Wary of Mary

I followed her from the bar, my head swimming a little. From the martini? It had been unusually strong. For a few moments there, I could have sworn I had been thinking of myself in the third person. I made a note to speak with the bartender about what had been in that drink.

“It’s not much farther,” she said. Something about her smile was alluring—electric. It drew me to her. And yet, her uncertain manner, her awkward pauses, these suggested someone who was even more socially inept than I was. So why was I so attracted to her? It made me wonder about those old magazine ads for “human pheromones.” Did they really exist, and was she using them?

My fat tongue moved in my mouth, and I croaked, “Who are you?” I’d only meant to ask her name.

But that was how she took it anyway. She stammered, “I’m, ah, Mary—Mary Sanguine.”

“Sanguine? You don’t seem to be.” She certainly didn’t act “cheerfully optimistic” as far as I could tell.

“Ah—thank you.”

Thank you? That didn’t make sense.

Or did it?

This story has no comments.