Chapter 16: Frenemies

Thump-Thump

Thump-Thump

Thump-Thump

Thump-Thump

Breathe…..Breathe…..

I’m just calling a friend…in 30 minutes

In 20 minutes

In 10 minutes

In 5 minutes

In 2 minutes

Right Now…after these commercials break, and trip to the kitchen…

2 minutes ago…

5 minutes ago….

7 minutes ago…

“Hey, What’s up?!” I asked cheerfully.

“Nothing much…just waiting for food…” Jon responded.

“OK, yeah sorry about yesterday…I know it was last minute, I should’ve invited you earlier.”

A friend and I decided to go see a movie, but by the time I remembered Jon and texted him inviting him to the group; it was a few hours before start time, and apparently like everyone else close to the heart of Manhattan he didn’t like having to travel to the outer boroughs on short notice. The borough of TheGirl.

It wasn’t his stated reason for declining, but I just assume so…knowing that he is a home body.

“Hey so am watching this show called Family Guy, uh—have you heard of it?” I began.

“Of course I’ve fucking heard of it…who in the hell have not fucking heard of Family Guy!?” He exclaimed.

I was caught off guard, not because he heard of the show…its seems that when I asked — he’s heard of something; and when I don’t ask, he’s never heard of that thing. But it was the fact that he’s dropping F- bombs all over the place now.

I hadn’t heard him speak this way since…before we first met

Well, who am I to say anything, he’s no longer with me…in fact, over lunch yesterday, he accused me of trying to change him because I didn’t like the foul language. Strange, but when things were going well in the beginning, he thanked me for making him a better person.

I guess I’m one of the guys now, I thought.

So I mirrored him and laughed off his crude jokes and dropped two F bombs for everyone that he threw at me.

But I really was trying to get to know him as a person, so I asked as many questions about him as I thought I could…

I guess he could sense me poking and prodding too deeply, because he remarked, “You know Sabrien, I hanging out with interesting people….”

I’m not interesting?

“Well, what do you know about me that is interesting?” I asked.

“I don’t know…other than…the sex was interesting” He replied.

“So not that I’ve traveled to Asia and speak some Chinese, while you mockingly repeat one sentence in bastardized Japanese?” I asked.

Seriously, he was the typical White American, who knew one language, had never been out of the country, unless you count that cruise he went on with his parents…am I really not cultured because I don’t watch Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica and drink beverages blended half with milk and ice cream?

“Oh and a few months ago, I received the Medal of Honor from the state” I interjected…I suddenly remembered that thing in a box somewhere in one my kitchen drawers.

“Wait- you” He began.

But I heard a loud click and the call ended.

I called back, he didn’t answer, I couldn’t remember if it went straight to voicemail or if it rang a bit.

But several minutes later he called.

“I dropped my phone, and the battery fell out, so I had to replace it with a new one.” He explained.

“Oohhhh…I was a little sad there, thinking you hung up because of something I said…” I retorted sarcastically.

“Don’t worry I just dropped it by accident, don’t get paranoid thinking I hung up on you. Now what’s this about a medal?” He said.

I explain my nonmilitary-noncombat honor.

“Oh OK” He replied

I’m not sure what he thought that I was alluding to, but he seemed to have calmed down.

And it was in that calm, that I felt my struggles in vain. I didn’t really feel like we were having a friendly chat, I was asking questions and genuinely trying to know him better, but he was resisting, or maybe I wasn’t asking the right questions.

“Any plans for Labor Day?” I asked.

“No, just gonna chill out and smoke some weed” He said

Maybe I offered, but we agreed to hang out and I’d come and see his new place at the end of the weekend.

*****

The next night, I called Jon and he answered with an even more obnoxious greeting than in The Snob:

“YYyyyooooooo, My nigger! What’s up?!?! Gonna tap some of that shit tonight and inhale this Chinese Kung Pao shit!”

OK, honestly it sounded like muffled heavy metal music, I’m not even sure what he said after “What’s Up” I don’t even want to be sure of what he said beforehand.

“Wait, what did you just say?” I asked honestly.

“Nothing, I asked ‘What’s Up.’” He answered in his completely normal speaking manner.

After about 30 minutes of forcing “friendly conversation” I guess the jig was up. He probably knew what I was trying to do, but could see right through it. He hastily dropped the conversation. “I’ll see you on Monday” He said and hung up.

I was trying to ignore this nagging voice, cover it up with my feelings. But this time the voice, the red flag was too loud to ignore.

Does he hate me?

© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne