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JWR 3.5 - Fibers

 

I went to this graduation party over the weekend and it was nice and everything, but...well, now, it’s probably me, and now you’re agreeing that, yes, it’s you, John, but maybe it wasn’t all me.  You put me in a position where someone is obviously attempting to push various buttons, and if that someone is someone I probably will never see again, do you think that would make me more likely to say something or less likely to say something.  My insults come like the crack of a whip; with just the flick of the wrist, an almost unconscious bolt of lightning, I can often say the wrong things, or inappropriate things.  Yes, it’s true, I often speak without thinking, but that’s what makes me so charming, right?

 

...right?...

 

It was ninety out, buy we were in the shade, so it was maybe eighty-five.  I’m not sure if that makes a difference, but I’m just setting the mood, you dig?  Over the course of the day, the circle of chairs that began with three people swelled to ten or so, I was on of the additives, but one of the original additives, so I had seniority.

 

There was this lady who came in a bit after me and my date, Scott, and joined us.  I don’t know what her dilly-o was, but she was the talker.  I guess she didn’t want air in the conversation so she kept asking lots and lots of questions to various people.  Maybe it was her job that made her that way, maybe she’s just naturally inquisitive, maybe she was just talking to talk.  Personally, it didn’t bother me.  Talk, sure, whatever.  I’ll answer your questions; it’s not as if she got too personal with me or anything like that, and besides, you have to talk to people, otherwise we’d all end up with the people skills of a McDonald’s employee or a Henry Rearden, if it suits you.  (Suits me just fine.)  (Very well, then.  Let’s move on.)

 

Now, me, when I’m in a conversation, I listen and listen well.  And I have a relatively good memory, so if someone asks, “Were you even listening to me?” I can say, “Yes, dammit” and repeat what they said verbatim.  And then they’ll complain that I have a disinterested look of my face so then I tell them how would they like it if I talked about their face?  Not very much.

 

So, this was no exception.  And we weren’t even talking about anything terribly important, but then she began talking about my dimples a bit.  Now, sure it’s nice to get compliments, but maybe I’d rather not be the subject of physical examinations, negative or positive.  It’s just not really something that I care to hear.  Well, that’s not true.  Perhaps it was the situation or the person.  I mean, how do girls feel when some guy just comes up and says, “You have really pretty eyes”?  Sure, it’s a compliment, but consider the source and the situation and the setting.  Now, if you told me I had cute dimples, why, I’d just melt into your arms...Scott.

 

I usually don’t pay attention to things of that nature, and I really try not to reciprocate or even start it unless I really mean it.  You can get to the Eddie Haskell point where no matter what you say, it comes off sounding fake and not even you believe it if it’s true.  It’s strange, you respect me for my looks and I’ll want you to respect me for my mind; and you respect me for my mind and I’ll want you to respect me for my looks.  I think I took too much estrogen today or something.

 

All throughout this I was playfully poking fun at this very sweet girl I vaguely knew from high school.  And the lady kept egging me on, too, so I got confidant, that no matter what I said would be okay.  You see where this is going?  You may think you know, but you have no idea.  It had nothing to do with the girl I knew from high school, that all stayed equally playful because I know...I just know.

 

Then the lady told me that the graduate (a friend of mine, but the way), had always said nothing but nice things about me, amidst more dimple and handsome remarks.  Now, whether this is true or not, really doesn’t matter.  This person is a friend to the end...or until she breaks up with my friend.   Which I hope never happens, but let’s face it...people.  People who need people...are the luckiest people in the world.  But I may be talked about, and that’s okay.

 

It may have been the Red Stripe, but for some reason I said, “Oh, I guess she never told you about the time I made her cry.”  You should have seen the look that washed over this lady’s face.  It was like someone had turned on the “mean and serious” switch...like they had flipped the a/c disconnect switch.  “Oh.  That’s nice.”  So, I felt the need to explain that I was visiting her boyfriend at college one weekend about two years ago and she was there and before she left I made a couple comments in jest.  IN JEST.  It was never meant to be serious; I mean, to me, the subject was not very serious and I probably knew I shouldn’t get involved so maybe I did because I knew it was not my business which is also why I made it out to be a joke...but what do I know?  Well, she was unhappy at what I said and as she was walking out, we could tell she started softly crying.  Now, believe it or not, my heart just sank.  Clearly, this was not the reaction I wanted.  I’d have much preferred a “Fuck you, John” or a slap to that.  We grabbed her so she couldn’t leave and I made my apologies and tried to explain my case and held her.  If she forgave me that day or not, I don’t know.  I feel she has.  I hope she has.  It’s not something we’ve talked about since, but if she has nothing but good things to say, it’s a safe bet to believe she’s okay with my stupidity now.

 

So, I think all this in my head and tell this lady this, and as a reaction I get, “Oh, that’s so nice.  That’s wonderful.”  These, smug and, truly, overtly ortho-feminist reactions and replies.  Now, having heard what she said, and, likewise, her reactions, I’m immediately put on the defensive.

 

I think to myself: How do I handle this?  Most of the fibers of my being shouted: “Fucking give it to her, man.  You don’t need to take that shit.  If the girl herself forgave you, what makes this bitch think she can hold it over you.  Start yelling at her: ‘You don’t know me.  You think because you know what I do for a living and where I work from your oh-so-inquisitive off the cuff questionnaire that you know even the first thing about me?  Because you don’t, and you won’t.  Don’t try to crack this grape, baby, because this grape does the crackin’!  You know nothing.’”

 

Then several other fibers said, “Oh, just plead your case a little more.  Tell her again how badly it made you feel to see what your words had caused and how you desperately tried to make it all better.”  These are the fibers that wants that double standard of attraction I mentioned earlier.

 

But, wisely, probably, I did neither.  I listened to The Fiber that said, “Play for me the greatest song in the world or I’ll eat your soul.”

 

No.  No, sorry.  That was the road trip where, from out of nowhere shone a shiny demon.  The Fiber said, “Fuck her.  Let it go and we’ll all be a lot happier.”

 

And that Fiber was right.  I have no regrets about letting it go.  Otherwise you’d be able to tell: the first fibers’ speech would have been a lot longer with a lot more “fucks” in it.

 

I must be slipping, getting soft.

 

...But not in my pants.  Bong.

 

John

 

Copyright © 2002 John Lemut