I moved toward the table, my glass sweating profusely in my hand. The evening was becoming equally oppressive, just as the afternoon had been and I wondered when would be the appropriate time to feign the start of a migraine. I thought of Big Len and couldn't help thinking that if these were the best of his mates, then he probably died of boredom. The polite conversation continued as I flipped back an errant corner of cloth and wiped at a creamy blob where the corner had landed in a container of French onion dip.
My movement toward the food snapped an invisible force-field that pulsed silently around the table, safe keeping the food from human gluttony. As my hand retreated with the blob on my thumb, the crowd descended along with the flies, manners now gone with the searing heat of the afternoon sun. All conversation died as lip service took on a new form. Sounds of dipping and chipping and sipping took over, complemented by the gagging splutters of an old bloke inhaling a corn chip with salsa. I stood back and observed the bizarre and unusual scene. This was strangest wake I had ever attended.
Coming from inside the house, the sounds of Herb Alpert and his Tijuana brass grew to an embarrassing level of loudness. I slipped my drink through the tangle of arms that reached for the table, and set the glass down. I stood back and rubbed furiously at my temples for effect, and begged Big Len's forgiveness, wishing him a long and happy Nirvana. It was time to go home.