"...You know, this is really screwed up because
I can't any longer say that we don't socialize."
- David Duchovny, June 1998
The wedding invitation is a beautiful formality slipped under her trailer door. She doesn't rate an envelope or postage, and she knows she's not invited, not really, but she feels guilty for leaving a muddy footprint over the bride's name.
Between takes, she tells David that it's beautiful and that he's too kind. Her heart doesn't break when he preens and says Téa did the calligraphy herself. Téa's beautiful, perfect; she knows calligraphy and she's marrying him.
He's too kind to trust her not to show up.
She sends the happy couple a toaster. It's the only thing not on their gift registry, but she knows he needs one. The one in his trailer went up in flames months ago, choking on a slice of spelt bread. He was too blissed out to replace it himself, and he said he liked the scorch marks on the trailer wall.
He brings her a toasted bagel one morning, slathered in fake Tofutti cream cheese. "You won't notice the difference," he tells her.
She accepts it, but he's the one who says thank you.
In California, she still has boxes to unpack while he's sending out housewarming invitations. There's no calligraphy this time, but there is a stamp and a postmark. She thinks she saw these cards in the stationery aisle at Target.
David's handwriting says R.S.V.P. with regrets only, and she doesn't make the call. She realizes she never knew his phone number in Vancouver.
She shows up at his door with a bottle of wine, and it's Téa who lets her inside. Gillian smiles uncomfortably as Téa examines the bottle, making all the necessary and appropriate sounds of an approving hostess. She was born for the role.
"Oh, wow, this is a great vintage," she says, and it doesn't sound forced at all. "If I knew you went all out like this, I'd have insisted that David invite you to the wedding." She winks and grins like they're best friends, and Gillian wants to tell her she only chose this bottle because it was on sale.
"Where's David?" she asks instead.
She doesn't know where Téa is when she gravitates to David's side. Her wine glass is almost empty for the third time, so she wraps her arms around his hips, low and loose.
He doesn't say anything, but she feels the weight of his hand tickle the small of her back.
Resting her chin on his chest, she smiles up at him and asks for the grand tour.
She's holding onto him in the doorway to the guest room. He chuckles silently and she can feel him shake with it.
"This is screwed up," he says, and she starts to pull away, but his arms wrap her up and hold her close.
She's a different kind of drunk when he kisses her while they're staring at the guest bed.
The hemline of her little dress is still around her hips when he lies down beside her. She doesn't know where her underwear is.
He tells her again how screwed up this is, that, "We can't say we don't socialize, not anymore."
Is that what they call it now, she wonders, and she realizes she said it aloud when he laughs and goes down on her again.
By the end of the night, she's too drunk to leave and not drunk enough to stay. This really is screwed up, she thinks, leaving without her panties.