Expats, or: La Vie En Rosé
“We gulp what is here and ours and nobody’s and nothing’s” George said, handing her his glass of rosé.
That’s how he talked. She couldn’t understand him half the time but he was a poet so she had learned not to ask for explanations.
“Guard it with your life,” he added, “I’ll be right back.”
Nothing he says ever means what it sounds like, Susan thought. 'Right back' could mean ten minutes, three hours or even three months. She surveyed the drinks table: two bottles of the local wine, two Perriers, two Evians and fourteen cans of sugary fizzy kid stuff. Their hosts were strictly teetotal and stingy to boot but the isolated expat community never turned down an opportunity to socialise so the room was buzzing with familiar talking heads. Through the window to the garden Susan could see the teetotal host’s teetotally blonde wife in intimate tête a tête with George.
Susan leaned back and tipped the wine down her throat. Three years on the wagon and five years of compliance suddenly vanished as she poured the remains of the first bottle into her husband's glass, drank it, then dispensing with formalities, expertly guided the rosy stream into her mouth straight from the neck of the second bottle .
Oblivious to the guests' shocked stares, Susan stumbled out of the house and down the village street just as Père Lafitte was passing by. She grabbed his arm, shouting:
“ Portez-moi à une nunnery! “