JOY part 33

Ann shows up back at my room about a half-an-hour later. She looks all clean and fresh and ready to be defiled by yours truly. I mean, more so. To say the girl cleans up nice is a bit of an understatement. I, on the other hand, have been on the phone the entire time and look the same disheveled mess I did before. Ooops. I ask her to come in for a minute while I wash up. I need to douse myself with cold water for more reasons than she knows. No, she knows. And enjoys it. Evil. Just evil.

And then we reach another painful moment of truth. I walk out of the bathroom and see her standing at the window just staring at the view outside. The whole little scene looks like some painting or fashion photo (or a shot from a Major Motion Picture). She sees me in the reflection just looking at her but she doesn’t move. Nor does she move when I walk over next to her, look into her eyes and, and, and…ask her where she wants to go to dinner. I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t bring myself to try to kiss her again after getting shot down before. God knows I wanted to. Ann knows I wanted to. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.

OK, before you pile on with the abuse, ask yourself what would have happened if I had tried again and was rejected, yet again. It wouldn’t have been good. Even if Ann played it off like it was no big deal I would have to spend the rest of the entire evening AND all day tomorrow knowing she had rebuffed me not once, but twice. Knowing that I was “just a friend” forever and ever and ever and ever. Oh, the pain.

And, how about this scenario? Let’s say she’s really pissed that I totally disregarded everything she had said to me in the car before. All those very personal, heartfelt, deep things she had said about her life. And me just looking to get in her pants. That could have been really bad. Horribly bad. Bad beyond bad. So, knowing all that, could I really be expected to just lean in there and plant one on her? Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m pathetic. Nobody’s arguing the issue.

Dinner consisted of a half-inch layer of ground pork over a pound of cheese surrounded by deep fried bread. Sound disgusting? Welcome to Chicago Style Deep-Dish Pizza. This is the stuff Uno’s and some other chains had based their pizza on. It actually tasted quite good if you could stomach it. Which I couldn’t. And knew better than to even try. But Ann had wanted it and more often than not, Ann seems to be getting what she wants. Wish I could say the same about me getting things from her. In any case, she had this monstrous pizza thing and I had to make due with a really-not-very-good pasta dish. At least it wouldn’t kill me the way the pizza would have. And Ann seemed to be enjoying the place. The conversation over said food products didn’t yield anything particularly interesting, but was quite nice all the same.

That’s not quite true, actually. No, it was nice. I meant the part about interesting bits of conversation. Ann told me how she had always loved coming to Chicago to visit, but hadn’t been here in years because Richie hated it. She had even applied to Northwestern. Gotten in. But didn’t go. All because Michigan made more sense for her if Richie went to Michigan State. Richie this and Richie that had kept her from doing all these things that she had wanted to do. I asked her if she resented him for it. To which she said that marriage was all about compromise and, theoretically, you gained more than you lost. To which I asked if that was true in her case. The part about gaining. Or just theory. She got really quiet and her eyes filled with this look of sadness. Finally, she said that she didn’t know. Maybe she had given up too much. Maybe not. She really didn’t know.

Which led to this other discussion about my past relationships. I quickly had to decide how much to tell her and how much to leave out. Some editing of the recent months was a given (duh) but the rest seemed pretty safe to talk about. It turned out to be a good move. When I had told her about my six-year relationship with Saint Melissa she seemed somewhat shocked and even somewhat impressed. I guess she had just assumed that six weeks was more my maximum limit for these things. The truth was that it was actually closer to six hours in the case of my most recent outings. If those are even relationships. But she doesn’t need to know that. I am still trying to get laid here.

I called Nancy. I know I shouldn’t have. But I just really wanted to. Some other stuff had happened with Ann and I between dinner and now but nothing important. Actually, it was important but it was more of the same. Her and I hanging out together. Me liking her more. Me wanting her more. Me more sure that just wasn’t going to happen. Like I said, more of the same. The “good-night” part was truly a downer, as we just kind of smiled at each other and shut our respective doors across the hallway. No kiss. No hug. No nothing. And “no” I’m not real happy about it.

Anyway, as I was saying, I called Nancy. Josh answered. He sounded really pissed off. Not at me. Just that someone had called. I looked at the clock. Did the math for the time-zone shift. Not too late to call. Wonder what gives? Nancy picks up the phone and quickly tells me she can’t talk right now. I ask her if everything is alright. To which she just says again that she’ll call me later and hangs up. Highly, highly disturbing. I’ve never heard either one of them like that. Not to mention that Nancy can’t call me back because she doesn’t know I’m here. I am so tempted to call right back using that fact about the call-back number as an excuse. But I don’t. I’ll have to just lie here and wait and wonder and wait some more. Exactly what I was waiting for, I wasn’t sure. Like I said, it’s not like she could call me here.

So, there I was, twenty minutes later, lying on the bed. Thinking. What? You thought I was going to say something else about lying on the bed? Just because you’re that predictable doesn’t mean we all are. Anyway, I was lying on the bed thoroughly unsure of what to do about Nancy being so upset. I knew that there was nothing I really could do. Unlike my end of the Nancy/Me friendship in which I constantly turned to her for advice and to bitch and complain about life and so on, the truth was, it was sort of a one-way street. Nancy really never told me all that much about what was going on with her regarding certain parts of her life. In particular, the part with Josh. I had always just assumed this was because there wasn’t much for her to complain about on that end of things. When she ever did say anything. Or, for that matter, even when Josh said anything, it was always really, really positive. Sickeningly so.

There were also things I knew Nancy had on her mind about her own dissatisfactions with life that she just wouldn’t talk about with anyone except Josh. Not that she seemed so dissatisfied with anything. She was kind of like My Sister that way in feeling that if you were truly in anguish and angst all the time, you probably just had too much time on your hands. Which really makes it rather strange that her and I get along so well.

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