She’d lay in her bed at night -at the age of 7, perhaps, or some close age of colorful imagination –she was never in short supply of imagination – and pretend she was at a party, one where they served little foods on trays and drinks like her mother and father seemed to enjoy at their parties.
She’d take a sleeve of saltine crackers to bed with her, and pretend they were being served on little trays, and had other food on top of them, like cheese. Adriana particularly loved cheese, so she pretended cheese. And she’d hold her other hand out like it was holding a glass filled with something she had trouble pretending, ,but she thought it might be champagne. She’d heard that word before. Champagne. Her mother said it tickled her nose whenever she had it. Adriana tried to imagine how a drink could tickle a nose.
And she’d lie in her bed, propped up by pillows, and chatter with the other party guests, while she held her cheese and cracker and drink. “Oh that’s a pretty dress, Mary,” “Why thank you Adriana”, and “Wasn’t school fun today, Tommy?” “Why yes, it was, Adriana”,etc. Chatter chatter chatter, but softly so her momma wouldn’t come in and tell her to be quiet and go to sleep. Sometimes she’d sing too. Adriana really loved to sing
Adriana loved these pretend parties, and lately had been lulling herself to sleep with the boring conversations she’d invent. She really couldn’t imagine how grown-ups stayed awake through all the rumbling talk they managed to produce at parties. But, since they chattered, so did Adriana. In her world, parties were noisy affairs.
Nonetheless, soon she’d be asleep, cracker crumbs all around.
And she’d dream of how she got to the party: her Aunt had given her a clever brooch one day. It was a small shiny coach and three horses, all glittery with gold that chipped each time it fell on the floor. And on the coach was a little man, holding the horses by a rope of some sort, and the rope was gold too. And the man had a tall black hat on, – like one of those tall fuzzy ones worn by the Buckingham Palace guards – to complete his tiny red uniform, and the horses were dressed with red feathers at their heads and black hooves tip-toed their way down the road, and Adriana would pretend they were tip-tip-toe-ing down her body from her chin to tummy, and out of the carriage would step Adrian, dressed like Cinderella from Disney, except her hair was brown not blonde like her friend Susan’s.
And the coach and horses would wait for her while she partied the night away on cheese and crackers.
The coach and horses and little driver gleamed and glittered as they pranced their way down her torso, and when she grew up, Adriana still dreamed of them. Little luxuries, glowing with life, serving her needs.
Only, they didn’t chip when they fell on the floor, for their gold was real.
And so was the champagne.