The Literary Girlfriend: Crazy Stuff, Part 2
Even as the tattooed guy was clenching his fist to punch me out, I pieced together the events that had led up to this moment. The slutty blonde behind the tattooed guy owed my girlfriend Danielle some money. The slutty blonde wouldn’t pay Danielle back, so Danielle had stolen her furniture and put it in my/our apartment. Danielle hadn’t told me that the furniture was stolen (it was nice furniture!). Now the slutty blonde wanted her furniture back, but Danielle wouldn’t give it up until she got her money back. Danielle (from the safety of our second-floor apartment balcony) and the slutty blonde were repeatedly calling each other bitch, and the tattooed guy called me a pussy and was moving forward to fight me.
I had maybe half a second to make a decision about how I was going to defend myself. I hadn’t been in a real fight since junior high, and I had lost (but I got left alone after it, so in the long run, I guess I won), but I knew my weaknesses. I punched like a girl, and I refused to pull hair (like a girl), so that left few options. He was too big to win a grappling bout, but since we were just outside the front door of my apartment, I could push/pull us both down the steps. It would hurt a lot, but it would most likely be the end of the fight, and Danielle wouldn’t know that I was a coward and a wuss. I bent my knees and was ready to make my first move when…
My hairy neighbor stepped out onto his balcony. He was a big guy too, but without the muscles and tattoos. “Everything okay?” he asked.
I looked up at the sky and silently thanked God. The tattooed guy sneered, but then my neighbor’s front door opened and his two hairy friends stepped out. The tattooed guy moved back a little, and the sneer disappeared.
I felt relief but also knew I wanted to resolve the situation while I had the upper hand. I didn’t want this tattooed guy to come back when I didn’t have a trio of hairy neighbors to bail me out.
“I’ve got some cash,” I said to the slutty blonde. “I’ll buy the furniture from you.”
“Hell no,” the slutty blonde said, but then the tattooed guy put his finger in her face and turned to me.
“One thousand,” he said.
“You called me a pussy for no reason,” I said. ‘That’s worth at least a few hundred bucks.”
The tattooed guy glanced at my three hairy buddies and shrugged. “800.”
The tattooed guy nodded, and the slutty blonde started shrieking out a protest. “But that’s my…”
“Shut up,” he said, and she quieted down.
I thought about the envelopes of cash I had stashed away inside various bagged comic books inside the second bedroom. “Danielle, I’ve got some cash in the…”
“I know,” she said, and rushed back inside, slamming the patio door. I was disturbed by the mental picture I had of Danielle flipping through thousands of my bagged comics looking for cash while I had been at work, but I didn’t have time to get mad about that. A few minutes later, she was back out with a wad of cash. I leaned over to the balcony, took the cash, counted it, and gave it to the slutty blonde. Before she could count it, the tattooed guy took it, counted it, and nodded.
“Is that it?” I said. “Is this over?”
“It’s over,” the tattooed guy said.
As they walked silently down the steps, the slutty blonde fuming and the tattooed guy fiddling with the money, Danielle called out from the balcony. “Wait!”
Both of them stopped and looked back. I stared at Danielle, who had struck her pose, hands on hips, chest out, cheese-eating grin. I was hoping for a reconciliatory message. I really hate uncomfortable moments like what we had just been through. Maybe Danielle would apologize for the misunderstanding and ask that they could put it all behind them.
Instead she reared back and screamed out:
Then she slowly, dramatically, stepped back inside the apartment and slid the balcony door shut.
I was appalled by what she had done, but I laughed anyway. When I’m nervous, sometimes I laugh at inappropriate things. My three hairy buddies laughed too, but it was obvious they thought it was funny. Even the tattooed guy laughed, shaking his head and still fiddling with the cash. I almost felt sorry for the slutty blonde.
After they left, I turned to my neighbor. “Jeez, I don’t know how to thank you. I think I was about to get punched out.”
My hairy neighbor looked past me to my front door and said quietly, “You need to be careful with her.” He shook his head and went back inside his apartment.
I slowly walked into my/our apartment, and my relief turned into instant anger when I saw Danielle facing me with her usual pose and grin. This was the first time I had been truly angry with her.
“What… What the fuck were you thinking?” I stammered.
I hardly ever used foul language when I spoke, so Danielle was surprised. She even forced the cheese-eating grin off her face and stepped back.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I was going to give the furniture back. I just wanted to piss her off some more.”
“No, you weren’t,” I said. “You can’t put me in situations like that. I’m not a fighter. I don’t do that.”
“I’m sorry!” she said. “I didn’t think they’d come here.”
“I can’t have stuff like this happen!”
“I know! It won’t. I’m sorry!”
“The last week and a half have been great,” I said, starting to breathe normally. “Maybe the best in my life, but I can’t live with somebody that steals furniture and doesn’t tell me about it, and treats people like you treated that… that slutty blonde.”
“But she deserved… That’s how… The people I…” Danielle paused. “That’s why I don’t want you to meet my friends.”
“Those weren’t my friends,” Danielle said. “But my friends are like that. I’m like that, but I… I don’t act like that around you. Most of the time.”
“My girlfriends usually read books,” I said. “They don’t get me into fights.”
“I read books,” Danielle said, half-heartedly holding up Pride and Prejudice, even though she wasn’t really reading it.
“You can’t put me in situations like this,” I said, my anger starting to subside. “I’m just not emotionally equipped to deal with ‘crazy shit’ like this.”
“Crazy shit?” Danielle said, the cheese-eating grin returning. “This was nothing.”
To be continued in… The Literary Girlfriend: Car Trouble
And to read “The Literary Girlfriend” from the beginning, start here.