You never know who you’ll meet at a party. Kristin’s roommate Jack, a 40 something bachelor with too much money and not enough self esteem, throws a huge house party every summer. After seeing their massive, sprawling Mill Valley pad, I readily agreed to co-organize this year’s shindig. Jack gave us a budget to hire caterers and bartenders, to rent chairs and heaters, and to find a DJ. We were told to invite anyone we wanted, and promised to set up and clean up accordingly. I then promptly got caught up in work and didn’t really organize that much. Ah well.
So Saturday afternoon, I throw on some outfit and head over to Jack and Kristin’s, bringing no friends and fully aware I wouldn’t know a soul. Arriving late and pissing off Jack, I immediately befriended Gintau, Kristin’s hilarious and flaming gay friend from the city. Gintau and I were fast friends, of course, and proceeded to stand around making up names for the bizarre array of characters filling the backyard. “Oh, that’s a Gordon. Yeah, definitely a Gordon.” “Oh my god, she’s Briana. I know it!” And then, “He is Troy. I’m telling you guys. That’s guy is Troy.”
Troy (real name Doug, but who cares) is a late 30’s cross between Harry Hamlin and a younger George Hamilton. Clad in flip flops, distressed jeans and a brown, suede shirt, Troy took painstaking measures to maintain his overdone tan, his perfectly styled chest hair and his flawless little tuft of head hair which fell in a very precise fashion upon his forehead. Troy spent a good two hours trying to look like he didn’t care. Immediately, we became fascinated with Troy.
Following him around the party with brazen obviousness, Gin and I would eavesdrop on Troy’s conversations with women. Troy really made the rounds, charming each desperate suburban singleton with his appalling tan and his chest hair, re-telling the same obnoxious joke to each of them, moving in for the craned neck whisper at the exact same moment every single fucking time. Then, with a callousness we couldn’t understand, he’d depart just as rapidly as he’d swooped in, moving on to another chick, in another section of the party. Same joke, same whisper, same moves…over and over.
And we were 2 steps away, every single time. We even tried to capture him on film, but Troy proved elusive to the camera, and we soon found out why. Jack, now drunk and no longer pissed that I didn’t help organize the party and showed late, came over and hugged me, screaming a loud and unnecessary, “I love you, Beth!”
I took the opportunity to inquire about Troy.
In a twist none of us should find shocking, Troy is married.
Needing no further information, Gin and I rushed out onto the deck to find Troy and gaze upon him with new eyes, expecting to see him naked in the hot tub or pretending to enjoy the half hearted volleyball game. But he was gone, having disappeared into the mist with any one of the gals so desperate to entwine themselves in his mane of styled chest hair.
Gin and I attempted to enjoy the party without the glorious entertainment of Troy, married lady killer, but it just wasn’t the same. We sipped our mojitos and chatted with the locals. I found myself engrossed in a conversation with the DJ, thrilled to tell me about his friend who moonwalked from Detroit to Denver to raise awareness about alternative energy. I met a girl, one of the thousands so casually rejected by Troy, who’s parents somehow know my parents. As she chatted on and on about some cocktail party from 1992, I could see that underneath her faux enthusiasm, she was devastated to be one of the many thrown aside by Troy, possessor of more toiletries than all of us combined. I considered telling her to count herself lucky, but part of me almost applauds Troy’s blatant sleaziness.
Finally, I took myself home, after exchanging hugs with my new best friends and attempting to guiltily clean Jack’s bathroom. At 6am the following morning, I awoke for work, sluggishly dressed, and swung by Peet’s Coffee on my way up the mountain. Peet’s in Mill Valley is the weekend hot spot for the 30-something early morning crowd, those that are too sporty to drive themselves downtown in their clean air vehicles and choose instead to ride designer mountain bikes or drop by before yoga. I pushed my way past cashmere sweat suits to grab my latte and low fat muffin. As I walked back outside, I almost dropped my breakfast upon the pristine sidewalk. Who should be sitting under a tree across the street, legs crossed in their typical artsy Euro-man fashion?
He and “the woman who apparently made the cut” were having the uncomfortable morning after cup of coffee. Same outfit, same chest hair, same sleazy joke. I couldn’t believe it.
Troy spied me across the street, obviously recognizing me from somewhere, but too tired, too hung over, too engrossed in making sure his bangs maintained their twirl to put two and two together.
I stifled my immense laughter and with a new spring in my step, hopped in my car. For a second, one brief moment, I considered running up to them and screaming, “Troy. I thought you were going to call!”
And then he’d look up at me, squint through his tan and his hair and his suede slutty shirt and say, “Who the fuck is Troy?”