Gulp . . .
My conversation with myself went something like this, my friend Alice died of cancer. My second mother died of cancer, (it’s complicated), everyone I knew who had gotten cancer didn’t survive. No wait, my friend M got it and she has been well for over twenty years. Yeah, but she didn’t do traditional treatment.
“What kind of cancer is it? I asked. “Throat he said”, pointing to his neck. Was that concern or sadness I noticed when he looked at me? “When did you find out?” I asked searching his eyes for something I had never seen before. They were cold and blue and bulgy. Like a frogs eyes rimmed with red, but not from crying. He spit and looked at the ground. “We found out today.” He crushed out what was left of his cigarette and stuck the remains in his back pocket.
They way he said we, reminded me of the way some couples announce a pregnancy. We’re pregnant. We have cancer. I remembered the first time I had seen them together at my engagement party. They sat off in a darkened corner of the room feeding each other sushi with chop sticks. ~Gag~ It was their food, they brought it to feed each other. We eat sushi. They were snuggled down and this surprised me because K had confessed his troubles with her to me on more than one occasion, calling me up, out of the blue to ask my opinion. He said he wasn’t happy and he wanted to end it, but he stayed because the sex was so good. Now there’s a fucking surprise! His confessions were bad reruns of the times I spent with him, only now I actually learned what he must have been thinking and telling our friends about me. But this night, at this time, I noticed that he was a fake and that S was a fake too, because from the moment she laid eyes on me she rarely left my side.
When K introduced us she threw her arms around me in a tight hug that lasted too long. After she let go she said, “I’m so happy for you! I know how long you’ve wanted this!” I thought, “Snap out of it bitch, you don’t know anything about me, except for what he’s told you and I bet you’d pay good money to hear what he says about you when he calls me!”
Up close she looked old, she was almost 10 years his senior. Someone else said it first and they said it best, they said, “She looks like a mannequin.”, yeah a Macy’s mannequin with a boys haircut and a red O for a mouth. By the end of the evening I actually felt sorry for her and in the dark hallway I passed her my phone number, just in case she wanted to talk, but she never called.
K was opening the car door, inviting me out. “Come over and talk to S, I think she’d really like that.” His voice was soothing me now. I like men with radio show voices, he had one and he knew how to use it. He used it on the phone too. “Are you sure she wants to see me?” He didn’t know about the phone number, or did he? “No, no S really likes you I’m sure she would love to see you!” He was leading me by the elbow across the lot to where she was, talking and laughing with R. Still the fact that he answered my question by starting his sentence with the word “no” was not lost on me.
You see I also think too much. I read into situations too much. One thought led to another and then another forming an endless loop of screaming voices that culminated into one loud thought, “GET OUT OF HERE NOW!”
To Be Continued . . .