Monday, August 18, 2008
Weekend with a Friend.
Her announcements were like the jarring gong of a doomsday clock.
They first came in two weeks ago.
I was seating in my office daring the devil to make my day worse. Unfortunately for me he had just returned from Somalia and was checking up on his mail. Mine was first on the list.
A beep from my phone alerted my attention to the arrival of an SMS. Staring at the caller ID of the sender, I was already weary before I read the message.
“I’m coming in two weeks.” it said.
I’m coming in two weeks, it warned. I shivered quietly and pretended the air-conditioning was set to low. Two weeks. I thought to myself.
Two weeks! That wasn’t enough time to fully prepare .
Subsequent days were graced with like messages.
I’m coming in 11 days.
I’m coming in 10 days.
I learnt how to count backwards from 14 all over again. I made silly jokes about the messages to reduce the message’s ominous note—coming in 11 days? Must be some Orgasm—it didn’t help much.
On Day 8 it got worse. I got a call instead of a text.
“Did you get my text?” the voice demanded over the phone.
“Yes. I did. “I muttered.
“Good. See you soon.” And then the voice was gone. Replaced by a dull monotone which did nothing to lessen the exasperation I was feeling.
On day 14 my phone beeped shortly after I stepped into the office.
“I’m in town.” The message ran. “We’re meeting for lunch. Make sure you have gist.”
Simple. Straight and to the point. The text did nothing in way of warning of the insanity that loomed behind its announcement. But I was wiser.
Today was going to be a long test of patience and exasperation.
Stolich was in town.
We agreed to meet at 4pm.
The location was at a popular fast food restaurant renowned for its past brilliance in making burgers. At 5 past 4 I walked through the doors and braced myself.
She didn’t disappoint.
“CARLANG!” She screamed.
I stared at her as she walked over to me with her mischievous smile on her face. She still looked the same. Still the same rosy glow. The same confident swagger. She was still lovingly cute.2 months ago she had called me to complain that she was going fat. Looking at her, I couldn’t see where the extra lard was laid. Possibly, her butt looked bigger but I was only assuming that because some guy behind was staring at it.
She squeezed me in a bear tight hug.
“Howz my best friend?” She asked happily.
I looked around the restaurant quickly. There were over a hundred people in it and all of them were looking at us. Some things never changed
Stolich was like that. She could walk into a stadium and still draw attention..
“I’m good.” I said dragging her to the nearest table. She plodded along behind me slowing my quick exit into a comic display of couple dis-unity.
Maybe she was right about the weight gain. She certainly felt heavier.
I sat down at the table and stared at her silly face.
Stolich and I had been roommates years ago. During the period we had developed this weird mode of communication were we really didn’t need to talk to know what the other person was thinking.
She didn’t use it.
“Howz work?” She asked me with a happy grin.
Fine. I replied. And then I went on to explain what I meant. For the next 5 minutes we chatted about out individual work places. Our opinions seemed to be matching. Our bosses were idiots. Our coworkers were annoying. Hers kept on hitting on her and mine kept on slapping my back. We agreed that our salaries were at deplorable levels—A raise wouldn’t be a bad idea—but despite it all work was somewhat fulfilling.
She nodded her head in satisfaction and then gave me the look.
I knew what was coming before she asked.
“When last did you get laid?”
I sighed Inwardly to myself. There it was. 10 minute with Stolich and she was already demanding the skinny on my coital affairs.
“Er.. I don’t want to talk about it.” I said defensively. I considered dashing off to buy a burger but knowing Stolich she probably would continue the conversation at the counter.
“You don’t? What is wrong with you?” She rolled her eyes in mock frustration. “What happened to you? I used to boast about you! I used to tell my friends you were the world’s greatest lover”
“Really?” I laughed.
“Stop laughing. It’s not funny. You’ve become boring!” Stolich snapped. Her eyes retained her irritation briefly and then were replaced by something a lot worse and scary.
“Have you ever had sex in an office?”
I laughed at her.
“No.” I replied.
She smiled even brighter.
“Well I have. It was fantastic. Bloody fantastic. One thing we were talking and the next thing we were naked in his office.”
“Andre.” She said.
I nodded. Andre had been her boyfriend for the last 4 months. I hadn’t met him but I certainly had heard of him. I found the fact that she was dating hilarious. She had finally broken up her 6 year relationship only to end up firmly in another barely 2 weeks later.
“Right. How is he?”
“Fantastic. It was great. I haven’t had sex that good in such a long time.”
I closed my eyes in frustration.
“I meant. How is he? Relationship wise. Are you guys happy?”
She paused to consider the question.
“I think we are. He is a really nice guy . Very funny. “Her look turned serious. “He says he wants to marry me.”
I almost broke out into laughter. One of the major reasons why she had split with her last boyfriend was because she said she wasn’t ready for marriage. Something he had been clamoring for. Now it looked like her replacement boyfriend was cut from the same cloth.
“What’s wrong with that? You’re getting old you know.”
“I’m 24!” She snapped.
“DO you remember Mother Teresa?” I asked.
“Yes. The very old nun who died years ago?” Stolich asked.
“Exactly. She was 26 when she died.”
Stolich laughed out loud at me. “You’re such an idiot.” She said.
I shrugged. She called me that every 10 minutes. Maybe it was true.
“You didn’t answer the question you know.” She reminded me. “When last did you get laid?”
“Not this month. That’s for sure.” I mumbled.
“You’re insane. How do you handle the pressure? You jerk off?”
I shifted in my seat uncomfortably.
“Every guy jerks off. “ I muttered. “If any guy says he doesn’t he is lying.”
“I don’t think that guy does. “ Stolich pointed out, gesturing to someone behind me.
I turned around. Seated behind us, with someone who looked like his mum, was a teenager with a cast on both his arms.
“Maybe he broke them jerking off?” She asked me with the same silly smile on her face.
“You’re impossible.” I said.
“And you are just frustrated. I can’t believe you haven’t gotten laid.”
Her voice was loud. Two girls at the table beside us heard her announcement and sniggered. I felt myself blush. I wasn’t getting up to leave until the restaurant was empty.
She laughed at my discomfort. She seemed to enjoy the fact that her teasing was getting to me. I was glad at least one of us was. I wanted to strangle her with my hands.
“DO you still Blog?” She asked.
“Yes.” I said. Delighted to get the subject on some other area of my life that didn’t require me naked and sweaty.
“Seriously? That’s neat. “Her tone took a wistful note “Do you still blog about me?”
“No.” I shook my head. “I haven’t blogged about you in a while.”
“Really? Why not.” She asked.
“Everyone started suggesting I was in love with you. Even worse they began suggesting the ridiculous idea that I was going to get married to you.”
Her eyes became guarded.
“What’s wrong with that? You couldn’t marry me?”
I am officially a klutz. Men really are from different planets. I was still recovering from the probes I had weathered concerning my sex life. I was not really thinking. I looked into her eyes and made a mistake.
“Good lord. You’re joking right? I could never marry you!”
And just like that. I hurt her.
It was there in her eyes briefly. Earlier on I mentioned that we had mastered the art of speaking without saying a word. I regretted that particular bit of skill now. I looked at her and I realized I had hurt her without meaning too. I must have sounded like a jerk.
“Because. You’re too much woman for me. Sex in the office? You’d give me a heart attack before our first anniversary.” I said quickly.
She laughed at me.
“I think you’re exaggerating. But you’re right. I probably am too much woman for you right now. Unlike you, I happen to love sex.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Exactly what it means. You need to get laid man. You’re probably so charged you’ll soon get yourself pregnant.” She laughed at her own joke. Beside us the girls at the table laughed too. I hope they weren’t laughing at me.
“I’m always at work.” I protested.
“So? “ She leaned in towards me with a mischievous grin. “You should try having sex in the office. It’s great.”
As I sat down there listening to Stolich. It struck me how different the world had come in the last 100 years. Here I was being prodded into a physical relationship by a girl who was very confident in her sexuality. Human social relationship had come a long way from the conserved relationships of later years.
Mankind had freed itself from its restraining chains. Prometheus had given us fire. We had invented fireworks.
Stolich was still talking to me. She was close enough that I could inhale the sweet musk of her perfume. She really was an attractive lady.
“It was fantastic. “ She was saying. “First we were kissing and then...”
“ I don’t want to hear what happened!” I said quickly.
I needn’t have bothered. Stolich was an unstoppable express when she sought out to be. For the next 5 minutes she recanted in detail the tale of her Office adventure.
I sat there listening.
I suspect the two girls beside us did as well.