Last night, I attended the Fugue launch party… and didn’t last long. In a fully-lit room at the library, with no cash bar, and a rows-of-chairs-facing-the-podium setup, here’s what happened, as it happened:

Am at literary launch party. Am grossed out by couple two rows in front of me. A man is rubbing his girlfriend’s back with one hand. She is wearing one of those shirts that close with a clasp at her neck, revealing a teardrop-shaped outline of skin on her back. He started out just sort of tracing the skin inside the teardrop with a thumb. It seemed affectionate, just a little erotic. Then he was rubbing her back with his whole hand. Now the hand is going through the opening and under her shirt. Gross – we all know now you two are gettin’ it on later (and possibly just before this, too), but could you at least save the going UNDER the shirt for when you two are alone?

The guy just behind them moved seats (to avoid the spectacle?) As I write, his hand is still moving around, still moving under her shirt. I wish she’d slap him off. Gross. Even if he doesn’t actually undo that button, I’m out of here.

When I looked over again, the guy who moved seats had left the room altogether. The gropers were right in my line of sight, making it very hard to look at the reader and concentrate on hearing her story. The groping just got worse. He was fingering the clasp and straining at it with the flap of skin beween thumb and fingers (so they are opposable after all). Then the hand was reaching through the hole and rubbing her neck.

I put on my jacket and held my bag, ready to bolt the very second the reader finished reading her story. A little PDA is normal for couples who are just getting together. But if y’all can’t keep your hot little hands off each other long enough to be around other adults for awhile, just stay in bed instead of subjecting us all to the half-time show between touchdowns.

By the way, organizers of literary events, please have more readings in bars and cafes, preferably with low lighting and delicious drinkies. Aubyn, you are right on for having the launches for Memewar at the Railway. See you July 10.

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