Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gordon's Breakfast - 24

Larissa Snowe has clamped her hand over my mouth. I'm not entirely sure, but I think she's telling me that somehow she's had enough of me talking about Adam as the two of us consume cocktails at the Sanderson Hotel.

"If you say you're going to kill Adam one more time or use the phrase 'Adam and Susan, I don't believe it' and then proceed to throw your hands in the air, I think I might throw-up. I might throw-up anyway, but that's really an altogether different matter."

I can see that, as I have developed a habit over the last week of throwing my hands in the air and saying those very words. I just can't help myself. As soon as I think about him I find myself saying that particular phrase and throwing my hands in the air like a Seventh Day Adventist. Maybe its the The Universal Church Kingdom of God I'm thinking of?

Anyway, to be honest, I'm fairly disappointed by the reaction of everyone to the news. No one seems to share my feelings of general outrage and betrayal. I had a mini conference in the flat with Johnny and my new best relation, a.k.a. my sister - not a girl who does sympathy.

"It's your own fault Gordon."
"My own fault, How can you say that?"
"Face it mate it's your own fault," says Johnny.
"How can you say that?"
"Errr, because despite the fact that everyone told you to do something, including Adam, you sat on your arse. That's how I can say that," Johnny says.
"Okay, fair point, but..."
"But?" Adam says.
"You're right, no buts, but you know?"
"I still can't believe you went around there," Johnny says.
"I think I should call Susan and maybe apologise or something," I said.
"Oh, I wouldn't do that," Sara says.

I looked at her suspiciously, but she gave nothing away.

"Okay, since you are not exactly being forthcoming, maybe you could tell me why I might not want to call Susan?"
"She isn't talking to you."
"She's what?"
"You're a non-person."
"A what?"
"An unperson, you're off her Christmas card list and don't expect an Easter egg."
"Susan doesn't even send Christmas cards, although she is a fan of elaborate chocolate eggs," I say.
"Well if she starts sending cards, I wouldn't count on getting one."
"Just because I shoved Adam, that's ridiculous."
"Gordon, I think it might be something more than that."
"More? There isn't anymore. That's it."
"I can't believe you pushed him," Johnny says, half smiling.
"Yeah, I'm a world class pusher, me."

Later, after the Sanderson Hotel, Larissa Snowe and I are lying side by side in bed talking, which I guess might take a little explaining.

We went out as part of our shared mission to be more metropolitan although I think we may have erred slightly as having spent several hours drinking cocktails we ended up rather elegantly wasted. It was okay though, we didn't cause a scene although I think we may have swayed on the way out, but you know I think that could have been just us moving in time to the music. I'm sure there was definitely music.

We had started so well, but then I started to slur my words. I probably wouldn't have noticed this, but Larissa Snowe did helpfully point it out in a way that told me she was also smashed.

"Gordon you're slurring your words and the odd thing is I'm not entirely sure it's an unattractive quality."
"Lissa you are not slurring your words, but such flirty come-on talk from you tells me you're definitely toast."
"Mmm, I think you're right, you'll be pleased to know you act less gay when drunk."
"You're sweet."

Earlier Larissa Snowe had accused me of acting very gay, which was a charge I strenuously denied. I told her I wouldn't know how to act gay.

"Well you're doing a very good job," Larissa Snowe said.
"Oh come off it, how am I doing a very good job?"
"Well by pointing out every available man in the bar for a start. That's very gay."
"But I thought I was just being 'gay enough'."
"No that was being rather too gay. You'll be offering me tips on fashion next," and looking at me sideways, she added: "Maybe not."
"Hey this is my best jacket, it's about the only thing I can wear with jeans and shoes that says 'casual, cool and smart'."
"I'm teasing you, you look perfectly suitable."
"Hey, I always wanted to be suitable."
"This never happens in New York, you know?" Larissa Snowe told me.
"What you really mean is that it never happens in 'Sex and the City', that's because Americans just don't get trashed on TV."
"That's probably more to the point. I so wanted to be able to do cocktails and not end up a drunken wreck."
"Don't worry you're not a wreck."
"Oh that's a relief, I think there's a certain British way of doing cocktails and a certain American way."
"You know you're not really supposed to slurp on them."
"Really?" Larissa Snowe said looking up.
"I suppose it's not very cool. I am definitely enjoying these though, but what I really want is a large glass of red wine," she said.

You know sometimes when you trace your life back to the moment when a certain evening started to go awry? For us it was definitely at that moment as a bottle or so later we were lying on the floor of her sitting room snogging.

I never use the word snogging it's just so teenage. I mean it's a great teenage word, suggestive of something lost, somewhere along the road between here and there, somewhere between youth and adulthood. I'm not sure when, but most of us reach a stage where we stop snogging and start kissing. Kissing is different, it's more grown up. Kissin often leads to something else. Snogging doesn't. It doesn't have to unless we're just talking about ruffling your date's sweater somewhat.

With us, then and there at least, it never felt like we it was going to lead to clothes being ripped off and hot sweaty roll and around the floor passion. Somehow that just isn't us. Or I should say that's not the two of us, not together. And you know what? That's okay as that's kind of how it was meant to be.

We were lying on the floor and we were nicely sloshed, facing each other and just talking against the stillness of the air and that late night thumph thumph of passing traffic when Larissa Snowe said it.

"Go on then."

And I knew immediately what she was saying, but I almost laughed instead of kissing her as Larissa Snowe looked like she was going to break into a giggle enjoying the complete absence of any tension or apprehension.

"Is that a kiss me demand?"
"No, but it just seems that point in the evening doesn't it?"
"You know I kind of know what you mean. And also I'm feeling that it's kind of easy to kiss someone you've kissed before, but weren't really expecting to kiss again, because they’re your ex and they had sworn that they would never speak to you again."
"There was that, so you're saying, this time around, there are no nerves?"
"No nerves," I say.

Going to bed together was just a case of either or. I could sleep on the backbreaking couch or I could share the bed, but with no funny business. Well no funnier than it had been so far, ust talking and sleeping.

"I think I can hear silence," Larissa Snowe says.
"Definitely, the silence of Gordon no longer talking about Adam and Susan."
"Oh that kind of silence."
"Yes, that kind."
"Well now that we're here it seems kind of rude."
"You know that me not going out with you again still applies, don't you?"
"Oh absolutely, it's a eminently cool and sensible approach."
"Are you saying that I'm sensible?"
"I'm not saying that. I'm just saying it makes sense."
"Good, otherwise I thought the evening was really rather successful, the kissing included.
"Oh yeah me too, kissing included."
"But you still haven't answered my question from earlier."
"Remind me?"
"Oh you know I'm talking about Susan and what you plan to do about her and Adam."
"Hey, I thought you were enjoying the silence of me not talking about Adam and Susan again?"
"I was, but the key part of that sentence was you. It's quite another matter for me to interrogate you for my own enjoyment."
"Oh, I see, for your own enjoyment. Is this like payment?"
"Mmm, maybe, but you wouldn't deny a girl would you?"
"Me no, besides, I did answer you earlier."
"No you didn't, when I asked you when we were at the Sanderson, you didn't say anything."
"I know, clever huh? That's my plan."
"What your plan is to do nothing?"
"Absolutely. It's a tried a tested method. I've used it before."
"And how exactly does it work?"
"Exactly? Well, that's a good question, it really involves me avoiding them and cutting them dead at any social occasions where we might all be in attendance. Therefore negating any further embarrassment."
"Oh Gordon really, that's not a very good plan, I have to tell you."
"You know, funnily enough, you're not the first person to say this."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gordon's Breakfast - 23

I could kill Adam, but Johnny has discouraged me from doing this what with not having a leg to stand on.

It's been three days since I found out about Adam and Susan and I've decided to confront him. To be honest I'm not big on confrontations, but really I think some show of feeling is necessary here as I still cannot believe he did it.

I text him to tell him that I'm coming around to his flat to talk about the 'situation' and he texts me straight back saying 'go right ahead'.

When I get there I ring his buzzer and he comes down and opens the doors and stands there on his doorstep with him arms folded. I find myself stepping back and Adam takes a step forward pulling front door behind him. Instinctively I find myself crossing my arms also so that the two of us are standing there all crossed over on the weed-ridden path.

"Adam, I can't believe you went and asked out Susan, we talked about this and Susan was strictly off limits. I can't believe you did it. Did the mental hospital test too many drugs on you?"

Adam gives me a big smug 'oh yeah' kind of smile.

"Oh, I did more than that. I asked her out and we've been out twice since."
"Twice!" I shriek, "how can you have been out twice? It's only been three days."
"And nights."
"Oh please. You don't know the meaning of the word friends, in fact I don't think you know the meaning of most words."
"Well you know what it's like when you start a new relationship. You spend lots of time together."
"A relationship? You're in a relationship? Oh give me a break."
"I'm in a relationship with Susan."
"Jesus, I mean seriously."
"Deal with it."
"Deal with it? How can I deal with it you asked out my best female friend even after I'd asked you not to."
"You know, I think we've already been over this a few times."
"Oh we have?"
"Lets see now, a few dozen times. You had plenty of chances."

I throw my hands in the air again, what on earth has chances got to do with anything?

"I don't want chances. I just want you to not be dating Susan!"
"Well that isn't going to happen."

That's it really as the next thing I do is also really unlike me, but I can't seem to help myself and I push Adam as I shout out.

"Oh yeah."

Adam responds immediately in kind and pushes me as he shouts back at me.

"Yeah, that's right."
"You twat," I shout and I push him again.
"You artless flap mouthed clackdish."
"What?" Adam shouts pushing back.
"You droning half witted hedge-pig."
"What the fuck is a hedge-pig?"

It's at this point, after our pushing has reached a point where isn't really going anywhere (other than up and down the garden path), that we stop. I think we stop as unconsciously we know that the next step in the arms race, so to speak, is an actual fight, but that just isn't going to happen. We're just not fighters. I'm kind of speechless. I seem to have said all that I can say. I really don't know what else to do so I start to take a few steps backwards with Adam staring at me and watching my retreat.

"This is over," Adam says.
"Yeah," I say, "well I think you've mistaken me for someone who gives a damn."

With that I turn on my heals and head up the garden path and back out onto the street heading home.

To be honest I'm not entirely sure how effective that was or how much good I have done myself. So Adam isn't going to stop going out with Susan, there's not much I can do about that, but at least I've vented and I don't feel at all bad at having done so.

I know one things for sure, however, when Susan gets to hear about what I've been up to she is going to be one pissed off girl. I'm betting that Adam pretty much sprinted to pick up the phone as soon as I had stepped onto the street and called Susan and was within seconds uttering the phrase "you'll never guessed who just paid me a visit". I'm even surer of this, as sadly I think I would do the exact same thing if I was in Adams shoes. I expect that conversation to last just a few minutes, before the two new lovebirds hang up and Susan is speed dialling me with an Exocet intercept piece of her mind.

It takes me about ten minutes to walk home and I swear as I open the door to my darkened flat the phone is ringing. No need to guess who it is and I answer the phone accordingly.

"Susan," I say into the phone before she has a chance to let loose her barrage of outrage.
"Hmph," is all that comes down the line.
"Something to say?"
"Why did you go around to Adam's?"
"News does spread fast, doesn't it?"

And Susan never calls me Gordon, but like most people if they are really pissed off they soon start.

"I went around to give him a piece of my mind."
"I've told you before about that, you should go easy, what with having nothing to spare!"
"Funny, girl."
"I can't believe you went around there."
"That's my line, if you don't mind."
"What are you talking about?"
"Never mind," I say.
"Adam says you pushed him."
"I pushed him?" I say incredulously, "has he told his teacher as well?"
"Well did you?"

I pause, okay, so technically I have no right to incredulity.

"Yes, I pushed him, but he pushed me back."
"He pushed you back and you kept on pushing."
"Okay, that's also true. We had a pushing contest and, you know, really that's about all I have to say on the subject."

There's a pause on the line and I'm really not sure what she's going to say next.

"That's all you have to say?"
"Yeah, That's all I have to say."
"Okay," Susan says and with that she hangs up.

And although Susan hangs up on me all the time, I wasn't expecting that. I was somehow expecting more. I'm left looking at the phone and thinking, 'oh, so that's it?' as for now it does seem to be.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gordon's Breakfast - 22

I almost forget about Adam after my session with Laura, hearing nothing from either him or Susan until a couple of days later when a very breezy Susan calls me about some work. She would normally be absolutely gagging to tell me had someone asked her out, but with no immediate mention of it I know for sure that she turned him down flat.

Susan is ringing to ask me if I want to write something about the 'Manhattan Transfer' also know as the large bunch of Brits who up sticks for life in New York. Now I have to say this is odd, as I love writing those kind of pieces, and besides we know plenty of media types who have done it. But this is exactly the kind of feature that Susan usually gives to someone else. It's like she's being extra nice to me, which is plain weird.

"Suze this is the kind of thing you usually give to Rebecca to do."
"Is it really?"

She pauses.

"You know it is."

Susan laughs at this, she usually gives me stuff that will cause maximum personal embarrassment. Like therapy or 'Men & Yoga'.

"I know, but I was feeling, like today should be nice to Gord day."
"Oh really, what bought that on?"
"Oh, I'm feeling very calm and relaxed today. That's all."
"Have you been at the crystals for an extra spirituality boost or something?"

Spirituality is Susan's thing. She is tapped into every fad and I mock each and every one in turn, which is why the other year for my birthday she gave me 'The Little Book of Calm'. I it have lying by the phone and I find myself picking it up as I talk to Susan.

"Gord are you still there?"
"Yeah, still here, but I just read that I should feel thankful for the heavy burden of work, I'm not sure how that's going to make me feel more calm..."
"With features like this to write, you really should."
"I have to say you're on form today, have you changed your breakfast cereal?"
"You know I used to really love breakfast cereal. Skinny lattes and fat free muffins aren't the same," Susan says.
"Oh I agree, but then I eat a bucket of cereal every morning."
"And Gord I hate to break it to you, but that's why you are on your way to looking like a bucket."
"You're sweet."
"Anyway, tell me about your date with Larissa. You've been holding out on me."
"It wasn't a date we just mutually escaped speed dating hell together and took solace in some expensive wine."
"Sounds like a date to me."
"If it was that would make every time I meet up with any friend who happened to be female, like you, a date."
"But Gord at least that way you could tell people you were dating, that would be progress."

Susan happily giggles away to herself as she says this.

"I worry about you. You take far too much pleasure in statements like that."
"I know, I'm sorry, but you know I'm only teasing."
"You're sounding rather, I don't know chipper? This morning, what gives?"
"Oh nothing, nothing is giving."
"Really. So are you seeing Larissa again?"
"I am now you mention it. We're going to do drinks on Friday."
"Oh that's very grown-up, drinks? That's opposed to going to the pub."
"Yeah, we're going to be more metropolitan, apparently living in London you can do that."
"You'll be going to galleries after that, whatever next."
"I never go to galleries."
"Gord no one ever goes to galleries."
"Anyway talking of dating..."
"And I thought we weren't? Talking of dating that is."
"Well whatever we were talking about I had a call from Adam the other day."
"I wondered when you were going to ask me about that."
"Well hey I thought you might have been straight on the phone."
"Really? You thought I would have been straight on the phone?"

And it's weird as Susan sounds a little surprised when I say this, which is odd, I really would have been on the phone if someone totally inappropriate rang me up and asked me out. That said off the top of my head I can't think who might do that.

"Absolutely, I would have," I say.
"You would?"

And Susan sounds like she doesn't believe me.

"Yeah, totally."
"Mmm, so tell me what would you have said?"
"Oh something like 'you'll never guess which wholly inappropriate person asked me out'. Then I guess I'd have a really good laugh, I mean come on it seems only fair to share that kind of material."

I should apologise, I'm snickering as I tell Susan this, I can't help myself the whole idea just makes me want to laugh out loud. Adam and Susan, I mean seriously.

"Oh, now I get it," Susan says.
I get the impression that she is crossing her free hand across her chest.

"So come on tell me? What did he say?"
"Oh you want a breakdown? A blow by blow account of what Adam said?"

I can't help myself laughing at this point and I'm starting to feel bad for Adam as I imagine the cutting put down Susan used to dispatch him and his dating request.

"Suze you know that's exactly what I'm hoping to hear. It seems only fair."
"Okay, let me think, where shall I start? Oh I know, like all guys he took ages to get to the point, every time out you lot take your time."
"We think somehow, you know psychologically, that it improves our chances."
"You know it doesn't, don't you?"
"Sadly only too well."
"Then he did the 'so' thing."
"The 'so' thing?"
"Oh you know, we were chatting rather generally and then he said 'SO' in big capital letters to signal a change in conversational direction."
"Oh that kind of 'so'."
"That kind of so, which is just like a big road sign with flashing orange lights to stop people crashing into it, you know what the road sign says don't you?"
"That you're about to be asked out on a date?"
"That's the one. Right after that he said it."
"But what did he say exactly?"
"Looking for tips?"
"Not exactly, just, interested in other people's techniques."
"Okay, well he kept it pretty simple, all he said was 'do you want to go out sometime?'."
"That is simple? Huh."
"And you thought it was more complicated? Well, you know that explains rather a lot."
"Hey, this is about you, not me."
"Really? I wasn't sure."

Uh? And Susan has done that thing again and completely lost me.

"Oh never mind. You want to hear the best bit don't you?"

And right now I would be rubbing my hands together in anticipation if I wasn't holding the phone. Maybe I could put it down...wait that won't work.

"You know I'm kind of looking forward to it."
"Oh don't worry I've saved the best until last. I'm just trying to remember exactly what I said to him?"
"Oh come on, you can't have forgotten already."
"Oh that's right, I said yes."

With that my brain comes to a juddering halt like a runner who has been powering ahead down a long straight road coming to an unsteady halt at a junction suddenly unsure what direction to take. It's exactly like that. My mouth is making circles, big uneven 'o' shapes like one of those giant wobbling pulsar stars. Just not so giant.

At first I'm trying to workout how yes translates into a big crushing you have to be joking. It's like my brain is trying to fit the square pegged yes into the round holed no, but it isn't happening, it will not go. Maybe if I hit it harder. Yes, wait a second, yes doesn't mean no. Not matter what way you say it. OMG.

"You thought I'd say no didn't you?"
"I errr...well yeah. Adam? God. I mean seriously?"
"Thing is Gord, Adam is a bit of a grownup and he does know a little bit about relationships."
"But Adam?"
"Oh don't Adam me. You're supposed to be my friend you should be pleased for me, aren't you?"

She says it all in a mock simpering voice, which is not altogether appealing - you know if we're being strictly honest here. And I try to say something like of course I am, but my mouth is just doing that wobbling thing again so I ending up saying nothing but a string of partial half words that make no sense.

"You don't sound all that pleased."
"Besides I've always thought he was rather tall and quite good looking. I'm not sure I really want much more than that."
"Hey, I thought you decided that the next person you went out with you had to be desperately in love with?"
"Did I say that?"
"You know you did, come on you must remember as I laughed at you and subjected you to general ridicule and said you sounded like a teenager."
"So you did, but a teenager with a platinum credit card and my own flat this time around, which is how it should be."
"So tell me Suze are you suddenly desperately in love with Adam?"
"You know I think what I actually said was that if wasn't desperately in love with them I'd at least have to like them quite a bit."
"That always helps. So?"
"Oh come on Gord, I was drunk you can't hold me to things I say like that. It sounds good on paper, or after a few glasses of wine, but it's hard to get it to work in reality. It's all so impractical."
"I agree, but you haven't answered the question in relation to Adam."
"Well let's just say it's the best offer I've had in a long time. It's not like I've had any other offers recently unless you know of anyone waiting in the wings?"

There's a bit of a pause as I really can't think of anything else to say other than, "Adam?"
"Thought so, look I have to go, but we have a really good feature coming up. I'd love you to do it. It's on hopeless daters."
"Hopeless? You're kidding right?"
"No, it's about this certain group of people who would really be quite good at dating if they only ever got off their backside. When the idea came up at the features meeting I just shouted out your name."
"You didn't really shout out my name did you?"
"Errr, well I shouted, that's right up Gord's street, he's hopeless. Emma, agreed."
"She doesn't even know me," I protest.
"I know, but don't you find that one is generally speaking so much better known of than actually known?"
"No, I don't, that isn't even a saying. You made that up."
"I know, I thought it rather good."
"That's besides the point."
"Really, not to worry, look I have to go. I'm seeing Adam tonight I told him I want to got to a really expensive restaurant. I've loads to do. Bye."

With that Susan hangs up. Just typical.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gordon's Breakfast - 21

Maybe I should have mentioned this before. I have a therapist. I didn't mean to get one it happened totally by accident. It is of course, all Susan's fault. Therapy was another one of Susan's great features suggestions that I agreed to do after failing to think it through following one of our daytime telephone conversations.

I went a couple of times and wrote about it and that was almost six months ago, I've been going a couple of times a month ever since. I mean there isn't anything wrong with me, well you know in so much as there isn't anything wrong with anyone, but I have to say that I have rather come to enjoy therapy.

Funny thing is I was the last person in the world you would think would end up with a therapist. I was the regular cynic and debunker number one who would totally belittle and deride anyone who mentioned the subject. It just seemed pointless.

But having been I have to say that I kind of like having someone to talk to who isn't a friend and is quite disconnected from my life. Laura and I talk, but it isn't just talk it's the kind of talk we have - or I guess I should say, I have as I am the one who does most of the talking.

Today we're talking about Susan or rather Susan seems to be the subject I am talking to Laura about today. I always say to people after I've seen Laura that we always ending up talking about subjects that I don't necessarily want to spend time talking about. It's the same today. I blame Adam.

I didn't actually want to spend time talking about Susan, but she is on my mind after that call from Adam.

"What about Adam? How do you feel about that?"
"How do I feel? I love that question, have I ever told you that?"
Laura nods, and in her even and relaxed tone, she tells me in quite the most serious of tones.

"Yes you have."

I nod at this, that's right I have told her once or twice before. With Laura its like nothing ever get dismissed, she parries my poor wit and sarcasm and dispatches it all with a lance constructed of a few words.

"Well I guess if I'm being honest: unspeakably awful pretty much sums it up. Not good, right?"

Of course Laura doesn't answer the question she doesn't pass qualitative judgement on whether it's good or bad (after all that isn't her job) and besides she really doesn't need to.

"Why is that Gordon?" she asks me.

Oh, yeah, my therapist is one of the few people (Larissa being another) who actually call me by my full name. I mean I don't mind this, I happen to be on okay terms with it. It's just that just about everyone else that I know in the world has taken it upon themselves to shorten by name giving rise to a number of variations most of which you have already heard.

"Well Adam says he plans to ask Susan out."
"Why does that bother you?"
"Susan can't go out with Adam."
"Can't? Why would that be a problem?"
"Susan is my friend."
"Well I introduced Susan to Adam who is also my friend."
"And, well, it would all be a little strange if she was sleeping with Adam. But it's not a problem as I know she'll say no."
"You seem quite certain of that. Why is that?"
"Oh absolutely. I'm positive. I mean I just know."
"This seems to be quite important to you."
"I wouldn't say important."
"What would you say?"
"Okay, I suppose important.
"What if she says yes?"
"I'm not sure."
"Did Adam ask you if you had any intentions?"
"Everyone keeps asking me and I keep telling them."
"What do they keep asking you Gordon?"
"They keep asking me if I want to go out with Susan," I tell Laura.
"And do you?"

I find myself looking towards the floor when Laura says this before exclaiming, "No," and raising my hands in the air to drive my answer home.

"Really? You don't seem quite sure."
"Yes, really. Why do you think that is?"
This is a new tact, "What do you mean?"
"I mean why don't you want to go out with Susan. I think it would be good for us to understand this. It's obviously important to you."
"It's not that important to me," I say.
"But you wanted to talk about it today."

This is true. It's just that I wish people would stop talking about it. I serious I really do.

"True," I say, "it just came up a little lately."
"I see. So tell me Gordon why don't you want to go out with Susan? Is she unattractive?"

I pause at this point. I have to be really careful as I always do with the truth when I'm with Laura. I don't mean careful as in holding things back, but careful in what I say is actually what I mean. I'm sort of superstitious - you know in a catholic way or something - I'm worried that any lies I tell will come back to haunt me in the next...therapy session.

"No definitely not. Susan has a perfect bob."
"You like her hair?" Laura asks.

Whoa that isn't what I meant and I did in no way shape or form say that I liked her hair.

"I guess, I mean her hair is okay."

Laura nods at this.

"What else? Is she slim?"

I think about this carefully, okay, as a statement that is also true, so I nod.

"Yeah she is, nice figure."
"I asked you if she was slim?"
See what I mean? This always happens to me, I start to slip up.

"That's what I said.
"No you, said she was attractive, which is not entirely the same thing."
"I meant to say slim."
"Tell me something else about her."
"Something else? She has big brown eyes."
"You like her eyes?"

There she goes again changing the meaning of things.

"You could say she had nice eyes, I mean if you were operating purely on an empirical level, they're definitely one of her best features."
"What level are you on Gordon?"
"Me? Very practical."
"She's a brunette as well isn't she?"

That just has to be just a wild guess.

"She is, yeah, did I tell you that already?"
"Not as such," Laura says coolly, "I think what you said was that you had a life long attraction towards women who were brunettes, but it had not quite worked out for you."
"I said that?"

I talk way too much and have far too many glib moments.

"Yes you did. I think it came up when we were talking about Larissa and vomiting."
"Now you mention it..."
"I think I'm right in saying that, aren't I?" Laura asks.
I nod, "Yeah, I think you might be."
"Would overall you say that Susan was attractive?"
"I think it would be fair to say impartially speaking, on a neutral and objectively level, and that, yes, Susan is attractive."
"I see. And intelligent?"
I nod, "Very smart with a razor sharp wit, but you know I think sometimes she can be a little too sharp, you know, in that there's a razor blade in the post for being so sharp, kind of way?"
"I'm not sure that I do."
"Not to worry, I'm not entirely sure that's going to catch on as a popular catchphrase."
"On paper," and Laura looks up from her pad when she says this, "she seems perfect. Maybe we should look again at why you think she is unsuitable."
"I don't know. I mean I do, but..."
"Gordon you just said you don't know?"
"I know, but that's just a verbal tic. Susan is my friend that's what it is. Seriously. I mean I have thought about this a lot and that is what it comes down to. I think you should be able to have friends, you know like that."
"Do you think the two are mutually exclusive?"
"What being friends and being something else?"
"Yes," says Laura, "if that is how your prefer to put it."
"No, I guess they don't have to be. Errr...but I'm not sure that's really the point."
"What do you think the point is Gordon?"

And like when she always does when Laura uses my name it is in the same gentle, soothing and yet probing manner.

I cross my arms, "I don't know, I guess I just like it the way it is."
Laura nods, "I think that's all we have time for."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Gordon's Breakfast - 20

I am in a really bad place this morning and really it has nothing to do with my Larissa Snowe related hangover. It's oh so much worse than that. I have Phil Collins in my head. See what I mean? Total nightmare.

I don’t know where he came from exactly, but he popped up like a small balding guy lecturing me on the tempo of romance, crooning ‘You can’t hurry love’. It's spinning around in my head like a broken record. It’s all my own fault. I was sitting here starring at my screen, nursing my hangover, when Adam called me and told me he planned to do something really incredibly stupid.

This wasn’t a surprise Adam calls me on a regular basis to tell me he is about to do something really stupid. For instance Adam occasionally calls me and tells me he has applied for a job in a bizarre part of the world. Like recently when he told me had sent an application to work of some EU funded job in Düsseldorf.

"Adam, why Düsseldorf?
"That's a good question G and I am trying to follow your lead and not examine it too closely."

But today his foolishness was writ large and inspired by last night’s speed dating event. You see how that happened? My brain was buzzing around and what does it come up with: Phil bloody Collins. Suddenly mid conversation I found my shoulders swaying as "My mama said, You can't hurry love, No, you'll just have to wait" ran through my head.

While all I got at last night's abortive speed dating affair, was a hangover and a non-date with an ex girlfriend…wait? that sounds like a bumper sticker, if only I had a vehicle of some sort to hang it on, Adam it seems came away with considerably more.

He began the conversation by telling me that he had reached an important decision. This was also familiar, Adam always reaches important decisions right before he does something incredibly stupid.

"I’m going to ask Susan out."
"You’re what?"

I was dumbstruck this went against all the rules. This was a blue-on-blue dating scenario. Friendly fire of the romantic kind.

"I realised last night."
"You realised what last night? That you were simple minded?"
"I knew you would be like this. No, that we get on really well, that you have no intention of ever doing anything about it, so I am. Just for myself and not you."
"I don't want you to do anything about it. Not for me or anyone else. Particularly you. You can't. That's not allowed."
"What do you mean not allowed?"
"Well, Susan is my best female friend and so... I mean no. Leave her alone. There are plenty of other women out there."
"But, that's part of the problem, yes there are, but when you boil it down there are really only a few who are in anyway suitable. Besides Susan is single and I wouldn't mind going out with her."

When he said it like that it sounded so simple– but evil and well slightly horrible like your worst teeth crunching exam hall nightmare all rolled into one horrible combination. By now my head was really throbbing as Phil Collins continued to lumber around my head with his size nine-song writing talents.

"I know all of that, but you can't. I mean, not under any circumstance. No, non, nein. If I knew more languages I would use them also."
"Gord you're not her manager."
"That's true."
"So what are you saying exactly?"
"I'm not saying anything."
"But I can't go out with Susan."
"Yeah, except that."

There was a long telephonic pause, but not a quiet pause as Adam was shuffling and huffing on the other end of the line. Imagined he was twiddling the telephone cord with his fingers. Then I thought that maybe I should clarify my last statement in case Adam got the wrong idea.

"It's not just you, none of us can go out with Susan."

As I said this I had a huge smile on my face as I was sure that this sentence really clarified the situation.

"None of us?"
"Absolutely, I mean think about it? We've all done it in the past. Slept with friends, it's never ended well. You're a prime example and no matter how you try to look back and give it a revisionist spin, it's not good and it's not pretty."
"Gee thanks."
"Look, it was kind of OK then when the field was not so thin, but it's different now. More serious, so there is no way you can go out with Susan even more so as you have form in this area. It's like willingly heading out onto the road to disaster. Why would you do that?"
"I'm not doing anything."
"But you are considering setting out on the road to disaster. Stop, that's all I'm saying."
"The road to disaster? Oh come on, it's hardly that."
"Seriously, it's like the dating equivalent of people in horror movies saying 'let's split up'. I’m just saying don’t split up."
"I know what this is about. You like Susan and you're worried that if I went out with her and it went well we could end up together. You’re hedging your bets."

I laughed at this, I mean seriously. I don't fancy Susan. I mean that's totally ridiculous. Besides Susan wouldn't go out with me as if she wanted to she would have already said something. Susan has never even hinted that she wants anything more from me than someone whose music collection she can dip into and watch box sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

"I am not hedging my bets. I've told you loads of times before I don't want to go out with Susan. Believe me, I would have done something about it by now. Besides, if it was the case I would get jealous every time she dated someone -- and I don't. Instead, I just think 'Suze, you really can do better than this', which is clearly quite different."
"So why can't I go out with her then?"

There are so many reasons why Adam can't go out with Susan that there are simply too many to list, but really and chiefly I think it would be just too icky for words. Imagine if they did go out? There would be giggling, hand holding, kissing and…well other stuff as well. And we all know where that leads to: that's right shopping together. Adam, however, refused to budge.

"I'm going to ask her out."
"Adam, don't do it."
"Why? Do you know something that I don't?"

I thought about this. I thought really, really, hard about it, but (overriding my natural predilection for flippancy) I realised that in relation to Adam and Susan I didn't know anything that he didn't. I then considered lying, but I just know that if I did this would almost certainly come back and bite me on the arse.

"Sadly, not."
"So, you have no idea what she would say if I ask her?"
"None, but I can tell that you would be Mr Rebound. Susan has not gone out with hardly anyone in the last 18-months since Robin dumped her. You'll be -- Mr Rebound that’s all I’m saying."

Adam laughed at this. Actually, to be strictly truthfully Adam laughed loudly at this, which really was uncalled for I thought Mr Rebound was good stuff.

"Mr Rebound, that's weak. Even for you. That was ages ago. People don't rebound after a more than a year."
"Hey, I don't believe any of that crap either, I'm only telling you because Susan does. They all do. Women, I swear, surely you've worked that out by now?"
"What? You're telling me that women seriously buy into the Mr Rebound theory?"
"Of course they do. I thought it was bull until I was sitting there one day and I heard Susan and my sister talking about Mr Rebound."

It's completely true. It was before my sister met her perfect boyfriend (now ex-and so obviously not so perfect as first indicated) and she was just about to dump some guy. It was so clinical, so matter of fact, that I could not believe they were discussing it in front of me. It was like being invited to join a secret club. Even if at meetings my presence would be sacrificial. My sister said that she planned to dump this guy right before New Year after three or four months. Right before New Year? That's like cruelty to animals. The Society for Humane Dumping strictly forbids such callous behaviour.

But not these two, Susan told her that it’s no big deal as he was only Mr Rebound. Like Mr Rebound had no feelings whatsoever.

"Absolutely," my sister goes, "no big deal."

It’s weird, seriously, I think about Mr Rebound sometimes and I wonder how things worked out for him after being dumped one freezing December day. Left dateless on News Year's.

It was like Mr Rebound was just collateral damage. A leftover piece of carnage from the break-up of her last major serious relationship, and the two of them discussed it quite casually but made clear that this was perfectly normal female behaviour. I tell Adam all of this. I tell him about Mr Rebound and I tell him that this is the fate that awaits him.

"Adam, Susan – as nice is she is – will throw you out with the trash and you will end up like Mr Rebound – is that what you want?"

Adam laughed some more at this giving the clear impression that he was completely unimpressed with the Mr Rebound hypothesis.

"I don't care, I'm going to do it anyway."
"Adam, I really wish you wouldn't."
"Look, if she says no she says no, but if she says yes then that is what she says. And if she does you'll have to deal with it."

Damn I couldn't believe it as with that he hung up on me in an eerily very-like-Susan kind of way. I wanted to call Susan straight away and warn her, but even I could work out that was not my best strategy.

So I've been sitting here for the rest of the day not doing any work constantly looking at the phone waiting for it to deliver some kind of news. I know she'll say no. I mean she's just bound to. Susan won't go out with Adam, I mean I just don't see it happening. And with that, as if to back up my thesis, Phil starts up again: "You can't hurry..."