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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Patricia Prime
Te Atatu South, Auckland, New Zealand

The 80s Party

through the open door
a sea breeze wafts
across the valley

While I am visiting my daughter, her friend invites us to an ‘80s party. The house is situated on a cliff overlooking Paihia bay. The sea is so perfect – islands rising in the distance, small boats lethargic on the horizon, hang-gliders being towed along by motor boats. The waterfront cafes full of tourists from the cruise ships docked in the bay.

The guests are dressed as pop star of ‘80s: my daughter and son-in-law as Stevie Nicks and Axl Rose: one in a black wig and sunglasses and the other in a long red wig and torn jeans. My son and his wife appear as David Gilmour from Pink Floyd and Cindy Lauper in pigtails and short skirt. The hostess is dressed as Boy George in a black wig and hat. I’m in the guise of Dolly Parton – so much nearer my age. Several guests are dancing to music videos on the television, while others gather around the table where there is an abundance of eighties food: fairy bread, cocktail sausages, devilled eggs, tri-colour pasta salad, pigs in blankets, and asparagus rolls. We drift in our costumes like somnambulists in a play, searching for what we like amongst the banquet: pate, crackers, chocolate log, strawberry tarts and trifle. Shot glasses of tequila are lined up on the table. The wine and beer are flowing.

The only other person similar in age to me is Mike. We have an earnest conversation about his three ex-wives, the house he now lives in on his own and the fact that he sometimes leaves a pot on the stove, setting off the fire alarm or once forgot to lock the door and was burgled. I leave him dancing with his daughter and go outside for some fresh air. Guests have drifted in the gathering dusk to sit beside the pool or hot tub, sipping their drinks or slipping in and out of conversation against the jacuzzi’s steam.

dark against the sky
birds float down
to the mudflats



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