JOY part 26

The next day, after an incredibly shitty night’s sleep at My Mom’s, I came out of the shower and got some shocking news. Ann had called. She had left her number (which I already had from my previous stalking efforts) and asked me to call her back. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach.

I called back. The machine picked up. I started to leave a message when she suddenly got on the line. She sounded really happy to hear from me. What gives? Basically, the conversation boiled down to this. She wanted to take me up on my offer to drive the Mini-Cooper. I offered to let her OWN the Mini-Cooper for one night of kinky sex with her. No, no, no…although I must admit, I did think it. We agreed to meet the next evening after she got home from work. I wasn’t even sure what work she did, come to think of it. Whatever. Tomorrow at her place, it was.

In the meantime, I suffered through some more grilling by My Sister. Had a nice lunch with My Mom. And generally was feeling OK about life. Funny how having an evening planned with a hot woman can make life so much better. Woh. Slow down there, Sonny. This wasn’t a date. This was a woman who had a thing for cool cars and was probably just really bored. Count on nothing.

But boy could that girl grind. Gears that is. The gears in my precious Mini being shredded to bits. As much as I told myself it was worth it to see Ann laugh and to have the chance to leer at that hot body, my teeth were still clenched tight with every missed shift. Luckily for me, she got the hang of it pretty quick.

She cruised around the lake and we ended up in some wooded area being chopped down by the second to make way for more “complexes” with names like “Mountain View” and “Lake Wood.” I tried hard not to stare too much at her and to just enjoy the fact that Ann, the same Ann I had obsessed over for years in high school, was actually in my car, sitting next to me, looking really happy and really hot. Unfortunately, certain tendencies on her part to hit the brakes at the last possible second pulled me out of my blissful trance. I even found myself telling her to “watch” as other cars neared. But it was good, overall. Really good.

I so wish I could use that “really good” thing to segue-way into a torrid sex scene. Ann and I humping at full speed. Playing with dangerous curves. And so on and so forth. But it didn’t happen. Trust me, I thought about lying to you and telling you she was all over me but what would be the point of that? What do you mean I could say whatever I want because it’s fiction? Rules are rules. Don’t confuse the issue. More importantly, don’t confuse me. It doesn’t take much, you know.

What really happened with Ann went thusly…or like thus…or whatever. We had hardly said a word to each other the entire evening until she pulled the Mini back into her drive. When I had gotten there to pick her up, she didn’t even invite me in and ran out to the car. During the drive itself, she had been very focused on the car and driving and I was not about to try to distract her. Besides, it was much more enjoyable to just admire her lovely form and not have to say a word. So, after she got out of the car, I really didn’t know what was going to happen.

She gave me my keys back and commented on what a great car it was and how she thought she was going to get one. Then she started to walk toward her front door. I wasn’t sure if I should follow or what and stood there for a minute trying to figure it out. When the awkwardness of standing there got too great, I followed after her. I mean, she didn’t say “good-night” or anything, so I guess the night wasn’t over. Was it? I told you it didn’t take much to get me confused about things.

I guess I guessed right by following after. I suddenly felt like a Poodle with a really bad hair cut. Thank God my stomach was doing well or the nerves would have been just too much to deal with.

Her house was a huge Suburban Colonial. Complete crap architecturally. Probably designed by the builder along with the Mock-Tudor, French-Provincial, and other atrocities. There was this travesty of a spiral staircase that greeted you when you first walked in. How did people live like this? WHY did people live like this? Anyway, Ann led me into the kitchen and got me something to drink. I asked her how long she had been living in this ugly monstrosity she called her house. Alright, I edited myself to sound a bit kinder. I was trying to get her naked, remember. Here’s what I learned.

She had moved in with Richie nine years ago right after they had gotten married. It was a wedding present from Richie’s parents. That’s right, not a blender, not a Banana Republic gift certificate, a massive house for their wedding present. You gotta love the Upper-Middle Class. Then again a house like this that might have cost over a million in New York was probably only a few hundred thousand out here in Nowheresville. Only.

And then Ann said something I could have kissed her for. Alright, so I could have kissed her for saying anything. Hell, I could have kissed her for not saying a word. It didn’t matter. I just wanted to kiss her and touch her and lick her and…Right. As I was saying…I hate when you get sidetracked like that. What Ann said was this. She hated the house. H A T E D it. Richie and his parents had picked it out without her being involved so it would be a surprise for her. And surprised she was. She had been telling him over and over again how she wanted to move into one of the historic homes on the lake. The small ones built in the l920’s out of stone with little covered porches in the front that faced the water. However, Richie and his parents, like most of the Suburban Bovine, had firmly believed that newer and bigger was always better and saw no reason to spend money on something that small and that old. Hence, the blight upon the planet in which I currently stood sipping my iced tea.

And then we sat down at the breakfast table with a view through the sliding door of another equally as terrifying house and talked. And talked. And talked some more. It was great.

I learned that she was a Medical Researcher at the University Hospital. I learned that she had two advanced degrees and a mountain of student loan debt because her parents had refused to pay for her education even though they were worth bizillions. I learned that she liked Mexican food, hated Chinese, and couldn’t make up her mind about Sushi (she really liked it for a while but hadn’t the last few times). I learned that Richie was an alcoholic who never got over the fact that he wouldn’t be treated like a football star his entire life (What did I tell you about being popular in high school?). I learned that she had really bad taste in music but really good taste in art. I also learned that she liked the fact that I had obsessed over her in high-school even though she didn’t like me at all in that way (AT ALL, she had painfully repeated for emphasis). But she had really enjoyed the attention and was always curious about me. Most of all, I learned how much I truly liked this girl.

What I didn’t learn was what she looked like naked. Or how she kissed. Or if she thought me even remotely attractive. Call me dense (go ahead, you know you want to), but the more we talked, the more confused I got about what was going on between us. Color me Clueless.

I had told her more than I thought I ever would. But still made sure not to mention the fact that I planned to be dead, shortly. I figured that could wait for the second date. If THIS were even a date. Whatever. I did manage to slip in the fact that I had created the Jackson’s Tea ads she was so offended by. She was really embarrassed and apologetic and felt really stupid that she had gone off like that about them after knowing that. It was a sweet moment. Of course, then she added that she still found them totally offensive and wondered if she should even be talking to me. A comment she meant as a joke but which struck me with sheer terror. The long and short of it is this. I like this girl. A lot. But I have no idea what she feels. Or how this is going to work. Or how I’m going to pull this whole thing off. It’ll be fine, right? Right? How come you’re not answering?

I called Nancy. Nobody home. I left a message and asked her to call me at My Mom’s. I called Paul and got lots of shit for not banging Ann, yet. And then I sat. By the way, in case you were wondering, I pay for all these phone calls on my phone card so My Mom doesn’t get a whopping bill. What sort of selfish thug do you think I am? (Don’t even think about it!). So, where was I? No, not naked and alone! What’s wrong with you? Sitting. Clothed. And pondering. And generally being my usual slow-witted, confused self when My Mom and Lynn approached to inform me we were all going out to dinner. And they meant ALL. Animals included.

So, we sit in a moderate-level Italian restaurant as the older Animal pounds on the table with his spoon and the little one makes disgusting noises and smears food all over itself. Oh, the joy. My Sister had turned me into one of the people I dread most. One of the “they’re kids, what do you expect them to act like?”-crowd, making sure that nobody within a hundred yards of us enjoyed their dining experience. As far as Lynn was concerned, the rest of the public would just have to understand and put up with it like she did. Keep in mind, this is the same Lynn that would lecture me for hours when I was young for doing the slightest thing that could cause My Mom embarrassment. My, how times have changed.

Two never-ending hours and a raging headache later. We finally get home. It couldn’t be soon enough. I really don’t know how much longer I can put up with this reuniting with the family thing. I mean, I realize it might, quite literally, be the last time I see everyone, but still.

And then there’s Ann. Built like a bombshell with brains like a…like a…give me a “b” word here, People…like a…Fuck. You know what I mean. I dig her. A lot. Which meant that I had good reason to stick around a little bit longer if I could stomach it…so to speak…per se, even if it meant having to spend more time with my lovely family. The things guys are willing to suffer through for a woman. Amazing.

I never actually told you specifically how my last maybe-it-was-maybe-it-wasn’t-a-date ended with Ann. I told her I had a great time and I wanted to see her again before I left. She said she also had a great time too, but was really busy at work and not sure if she could see me anytime during the next week…All of which was sounding very much like a “wasn’t-really-a-date.” But then she said she would call me the next day after she talked to some people about changing her plans so we could do something. All of which left me, you guessed it…very confused.

To make matters worse, she kissed me. On the lips. But very lightly and quickly. I, of course, just stood there like an idiot while she did all this, not remotely sure what I was supposed to do. I think Ann knew she was messing with my mind and really liked it. She enjoyed leaving me unsure as to what the hell was going on. Women are so evil that way. They love to keep you confused and off balance. Not that it was a challenge or anything, in my case.

Alright, my guess is that, once again, you are asking yourself a very big question. Something along the lines of this. If this guy is so inept, and so unperceptive, and so clueless about being with women, how are we supposed to believe he even got one single woman to ever sleep with him? Yet alone the countless numbers he kept going on and on about earlier in this sad drama? To which, here’s my brilliant, to the point, concise answer…Beats the hell out of me.

My guess is it has something to do with looking like Tom Cruise and being hung like a horse…Alright, fine. Maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s this. Confidence. There are times, like I have been telling you about, where I have next to none. I am a nervous wreck. Fart a lot. And say a lot of stupid things. OK, even more stupid things. Happy now? Anyway, then there are these other times. Times where I feel almost possessed. Times where I can do no wrong. Times where anything and anyone is mine for the taking. And take it I do. And then it passes as quickly as it came and I am back to the usual self-loathing miscreant of norm. Whatever it is, it works. I get things I haven’t deserved to obtain. Career achievements I shouldn’t have been able to reach. Women I didn’t deserve to be with. That’s just the way it’s always been, for as long as I can remember.

BRING ON THE JOY. MORE EACH DAY AT WWW.FIRST100BOOKS.COM

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