In the short story, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” Vic and Enn venture for a party they were invited to by a girl named Alison. Vic and Enn end up at a different party, in which they both get more than they bargained from. The girls at the party that they meet are extraterrestrials. Although Vic learns quickly who the girls at the part really are, Enn our narrator meets three girls and does not realize they are aliens. Wain’s Wain, the gap toothed girl, and Triolet all give Enn clues about who they are and why they have come to Earth.
When Vic and Enn arrive to the party,Vic instantly pairs up with the girl who answered the door, Stella. Enn is left to wonder the party. He makes his way to the kitchen to find a drink, before discovering Wain’s Wain in the conservatory. Vic encourages Enn to speak to Wain’s Wain slyly as Vic can see that Enn is nervous. Enn approaches the girl and asks her if she is from around here to which she replies by shaking her head no. She proceeds to tell Enn that he was sent to Earth by her progenitor to explore and tell of the impression she gets from her time on the planet. Wain speaks of his sisters being in “stasis” and how her people resemble butterflies. When she visited a carnival, she mistook humans that were dressed in costumes,”golden and tall and insect-eyed and winged,” for her own people. She was disappointed when they were not from her home planet. She asks Hola Cult “why they try so hard to look like us?” To which Hola Cult describes the humans as “all shades of pink and brown, and so small.” Enn does not question what Wain’s Wain has says, only asking her if she would like to dance. Wain’s Wain declines the dance because she cannot as she is already the property of someone else. Enn offers Wain’s Wain a drink instead and wonders back to the kitchen to retrieve one. When he returns to the girl with the drink, he finds that she has disappeared.
Enn finds the gap toothed girl after Wain’s Wain seems to have disappeared after he fetches a glass of water for Wain. The girl speaks of being a tourist; that the last tour was of the sun before coming to Earth. She described how much she enjoyed swimming with the whales, which leads her to directly ask Enn if he likes the world he is living in. He does not quite understand the loaded question from the girl as he only sees her gesturing to the basic items in the living room and not the world as a whole. The girl responds as if she doesn’t care much for his reply. She continues on express her disinterest in coming to this world. She was forced to become a “decaying lump of meat hanging on a frame of calcium.” The gap tooth girl even wishes for death as a human would have just to escape from Earth. Her parent teacher who sent her tells her she has much to learn from humans thus she is resolved to learn from the knowledge from humans as it is “in the meat” of humanity. The girl even wonders about why humans cry, “The thing with the liquid in the eyes, when the world blurs. Nobody told me, and I still do not understand.” Enn makes a move on the girl, going to slide an arm around her, not acknowledging the deeps thoughts she confessed about travel, life, and death. He does not find a connection with the girl, however, says she is “nice enough” although she “wasn’t the prettiest girl” at the party. The conversation between Enn and the gap tooth girl progresses as if Enn was expecting the girl to be from another planet since he never truly grasps her confession of being extraterrestrial.
Vic calls Enn over to speak to him to let him know the party is different from the original party they were seeking. When Enn tries to return to the gap tooth girl, she is not easy to reach again as she becomes surrounded by people. Enn gives up and resigns to the kitchen where he is approached by a girl first. Triolet asks Enn for a drink and the conversation starts quickly between the pair. She tells Enn that she is a poem, as Enn’s mind is elsewhere as he gives her basic questions to acknowledge Triolet as he says they are just talking nonsense. Triolet explains that the poem of her people was to let the world they had visited before know who they were, what they wanted, and why they were there. She tells of how the poem had become part of other planets before, “part of the way that they thought” and how the poem “inherited them and it inhabited them” As Triolet tells Enn this poem, the music becomes familiar and Enn finds himself understanding her clearer while wanting to hear more of what she has to say. As Enn began to fall into a trance from her poem, Vic comes down from upstairs and pulls Enn away from Triolet. She says she is “not finished. There is yet more of me,” but Vic refuses to let Enn stay. Vic grabs Enn’s arm and pulls him out of the house, away from the party. Vic tells Enn that Stella was not who he thought she was. “She wasn’t a–” Vic told Enn as Vic put distance between them and the house now.
Enn has low confidence and does not notice the aliens explaining why they have landed on Earth. Instead, he is more worried about putting an arm around the girls or asking them to dance. Vic, however, learns of that the girls at the party are aliens thus taking Enn and leaving the party. Wain’s Wain is sent to gather an impression about Earth, the gap toothed girl is sent to learn as much knowledge as she can from the meat, and Triolet is to spread the poem of her people.