” Carolyne said.

“Is that the new designer who was going to give you dresses for free if you wrote about him?” He smirked.

“Would you shut up?” Carolyne said. She turned to Cici. “Who are you and what are you doing at my birthday party?”

“Sam invited me,” Cici said.

“So you just accept invitations from other girls’ boyfriends, huh?”

“Carolyne. I am not your boyfriend,” Sam said.

“Oh yeah. You’ve just fucked me about 20 times.”

“Carolyne. I have a girlfriend,” Sam said.

“She got deported.”

“She’s back,” Sam said.

“You have a girlfriend?” Cici asked.

“You mortify me,” Carolyne said to Sam. “Get out and take your cheap little slut with you.”

“You have a girlfriend?” Cici asked again. She kept repeating it, all the way down the stairs until they were out on the street.

Sure enough, Cici and Carolyne became friends.

‘I Hate Miami’

One day Cici called Carrie. “You’ve got to come to Miami with us.”

“I hate Miami. I will never step foot in Miami,” Carrie said.

“You are just so funny,” Cici said.

In Miami, Cici and Carolyne stayed with some rich friends of Carolyne’s from the University of Texas. On Friday night, they all went out and got drunk, and Cici made out with one of the Texas guys, Dexter. But she got annoyed at him the following night when he followed her around, putting his arm around her, trying to kiss her—like they were a couple or something. She sort of started ignoring him, so Dexter stormed out of the house. He came back a couple of hours later with a girl. “Hi, y’all,” he said, on his way upstairs with the girl. Later they came downstairs and Dexter made a great show of writing down the girl’s phone number.