First off, thank you muchly to everyone who voted in my previous post! (If you missed it, fear not. I’ll probably do it again because I had a good time with this!)
So, the Drabble you picked for me was Zen + Samantha + a wine-tasting party. Which was a fun little challenge because Zen would never go to something like that unless being forced. I tried writing it from both points of view, but ultimately chose this one. I almost always write from inside Samantha’s head, so it was cool seeing what someone else thinks of her. (Even if that someone is Zen, who has very low emotionality compared to my other characters, but hey.)
Zen reached for the water at his side, knocked over the stemmed glass, and then remembered where he was. Fortunately, the university was trying to be economical in their wine-tasting charity event; therefore the glasses were plastic and couldn’t shatter. Unfortunately, the seat beside him was occupied by a young woman whose dress now sported a dark-red stain.
He started mumbling through an apology, but the woman seemed far less concerned about the situation that he was.
“Don’t worry about it,” she sighed. “I was thinking about retiring this costume anyway.”
Zen couldn’t say he’d heard a fancy dress called a ‘costume’ by anyone over the age of six, but decided against questioning it. “I’ll pay for the dry cleaning.” He looked for his checkbook. “What’s your name?”
“Samantha. But really: it’s fine.” She propped an elbow on the table. “Hey, can I ask you something? How do you tell if you’re too tipsy to drive?”
“I doubt you’re tipsy, Samantha,” he said. “All stations combined, you’ve probably had less than half a glass.”
She laughed at this. “Yeah, that was the plan. But then I met a woman who just bought a bottle of something, and she really wanted a drinking buddy, so I thought I could be that person.” She hiccupped loudly. “But I’m not used to alcohol like I pretended to be. She figured that out reaaally quick.”
Samantha pillowed her head on her arms and mumbled something about a hospital.
“What was that?” Zen said, suddenly alarmed. “Should I call an ambulance?”
She sat up, smiling now, and looking like the last thing she needed was hospitalization. “I’m sorry. That’s why I think maybe I shouldn’t be driving just yet: I keep saying things without meaning to.”
Zen tried not to judge. He was sure he’d had plenty of conversation that had made little sense to the other person. “Have you tried eating crackers? Alcohol is intensified if you’re not eating anything.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Here,” he pushed the pile of snacks on his napkin towards her. He’d never wanted them anyway; he’d just wanted the paper plate because the university had told him not to bring a notebook to the event.
“Thanks.” She nibbled on one of them, nodding over to his plateful of equations. “What are you doing?”
“Quadratic Occurrence Equations,” he said. “I thought examining the Sylvester Sequence would clarify something in my current research.”
“I knew a Sylvester, once.”
“Probably not the same guy.”
“Definitely not. My Sylvester was a drummer for a band, and he was really worried about a sudden wrist pain. What did your Sylvester do?”
Zen was starting to understand what she’d meant by saying things without meaning to. “He worked with this equation, here.” He pointed. “Starting with z-prime equal to two, the first few terms in the sequence are 2, 3, 7, 43, 1907, 3263443…”
Samantha laughed at this.
Zen made a face. “You should definitely not drive home tonight. Let me call a cab for you.”
“So, you think I am drunk, then?”
“You’re either drunk, or you have the makings of a fine mathematician.” He wrote his office location on a corner of the plate and tore it off. “If you still think huge numbers are amusing tomorrow, feel free to come find me.”