"What do you think? The black or the red?" I asked as I sampled each dress pressed against me. Astrid bit her lip in thought. "Hmmm, I don't know. The black is tasteful but the red is ellegant." she pointed out. Stuart rubbed his chin. "I like red," he added. I tilted my head, smiling. "Of corse you do. Its always rotes, rotes, Rot with you." He shrugged a little bit and questioned, "German?" I giggled. "Yeah, thats German." Astrid sprawled out on my bed, and placed her chin in her hand. "You want to look professional...and artistic. This is a big day for you, ya now. It could change our lives. How much to you suppose the painting will sell?" she inquired. I rolled my eyes. "I've no idea. I haven't set a reserved price on it but it doesn't matter anyway. I'm just happy to be a part of the auction." I tied back my hair, and snapped the barette shut. "Besides, what would we do with the money anyway?"
A smile crawled over Astrid's sweet face and she said, "Oh, just about anything. Money is grand, you know."
"Money is the system; life is grand." Stuart speculated.
I nodded. "I agree." Astrid gave us both a look than proceeded to say, "We could throw a beteiligtes. That would be fun."
"A what?" Stuart asked, curiously.
"You know, a party." She informed.
"Now Astrid, what did I tell you about speaking Deutch when I'm present? You know I don't understand a word of it...well, maybe a little. Ich leibe dich!"
I laughed with glee. "I love you too."
"But what about throwing a bash in honour of you having your painting exhibited in Freunhasse's auction? It would be great fun. We could invite all the boys, and our friends from the Kaiserkellar. Sven and Olaf, Jurgen and Veronika."
"What about Klaus?" I interrupted.
Astrid gave a small smile and said, "Yes, Klaus too."
"Anyways, we'll buy some beverages to make tequilas and margaritas. We can have music playing, and read poetry, along with any other entertainment we come up with. If you wanted to get playful, we could pull out that American game - Twister. What a delightful game! And I can take photographs of everyone. Yes, yes! Come on, Trixi, let's have a party!" She looked up at me with her excited, waitful eyes. "It sounds fab, Astrid!"
She burst into smile and hugged me. "Great!"
I patted her back, happily than continued, "Now what about my out-fit? The red or the black?" I overlooked both apparells, biting my bottom lip. "The red," a voice said. It was John. He had just entered the room, wearing some fine leather he bought while shopping with us a few weeks back. More recently, the lads were making more money and saving it wisely. They were then capable of buying leather, a trendy, addictive attire. John sat next to Stuart on the bedspread. They were all looking up at me, waiting for my final decision. I gave each dress a careful look-down and nodded. "I agree. The red will do."
"Besides, black is slimming and its pretty obvious you're not too much in need of THAT. Well...maybe those porkchop thighs." John chuckled, crudely. Stuart punched his arm roughly, scowling, "Don't talk about my girl like that! Bastard." John rolled his eyes. "Oh come on, Stu, look at her. Could she possibly take me seriously? She's a bloody stick! The girl has no meat on her at all."
I swallowed down hard but kept a still smile on my face. "I'm going to take a shower and change. If...you'll excuse me, please." I went into the bathroom and shut the door behind me. Alone and safe, I turned on the running water and undressed. I couldn't help but look down at myself and my lanky thighs. Suddenly, I didn't feel so lanky. Suddenly, I didn't feel so much as a "bloody stick". I glanced in the mirror. The mirror could never tell a lie. There stood my frail, small-framed figure and under some superficial spell, it looked unpleasantly undesirable. My heart began pounding, unsatisfied with the sight. I could feel my eyes watering slightly and lips gently parting. I knelt down next to the toilet and sat there for a brief moment. Breathing patterns increasing and pants harsher in irregularity, I forced my finer down my unsuspecting throat. A nausiation ovecame me and I pushed down harder. Moments later, the grotesque depart of intake food was completed and I sat by the bowl, shivering and weeping. I wiped my soar eyes and trembled on the cold tile floor. "It's okay, it's okay. It's gonna be okay," I whispered to myself. "I'm not starting an old habit. I'm just...trying to look nice for the evening out. Right, I want to look my best for the auction. After all, I AM representing the piece. Okay, it's fine. I'm alright."
I rubbed my forehead and sighed, just as the door pushed open. Stuart came in, pulling off his jacket and throwing it to the floor. "Trixi, I'm coming in to join you." he called to the shower. "Trix-" He paused as he saw me curled up on the floor. "Trixi? Honey, what are you doing down there? Are you alright?" He knelt down next to me and put his arm around my shoulder. "Luv, speak to me! Are you okay?" I nodded and gave him a weak, forced smile. "Yes. Yes, I'm fine."
"What are you doing on the floor? You look like you've been crying." He inquired in a soft, gentle voice. I layed my head on his shoulder, and he wrapped his arms around me pulling me close. "I was feeling a little sick. I guess it was just something I ate that didn't agree with my stomach. I promise, I'm okay." He held me tightly, and said, "Alright, I believe you. Just relax, sweetheart. I hope you're feeling better." I nodded. "I feel A LOT better." I assured him. We stood up together and he took off all his clothing and threw it in a pile next to the door. I stepped into the shower and he joined me, seconds later. He kissed the side of my neck, whispering, "I love you." I smiled as best I could while he began softly cooing in my ear however my eyes could not look anywhere else but towards my shaking figure, still looking heavy by blinded eyes.
"Anfang das Bieten bei dreiBig Dollar, lassen Sie uns ich hore dreiBig Dollar? DreiBig Dollar? [Let's start the bidding at thirty dollars, do I hear thirty dollars?] Ja dreiBig Dollar hier in der vorderen Reihe. Habe ich thirty-five? [Thirty dollars? Yes, thirty dollars here in the front row.] Thirty-five Dollar? Erinnern Sie sich, dieses ist ein extroadinary Stuck, das durch auserlesene hervorragende Leistung ausgewahlt wird. [Do I have a thirty-five? Thirty-five dollars? Remember, this is an extroadinary piece selected by choice excellence.] Fruenhausse selbst hat seiner Abnahme in die Auktion und wir... ja, ein fourty, numerieren sechzehn in der ruckseitigen Insel zugestimmt. [Fruenhausse himself has agreed to its acceptance into the auction and do we...yes, a fourty, to number sixteen in the back isle]." The fast-paced auctionier had his work cut out for him as he dazzled the lads with his quick German tongue. Astrid and I smiled at eachother as the action continued. John, Paul, Stuart, George, and Pete sat in complete bewilderness. "What is he saying?" John whispered to me. I laughed quietly and said, "It's at 40 dollars right now." John's eyebrows mashed in confusion. "Dollars? Thats not German currency." I nodded. "Yes, but this is an American auction. The bidders are American, anyway." Paul sneered. "Than why the hell is he speaking German? Really, can any of these bastards understand him?"
I rolled my eyes. "Of corse they can understand him. They all speak German, they just don't own German currency and their paying in American money." The lads all shook their head and watched, pretending to understand the auctionier. Stuart looked at me, puzzled so I began translating in his ear. "$70 to bidder number 9. Can I hear 80? $80? Keep in mind, the pricelessness of this work. Excellent, $85 to you sir, in front." I began loosing track of the numbers as they ascended and the man's voice grew even quicker. Soon, all I could translate for Stu were prices. "$105...$120...$150!" Astrid bit her lip, as thrilled as could be. "Ooooh, Trixi!" she exclaimed.
A man...bidder number fourteen to be more precise...stood up among the crowd and proposed, "$200." My heart skipped a beat. John and Paul were tapping their feet, caught in the moment. "How much is that in pounds?" they were whispering to eachother. Bidder number 6 arouse and declared, "$250".
Stuart squeezed my hand, smiling. I smiled back. We watched our work about to be sold. It was "Hamburg Night" that was up for bidding, something that took both of our contribution to finish.
Bidder number 14 stood up again and exclaimed, "$270 and thats my final offer". The amount of money proposed was inconceivable. My foot began tapping, myself. I gave the sir a 'thank-you' smile and waited. Bidder number 6 lifted from his seat once more. "Three hundred dollars," he grunted.
"Three hundred dollars! Three-hundred dollars going once...going twice..."
Stuart clasped my hand even tighter and I was totally flushed. "Sold!" the auctionier pronounced. The room applauded as the proud bidder walked to the auctionier and shook his hand. I couldn't help but let out a squeal of delight. Astrid threw her arms around me and hugged me. "Congratulations!" all the boys said at once. Stuart kissed me on the lips and said, "We did it." I nodded. John let out a cry, "Party at Astrid's!" I was over-whelmed in excitement. "Yes, party at our place! Everyone's been invited, let's dash!"
As we turned to leave, Astrid looked over Stuart, smiling. She said quietly to herself, "Tonight is the night."