Drop #39: Self-Service

Yesterday I ran into a chap I went to school with. I won’t call him a friend cause we never were – the warmest memory I have of him was of us both laughing when an irritating kid slipped down a hill and scraped up his knee. Anyway, we recognized one another after one of those awkward ‘do I know you?’ dances and had a coffee together. We got along much better as adults; in fact, I felt so comfortable talking to the guy, I told him about the curious predilection I had recently developed.

‘For example,’ I said, ‘I am attracted to women who look Chinese but aren’t, and I’m not talking about white women who are a quarter or an eighth Chinese, or black women who have some Asian ancestry, but women of one race who look like they are from another race, even though they have none of that race in their blood. As I said, it goes for any ethnicity. They could appear white or black if they are, for example, Japanese or Indian; or look like they are from the high Andes, or Corsica if they are actually, say, Indonesian.’

‘How curious,’ he said.

‘Yes, that’s exactly how I’d describe it. Curious.’

He then went on to tell me about a girl he was interested in who always mumbles, and that it was precisely the mumbling that had him interested.

‘Probably cause it makes her seem uninterested,’ I suggested, ‘and that’s always appealing.’

‘Probably,’ he said. ‘It can be annoying though. I always have to ask her what she said, sometimes twice, or even thrice.’

‘Yeah, but most of the time, the girls we want to sleep with are annoying, aren’t they?’

‘That’s true.’

And I told him about the party I went to last weekend – someone’s surprise birthday gig organized by his girlfriend: about twenty people at a decent, if generic, half upscale place, with free wine and appetizers till 11, everyone chatting and being friendly, you know, an OK evening but nothing too grand – and how surprised I was getting endless strings of emails over the next few days saying how amazing it had been and thanking the girlfriend for such an incredible night. How it was one of the best surprise parties ever and how everyone was under pressure now to come up with something as nice for their partners, ‘and all I’m thinking,’ I said, ‘is that my life must be brilliant, cause if that was an awesome night, these people are fucking losers.’

‘They sound like fucking losers,’ he said, totally getting it.

‘Stuff like that really makes me lose faith in the world,’ I said and he said it almost made him lose faith just hearing about it.

We commiserated about the fact that even the places we like going always have people we don’t like in them, and we both noticed how sad the old couple eating at a nearby table looked. ‘Sadder than a single glove in gray snow,’ he said, and I was jealous at the ease with which he dropped a decent simile.

And when a gap in the conversation finally came, after well over an hour, I took the opportunity and said: ‘Say, Gareth, when we were at school together, there was a rumor you could suck your own dick.’

‘Yes, I am aware of it.’

‘Well, you seem to be quite confident and frank, so I thought I’d ask if that was true?’

‘It was,’ Gareth said, finishing his second cappuccino, ‘and it still is.’

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

2 Responses to Drop #39: Self-Service

  1. I like the simple clarity of your writing. There’s something fairy-tale-like about them even if they’re nothing like fairy tales. They;re funny too

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