Paige marries Andrew. Uber to the races.....
Yolanda was there too, and the ring was a strip of black PVC tape from the roll my stepson left in the car. He uses it to hold up his soccer socks. We were all debating the possibility of a drive-by wedding, but this was not really practical as we were in gridlock on the way to Randwick Races.
I'd only known these guys for twenty minutes, but we were in a fantasy world together.
Paige and Yolanda are from New York, Andrew a country boy from Toowoomba. They folded themselves into my little car, all formally dressed for the Spring Carnival. Yolanda is at least 6 feet tall, dark and lithe. Paige was shorter, pretty and very charismatic. Andrew didn't say much – he had won the first prize at Uni – Paige. She is wearing a classic 60s shift, he is in a really well tailored tux. They are impossible good looking young people, all three of them.
They would do this call and response from time to time. Almost stationary in the sunny Saturday Sydney traffic, Paige wriggles forward as far as her seat belt allows, and drapes an arm past my neck with her hand on Andrew's cheek, brushing it softly.
'I want a tattoo. Let's get one tonight!' Paige said in a sultry voice.
'Me too, we'll get one together', said Yolanda. 'Julius, will you get one with us? And you too, Andrew?'
So we are going to get a tattoo.
"I'm getting 'bring back sexy' on my but", says Paige. "So my mum won't see it and kill me".
"I want to be your friend forever, even when I get married", said Yolanda.
"And that will be....?" I ask.
"No time soon. But it will be".
"What are the four C's?" asks Paige. "Color, cut, clarity and carat? The key is the cost. What is it, Yol?"
"Definitely a quarter's worth of pay check".
"You are kidding", I yell. "One quarter of one years wages? That would be twenty grand in Australia!"
"I want some champagne when we get there", says Yolanda. "Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin", and she said it with Latin inflections. "I spoke French when I was in New Orleans".
Andrew and I give the girls the Australian pronunciation version, 'Verve Clickott' and other twists of the name, and they laugh at our unsophistication. The front seats are a long way from the back seats in style, but we're all bonded in the moment.
"I want to pee", says Paige.
"Hey are you studying Business?" she asks me, thumbing the text book I've left in the seat pocket. "This stuff is easy!"
We do some questions and answers, and while the girls mostly nail it, the HSC papers from the book do throw up some debatable curveballs.
Paige is doing a double masters, in Psychology and Commerce and in the fourth year. These are the alpha people, late term uni students from distant places, together in the Sydney sun.
"Paige, can you adjust my bra? I need more lift".
Rummage, shuffle, exclamations from the back seat. The guys in the ute next to us are ogling in the traffic contusion.
"Is that better?"
"Yes but are they equal?"
"I think so.... you'll need to cup yourself though."
Yolanda was in an orange sheaf dress with a white lace fascinator that folded over as it hit the roof of the car.
"Hey Julius, have you ever had girls getting their tops off in your car before?"
After forty minutes of general hilarity I dropped them at the races. They unfurled and walked off, elegant excited and composed. Coiffured, perfumed and primed. Educated, confident and full of promise.
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