The Unnoticeables

The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway Read Free Book Online

Book: The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robert Brockway
go to this bullshit Hollywood party with me,” Jackie reiterated.
    â€œOh, God, Jackie, no. Come on, I’m going to be drawn and quartered during this shift…”
    â€œThis shift that I am selflessly volunteering to help you with,” Jackie supplied.
    â€œYou know I hate those damned parties. Nobody talks to you; they just yell parts of their r é sum é at each other while pretending they’re not on coke.”
    â€œIt’s called networking.” Jackie sighed. “And that right there is the reason you’re not finding work. Come on, we’ll get through this shift together and then go drink off the post-customer-service filth in the hills.”
    â€œI…” I had nothing. “They better have something wrapped in bacon.”
    I dumped half of the soggy burrito in the trash and tried to build a fruit salad out of the condiment tray.
    *   *   *
    Jackie looked amazing. She was wearing a form-fitting tuxedo, a thin black waistcoat pinned tight to her midsection, complete with a perfectly cocked top hat. I forgot how well she did the whole appearance thing when she wanted to.
    â€œHow do I look?” she asked me, spinning halfway around and giving a genteel little bow.
    â€œHot, but funny, like an old-timey magician’s assistant,” I said, suddenly feeling ill at ease in my own basic cocktail dress and black flats.
    Don’t get me wrong: I don’t have body issues. I know how to look pretty damn presentable. Give me the right jeans and T-shirt, and I can floor a man from halfway across the bar. But I barely understand what “cocktail wear” is, much less how to pull it off.
    â€œI was going for a fuckable Charlie Chaplin,” Jackie replied, frowning. She did that Chaplin walk, all splay-footed and waddling, but infused with just a hint of sexy runway hip swivel.
    â€œI see it now. You are going to confuse the hell out of some poor Hollywood hipsters.”
    I poured another shot of tequila into my coffee mug and downed it. I shuddered as the warm wave broke back up my throat.
    â€œOh, do me.” Jackie practically pranced over to the counter.
    â€œYou’re not that fuckable,” I said, waggling my arms as if I could shake the liquor out of my skin.
    â€œThe booze,” Jackie said; “and if you keep drinking like that, who knows where the night may take you?”
    â€œIt’s only two. If I’m going to an ‘industry’ party, I’ve found I need an exact two-drink head start to remain charming.” I slopped an abstract amount of golden liquid into her mug. It said “#1 Dad” on the side and had a picture of a hammer. Mine was a sleepy owl. I didn’t own any shot glasses.
    â€œAh, the two-drink theorem. It’s sound math.” Jackie knocked hers back and didn’t even make a face. “Just be careful to keep the pace. Two drinks can snowball into twelve. Remember Tyler’s house?”
    I laughed.
    â€œThat started as a sensible two-drink base, and then…” Jackie closed her eyes and shuddered.
    â€œThen you did a shot-by-shot reenactment of the Pump Up the Jam video in your underwear. In front of everybody.”
    â€œThen, yes, that happened. Thank you for explicitly reminding me.”
    â€œI’m just happy to get an excuse to say that out loud. Try it: ‘Shot-by-shot reenactment of the Pump Up the Jam video in your underwear.’ It’s fun.”
    Jackie rolled her eyes at me and went back to fussing in the mirror in my living room.
    â€œAm I underdressed? I can change,” I said, acutely aware of how broad my shoulders were in a strapless dress.
    â€œNo, no! It’s good. Honest. Even better because you don’t know it. You could stand to throw on some heels.…”
    We stared at each other in silence.
    â€œJackie…” I started.
    â€œI know, I know”—she waved me away—“you

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