What took place after the mystery night on Saturday. The only thing that's a lie is the photo.
"Huh! Huh! Huh!"
She vomited effortlessly into the tin bucket, her thin dancer's frame heaving forward dramatically with every every surge, like a wave against the shore. I sat to her right, a reassuring presence, a warm light, patting her on the back every now and then, save for when the juices would flow.
Sarah Brown sat to her left, holding her hand and talking without abandon about her vagina.
"You see, vaginas are basically like self-cleaning ovens," Sarah was saying, sounding remarkably like Moose on "You Can't Do that on Television." She's a 6th-grade teacher and has the gung-ho enthusiasm of a middle school teacher, even when it comes to matters of personal hygiene. "You know, I tell my students this all the time. Vaginas are perfect. If you know how to treat them properly, that is. They're perfect, and my vagina is actually more perfect than most of them. Did you know that my vagina has the perfect PH level? Do you know what my secret is? Just clean your vagina naturally, that's my secret! Don't use soap on it. And never, never ever douche. Those are the things that bring about a yeast infection. Douches and soap are nasty, nasty things to use on a vagina. All you have to do is to keep your vagina clean with simple water. Just a little spritz of water every now and then will take care of everything!"
"This is waaaaaaaay more information about your vagina than I ever wanted to know," said Corb.
But Sarah Brown was resolute in her vaginocity. "Self cleaning ovens, I tell you!"
Emma leaned back against the couch, a hug smile on her young face. "Heh. Hehehehe." Suddenly, she lurched forward, placing her head practically into the bucket. "Huh! Huh! Huh!"
"Self cleaning ovens, huh, Sarah?" I asked, trying to take the heat off of Emma.
"Self cleaning ovens." She eyed Emma nervously. "Vaginas are perfect, and I love talking about them. Do you guys know what a mucus plug is?"
Emma moved up, then flopped her head between her knees and started moaning and sobbing. "I hate this...I hate this so much..."
"It's okay," I said, trying to sound reassuring. "Sarah's vagina talk isn't THAT bad..."
"No! I hate THIS! Me, being like this."
Sarah ran a hand through Emma's short pixie-ish hair. "It's okay, it's okay. We've all been there before."
"No, I hate this!" Emma practically shouted. "Nevershoulda had so much to drink." Then, without a change in tone. "My father hates me."
Uh, where did...? "Your father doesn't hate you," I said.
"He does! He hates the person I've become," she said, from between her thighs. "He hates how much I've changed."
"I'm sure he doesn't hate you," I said, feeling the conversation move too close to home. "Maybe he doesn't know how to speak to you, that's all."
Wayno, who also has children, walked in from the kitchen. "Maybe he just doesn't know the right words to say."
"Yes! Take it from two dads," said Sarah. "Believe them. Your father doesn't hate you."
That made Emma start to cry even more.
From the other couch, we heard a loud snore. The doormouse? No, it was Andy, completely passed out. Champagne makes him drowsy. He was the only one who had changed out of his mystery night outfit. No more Jimmy Dean, no more slicked back hair or leather jacket or sausage. T-shirt and jeans instead, his feet bare, his Neanderthal-like hairy big toe sticking out for everyone to see.
Sarah Brown giggled. "I want to do mean things to Andrew," she said.
A wicked thought sprang into my head. "I have an idea."
Sarah Brown jumped out of the couch and abandoned Emma. "Tell me!"
Oh! A sleeping innocent. Could I really be so cruel as to suggest anything? Sarah would surely take any challenge that I handed to her and follow through on it. And, I was going to dare her to shave Andy's toes.
Should I say anything? What if the razor slipped while she was shaving him, half in the bag as she was? What if he woke up and kicked her? Ah, such a dilemma.. .
"What were you going to say, Ted?" Sarah shouts. "Tell me!" She lurches across the room to the sleeping Andy, places a hand against his pretty face.
Suddenly, the flashing out headlights outside. Sarah's cell phone starts to buzz. She moves away from Andy, places it to her ear. "What? What? Oh, you've been outside for thirty minutes? I didn't know you were there! Wha--" She slams the phone closed. "Shit, my husband's pissed!"
And she's out of there, just like that. I look down at Emma, asleep on the couch.
Resigned, I grab at the tin bucket in front of her. Time to clean up the heavings. I look into the bucket, wrinkle my nose.
Ugh, meat chunks.