Baltar grabbed two beers from the dirty red plastic cooler and walked calmly across the lumpy lawn towards the adults clustered around some lawn furniture. None of them looked in his direction, but I could see several of them assessing the situation out of the corner of their eyes. Joan had her back to Baltar’s approach, and was unable to sidle away from his eager grasping of her shoulder.
Nonetheless, Joan was clearly adept at getting out of unpleasant situations. Without appearing to miss a beat of her conversation with my mom, she slipped to her left, causing Baltar to slosh his left beer down her arm. He looked downright delighted at the possibility of patting Joan down, but instead she seemed to make some sort of apology and fade away towards the house.
I settled in more comfortably to my sagging lawn chair, and popped the top on my Hansen’s lime soda. The adults were going to do something interesting. Joan was by far the most slick of my parents’ crowd, and I’d been both entertained and dismayed by the apparent similarities between by high school lunch hour and their cocktail hour.
Mom appeared to making some sort of welcoming comments to Baltar, who was looking past her to the other ladies of the lawn. I could imagine his insistence that my mother introduce him to her lovely young friends, and my mother’s attempts to shield them.
But the rules of my parents’ relationship are clear, and my dad quickly intervened, attempting to divert Baltar away from the women. Mom greeted Dad with aggravated raised eyebrows and Baltar gave dad a brisk nipple twist. Dad tried to laugh. Baltar drank his beer.