It Will Never Be Deep Enough
Jane Liddle

My party is over. Did you have a good time. It's important to me that you had a good time, and that everyone had a good time. I'm lying. It's important to me that you had a great time and that everyone had a great time and everyone got kissed. That includes me. Especially me. Ha. You're funny.

Don't clean up. Sit with me, Garcia. I need you to sit with me. I need to tell you things. Is that all right with you.

I can hear Sam Cooke smile when he says, "Oh, I like this song" when he sings "Sentimental Reasons" live at Harlem Square.

I can hear Carole King remember a time she had great sex when she sings, "You make me feel so good inside" during "A Natural Woman."

Do you have someone. Do you like her. What does she look like. Does she have long hair. What are her measurements. Why do you cheat on her. Am I getting too personal.

I think you don't really love her. I think she boosts your ego because she's beautiful. You like people to see you with her. You get another boost from cheating on her. The more improbable the affair the better.

That's nothing. One time at three in the morning I called the fire department because my carbon monoxide alarm was going off. I figured it just needed a new battery but I also figured it wouldn't hurt to call the fire department. Since it was so early in the morning all the men on call were young guys so I had my choice. I chose two.

Do you think Ava had fun at the party. Do you think Van had fun. Do you think the food was gross. I failed at the quiche but I know the French toast was perfect. 

Do you have hopes. Do you have dreams. Do you have goals. Are they in conflict.

I have a hope that I'll be loved by everyone and a dream that I'll stop caring.

Ava doesn't like me. I think she's intimidated by me because guys dig me and I know it. She doesn't like that I know it so she gets competitive. That's why she came with Van to the party. Van is my ex. I invited him and I invited her but I didn't invite them together. But she came with him. I don't care. She left with him.

Oh, you're funny.

You shirt tag is sticking out. There. Now you're perfect.

Who is the prettiest woman you've ever been with. Is she still pretty. That's a terrible thing to say.

Thirty-six. Is that a lot. How many people have you been with. I thought it would be more. You seem like you had a part of your life where you needed a lot of validation. I did. I had that part of my life.

I'm surprised so many people came to my party. Every person I invited came.

Do you experience tiny devastations.

I can't get through the day without being devastated by little things, like seeing a large tree that's sick or meeting an adorable dog that ignores me.

Did you talk to Van at all. Do you think Ava is in love with him.

I always feel blue after a party. I just want to listen to Gram Parsons and drink sherry. I know sherry isn't a thing to drink but I drink it. I like to curl up in that chair by the ficus. I made that chair out of a pallet. It's really comfortable. Go ahead, sit in it.

Do you like chairs. Do you like reading dystopian novels and drinking Irish coffee while sitting in chairs. I thought so.

Van doesn't own any chairs. Well, he has one but it's also a stool. You can't trust a guy who doesn't have chairs. You can't trust him to be generous about your comfort. If he doesn't have a chair then he can't contemplate. He comes across as contemplative but you know he has a book of questions underneath his bed. You know, that little pocket book called The Book of Questions.

You have very nice hands. You have a nice thumb. It's a solid thumb, has got some true heft to it.

My hands are too big for me. They're not man hands but they are out of proportion. I clench my hands into fists when someone takes my picture, but not too tight, because then I'd come across as strict. Sometimes I hold my hands in front of me but then I look like I had a Catholic upbringing and that's not the look I'm going for.

I guess I try to go for a rebellious look. A thoughtful rebellion.

What kind of look do you cultivate. Oh, you nailed it. I especially like your plaid pants.

Why won't you stay. You shouldn't be with her anyway. You don't even like her. Well, you don't even love her.

I want to throw another party. Not a dinner party like this midnight brunch, but a dance party. I want no one to come with anyone else. I want everyone to wear a skirt, even the men, especially the men, and I want to serve candy and play Bee Gees. I want to play "How Deep Is Your Love" over and over. I want there to be dancing.

You'd have to dance. No one would rather die than dance. Would you rather die than leave. Good.

I think the most romantic way to be loved is to death. I want someone to love me with so much of their heart that their heart stops. Has anyone ever loved you to death. Do you think someone could. Do you think you could love someone to death. Do you think it's impossible for everyone. Do you think it's impossible for me.

Jane Liddle lives in Brooklyn. She has stories in or coming from Two Serious Ladies, Whiskey Paper, Heavy Feather Review and others.

Read more of her work in the archive.

Detail of collage on main page courtesy of Joana Coccarelli.

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