Listen carefully and you’ll hear the clinkety-clank of beer bottles knocking against each other. If your ears are extra sensitive you might even hear the whispers of promises made and pledges fulfilled. It is all there on that Facebook page you are looking at. The man from Cleveland who moved to LA is heading to Dallas for the Superbowl. You hear that his business has done exceptionally well for himÂ and you are happy for him. Ok, you are not happy for him but you are not upset either. Really you are just ambivalent because you don’t have strong feelings about him one way or another.
It is not totally clear to you why you are Facebook friends. You weren’t friendly in school nor were you enemies. He clashed with a lot of the guys, this guy who has become the successful businessman. He was good at pissing people off but it never involved you. Back in the day as the colloquialism goes you were good at pissing people off too and even better at not taking grief from anyone. It is silly, but when you think of the guy these are the thoughts that come into your head. That is what he generates. That and one other memory.
A fraternity party. You are twenty years old and angry because the girl you wanted to marry is sleeping with some other guy. It is not like she wasn’t sleeping with you because she was. In fact she used to say that she loved you, but that was then and this is now. And now she is using her magic on some other guy. Some other guy who likes to call you at 3 am. He says your name in some sort of cartoonish voice that sounds especially stupid and that is about it. If you hang up he’ll call back a few more times and do it again.
You are irritated by this. It is not because he wakes you up because half the time you are still up. It is college after all. You are irritated because you know it is him and you don’t have his number. You are irritated because he is 80 miles away so it is inconvenient to go pay him a visit. Mostly you are irritated because he is shtupping the girl you professed your love to. You are irritated because you don’t understand why she would pick a buffoon over you.
He doesn’t understand you. He doesn’t know that he really is messing with the wrong guy because you are tenacious and smart. Not to mention that you have barrels of testosterone coursing through you and time to plot and plan. Eventually you figure out that the best way to get him is to find a wedge to drive between him and her. So the next time he calls you start sharing stories about what she used to do to you.
It is juvenile, but it works. The cartoon voice disappears and now he is cursing you. It makes you smile to hear the anger in his voice. You know that you have just purchased a piece of property inside his head. Now you want to plant a garden. Now you want to spread your seeds of doubt and confusion. For a week or so he calls you every night. Fortune smiles upon you because during that week she shows up at a party that you are at.
Yep, the guy who moved from Cleveland to LA and just happens to be heading to Dallas for the Superbowl. It was his party. You saw her there and you spoke with her and her friends. When he calls you that night you describe her dress and speak of her perfume. He is enraged. He tells you that he is a boxer and that he is coming for you without gloves.
So you laugh and tell him that while he was home alone she was hanging out with you at the party. You go for the cheap but effective move of telling him that she thinks that he is…small. You tell him that she kissed you that night and begged you not to say anything. None of that is true, but you figure what the heck. He is the one who drew first blood. He started calling you, not the other way around.
Later on you’ll hear that he was so angry that night that he punched the wall and broke his hand. Mission accomplished.
Later on you’ll read this post and think about why you told that story. The headline isn’t entirely accurate because your torch burned out a long time ago. It is true that you once loved her but you haven’t felt a thing since you were 24 or so. Why did you bother sharing this. And then you’ll shrug and prepare to write another post because you are in a groove. The words are flowing and you just feel like writing.