Saturday, October 14, 2006
I was getting nervous, and here’s why. Monsieur has to go out of town next weekend. He’ll be gone a week from yesterday (next Friday) until the following Tuesday. He has been bent out of shape, not so much as anyone would notice but I’m getting used to his odd ways and I can tell when something is bothering him. I asked him before if I had said something wrong, if I had done anything, but it’s not me, he assures me. I tried to believe him. So night before last I cornered him, and let into him.
He’s had the coin for a week now, and hasn’t redeemed it. What’s up? I asked him, don’t we have a deal? Are you mad at me? Did I say something wrong? do I smell bad? All I got was one syllable answers.
After pressing I find out that he’s being sued. It’s work-related, and he told me he did not want me to worry and that it’s an occupational hazard of his job. He said he gets sued every other year or so, and usually it’s nothing, it’s a very common occurrence and usually comes from a company or firm trying to cover its own ass. This time it might be a tough case, though. He’s got a good lawyer, not his regular family and business lawyer, but a specialist who deals with this sort of thing. It will likely cost him a pile of money that he doesn’t have.
“When did you find out?” I asked him.
“Initially, about a month ago,” he replied. “On Monday, I found out that they may have a difficult case, and it could go badly.”
Of course, I felt slighted, for no reason at all. My immediate reaction was, “Why the hell didn’t you tell me before?”
“I probably should have.”
“‘Probably’?!?” I wanted to punch him. I let into him. I felt slighted, like I didn’t deserve to know. “When were you going to tell me? Were you going to tell me? This is the kind of thing I need to know. I deserve to know. You can be secretive and mysterious with everyone else, but I refuse to let you keep this kind of thing from me. Are we in this together? I need to know that. Why do I have to pry things out of you?”
He tried to answer each question but I was not letting him finish. He sighed, and his eyes were looking down as he admitted he didn’t want me to worry, blah blah blah.
“I’m ALREADY worried, damn it. I need to know what I should be worried about!” He stared at something on the floor. “Jeez, I keep thinking it’s me, or you’re not into me, or I’m doing something wrong. You need to talk to me, like, well, like I’m somebody, and not your damned babysitter.”
“It may go very badly. I may end up losing my business, everything – and I don’t know if you would care to stay with me if I have nothing.”
“Monsieur, listen to me. First of all, for such a brilliant guy, you’re an idiot. Look at me.”
He looked at me.
“I’m. Not. Going. Anywhere. OK? I mean, I would if you were going to throw me out. Are you planning on throwing me out?” I asked him.
He didn’t say anything for a little too long, and I said, “Look, fine, I can go. I can stay with friends, or my daddy. I don’t have a car now, so I’d need to take the bus up to Wichita – ”
“Please, don’t be dramatic,” he said, “and please, stay. I am rather … confused by this, and I confess I don’t know what will happen. But whatever happens, please stay.”
I felt like such a bitch. My ire was raised, and I couldn’t calm down. To my credit, I counted to ten, and said, “Are you still going on that business trip?”
“I am not in a position to turn down work, right now,” he said.
“All right, then.” I sat there. I wanted him to put his arms around me, but I couldn’t ask him to. I wanted him to kiss me and let his heart pour out to me, but I wasn’t about to ask him to. I want him to be crazy in love with me, but I can’t make him. I sat there.
He sat there, for a while, and then said, “Will you try and get a good night’s sleep, tonight?”
“I suppose,” I said, “if I can.”
“You’ve been up late every night this week. On the computer,” he added, pointedly.
“Yes,” I said.
You’ve been whoring in the damn chat room, he didn’t say.
I wouldn’t be whoring in the damn chat room if you would fucking notice me, I didn’t say.
I went to bed, my face to the wall.
It ate at me all day, all night yesterday. I stopped into Lady Ann’s just now, hoping to get a little attention from a random patron. I sat there for about five minutes, not flirting and talking about nothing.
Then I considered what it would look like if the shoe were on the other foot. Supposing the man were in the chat room every night, pretending to have sex with a half dozen of girls a night, because his own, real life girlfriend was ignoring him in bed. And suppose the real life girlfriend knew all about it, and knew all about what he was doing, and let him because she didn’t know what else to do.
I felt like such a bitch. I left Lady Ann’s, I didn’t say goodbye.
He was about to go to work, and I stopped him.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “You work hard. I work hard. I love you,” I added.
“I love, adore, cherish you. I can’t show it the way you need me to,” he said. His eyes were red.
“I don’t care. It’s OK, I’m sorry,” I said.
“You have said or done nothing for which you need apologize
“I don’t care. I’m really, really sorry –“ I began.
“I’m sorry too,” he said.
“ – and I love you –”
“I love you, too–”
“And let’s not stay up late tonight. Let’s go to bed, and just talk. We don’t have to … to do anything,” I added.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
I nodded. “I’m very, very sure.”