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(1of 3) Kitten and Pickle Meet Kyle and Max

December 15, 2014

Liz had been gone a week. She popped out to L.A. for a design job. Business is booming for her. Pretty soon she might be too busy with rich California clients to keep hanging out with me at Pamplona’s. But not yet, so we met there for a diorama. We were wearing the same thing. Well, not exactly the same. She had on a black dress and I had my uniform, a black top and skirt. More often than we’d like, we arrive dressed alike, a coincidence we find disturbing. I looked down at her purse, a small bag with chinese print. I pulled out the bag I had grabbed on the way out, the green chinese fabric glowing in the subdued light. “Really?” I asked. “I never use this bag. Come on!”

While she was away, I was fighting one of my bouts. This one had been bad and included three days of a new medication that didn’t sit well with my brain. I felt nervous and edgy so I stopped taking it. She asked if I wanted to talk about it. I danced around my over-analyzed self-diagnosis, taking the words of my new therapist and throwing them around, dragging them through my past, drawing flow charts and venn diagrams of a happy childhood followed by abusive boyfriend followed by teen pregnancy followed by the 20-year marriage, followed by, followed by……to arrive at self-absorbed, self-hating, mid-life divorcé sitting on a stool explaining her parochial psychosis to the only person she has a meaningful relationship with. Liz was unusually silent while I spewed on about the judgement I lived under in my marriage and my anger at the idea that I’m still using that scale to weigh myself and still finding the disparity between who I am and who I want to be as drastic and he found it between who I was and who he expected me to be.

“You’re not laughing,” I observed. I try to couch all of existential spewing with humor. My stories may be pathetic but they’re going to funny, goddamn it.

“It’s not funny,” she said.

I was trying to bring the whole tirade to a some kind of conclusion when I noticed a guy lingering just behind us with a small gift in his hand. Brown paper with red and green string taut against it, finished in a simple shoestring bow. I looked over at him, young, cute, well dressed…..and put out my hand asking, “Is that for me?”

He took the bait and came closer to us, giving me the gift. Our intimate delve into the source of my depression ended as “Kyle,” took over the space and chatted us up, bringing over his friend, Max and ordering us drinks. We flirted with Kyle and Max, who is transitioning from solar panel sales to raising cattle with his father. I found Max attractive, in a you-don’t-look-like-you’re-from-around-here kind of way. Kyle was a bit too energetic for me and a bit too touchy feely for a straight man, probably one of the family. The gift was for his little brother’s new girlfriend. I was hoping she was showing up. I was going to give her the gift myself. But they were on their way to an office party.

A round of shots appeared. Liz and I had already had a couple glasses of wine.

“Aw shit,” I said. I looked over at Liz. “It’s going to be one of those nights.”

We toasted with cute little Kyle and Max and took our medicine.

Being uncharacteristically bold or characteristically deparate, I’m not sure which, I informed the duo that we would be going to the Blue Moon later. Max claimed they were headed that way as well. With promises of dancing and continued discussions about the virtues of having a tame bull versus a feisty bull when raising cows, the little pair left.

In the meantime, Winston had walked in and was moving in to chat up Liz. Winston is an older bachelor whom Liz and I once found fascinating, entertaining and perhaps even wise. We had dinner with him a couple of years ago and had been knocked off our balance a bit by his musings on dating and the single life. But now, after a couple of years of run-ins and odd conversations we see him to be an overly confident, inwardly frightened shallow old man who has lived an undoubtedly exciting life and finds himself sixty plus years in, looking around and asking, “Why isn’t anybody here. What I doing still alone?”

Winston only talks to Liz and I when no one else more important is around, a fact he is not shy about exposing as he surveys the bar saying, “I don’t know a single person here.” He likes to brag about how all the married women usually try to pick him up in front of their husbands. He’s rather impossible to get rid off once he’s decided to grace us with his attention. His assumption that all women find him charming precludes the notion that he might be intruding. And we have too many mutual friends to dismiss him as we might an obnoxious stranger. He ordered food. I let out a resigned sigh and asked for more wine.

Liz was excited about a guy she met on the plane to California. Football player. Tall. Cute. Lives in Dallas. He’s coming to Lafayette after Christmas and they have tentative dinner plans. “You have the best luck with coincidental meetings with strangers,” I told her. She bragged to Winston of this development, knowing he would chew on that morsel and no doubt impart unsolicited advice.

“Is he black?” Winston asked.

“Yes,” Liz answered.

“Here’s what you do,” he instructed. “You go down on him right off the bat. Just go down on him right away and he won’t be upset with you when you don’t want to do other stuff.”

Liz let out a laugh. This time I was the one not laughing.

“Ok, there’s so many things wrong with that statement, I can’t even begin….” I stumbled, my heart rate rising, my cheeks feeling flushed.

“Uh-oh. Looks like you hit a nerve with this one.” Liz has seen this look in my eye before. She just watched.

“Upset?……. Upset? You want my girl to worry about him getting upset?” I asked.

The statement was asinine at best, rape-culture-ish at worst.

“I’m going to get some air.” I said. I walked out the back door for a second so as not to escalate the exchange into a feminist rant that would be lost on Winston, a waste of my energy and probably an embarrassment to me in my favorite bar.

When I came back, Winston attempted an apology, kissing me on the cheek and I pretended to give a shit.

“Don’t sweat it,” I said. “That was about my deal, not yours.”

Liz and I paid our tabs and headed to the Blue Moon for some cajun dancing. Arriving shockingly early, we sat on the back bench and made fun of Winston.

I was hoping to see Kyle and Max later. Max had a certain quality that had piqued my interest. What I didn’t know was that by the time I got home that night Max would be the farthest thing from my mind and Liz would win the award for greatest wing woman in the history of girlfriends.



From → Rantings

  1. Sooooo? What happened between when you got to the Blue Moon and when you got home? You need to finish this. I’m on the edge of my seat 🙂

  2. Kitten permalink

    It’s coming.

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