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The Literary Girlfriend: Car Trouble

September 29, 2013

Emma and Literary Girlfriend

I knew Danielle was having a bad moment when she slammed the front door and yelled “Fuck!” instead of “Shit!”

Danielle wasn’t the type to make a quiet entrance, even during her good moments.  She slammed doors shut, slammed doors open, and even if a door didn’t need closing, she’d beat on it just to let me know she was there.  She coughed loudly and sneezed loudly too (but she never sprayed).  She snored loudly (but claimed she didn’t).  The only thing she didn’t do loudly was use the restroom.  At any rate, I was surprised, not because she made a loud, profane entrance, but because she had returned so soon.  Since she had just left a few minutes earlier to go to work, I was pretty sure what the problem was.

“Car didn’t start?” I said from the couch.  I had just begun reading a stack of comics and was a bit miffed that she had interrupted my quiet time (but I wouldn’t admit that to her).

“Fuck!”

“Is it the battery?” I asked.

“Fu… It’s not the battery,” she said.

When it came to cars, I could change a flat, check the oil, and jump a battery, but that was all.  So if a car didn’t start, I’d always go for the battery.  “I can try a boost if you want to make sure,” I suggested.

“I said it’s not the battery!”

I figured I’d keep my mouth shut for a few minutes and let her work out her frustration on something other than me.  She called a few of her friends, but nobody answered.  She paced around the apartment, said “Fuck!” a few more times (Danielle could be sweet, but she also over-cursed sometimes), and then sat down close to me on the couch.

“Can you drive me to work?”  It hurt her to ask.  She didn’t want me to have anything to do with her “work.”

But it was good to hear Danielle over-cursing again.  She had been subdued (her version of subdued) for the past couple nights since the slutty blonde furniture incident.  I had been angry with her for the first time, and she had taken it well; she hadn’t yelled back or cursed me out.  Instead, after I had calmed down, we kind of worked things out.  The big issue had been that I wanted to get rid of the stolen furniture.

“When I look at this, all I see is slutty blonde.” I had told her after looking at the living room furniture: the entertainment center, the couches, the coffee table, the framed paintings, all stolen items from the slutty blonde.  In Danielle’s defense, the slutty blonde had owed her some money.

“And I see a great deal,” Danielle had said.  She figured we had paid 1/3rd of the furniture’s value.  “Plus, that douchebag boyfriend probably spent all her money.”

“Whenever I lend money to a friend,” I had said, “I just decide that the money is already gone.  I’d rather lose the money than the friend.”

“A friend pays back the money, no matter what,” Danielle had countered.

“I don’t want to lose a friendship over money.”

“If a friend won’t pay me back, then fuck ‘em.  They’re not my friend.”

“Friendship is more important than money.”

“I can always find friends.”

“I can always earn more money.”

Then Danielle had said, “Your family must have had money.”

“We were middle class,” I said, almost defensively.  I knew that my parents had struggled to pay some bills, but I hadn’t known that as a kid.  We had lived in a decent house, and I had never been aware of money as an issue.

“We didn’t have money,” Danielle had said.  “And I always knew it.”

That was where the conversation had ended.  We had different perspectives on this issue, and neither of us was wrong (except for the part about stealing furniture).  And I knew that if I ever borrowed money from Danielle, I’d better pay her back.

Now Danielle needed a ride to work.  By “work,” she meant rubbing her mostly naked body on drunk guys who would feel her up when the bouncers weren’t paying attention, but we didn’t talk about that.   Danielle had told me before we started living in sin what her job was, so I couldn’t complain about it.  We just called it “work,” like I called my job “work.”  Both of us knew what the other did, but we never talked about either job, mine because it was boring and hers because of a lot of (hopefully) obvious reasons.  Besides, I really didn’t want to think about that, and Danielle didn’t want me to think about it.

Danielle was already late, so she barely hesitated when we reached my car.  She hated my car.  It was reliable and paid for but also bland.  Still, it was the vehicle taking her to work, so Danielle was gracious enough not to make any rude remarks about it.  She just blew some air out of her lips, rolled her eyes, and got in.  At that moment, the slutty blonde was probably lucky she hadn’t owned a sports car.

Even though I had never been to Nero’s, I kind of knew what to expect.  Patrons usually wore ties and drove expensive cars, but they still got drunk and grabbed ass whenever they could.  And when they got drunk and grabbed ass, they stuffed twenty dollar bills into g-strings.  A few would even hand over credit cards.  Danielle was nice looking, even without make up, even in well-lit areas, even before guys got drunk, so once she started grinding down on guys with money, she could pull in some good cash.  That’s why she worked almost every night.  But I tried not to think about that.

“Don’t talk to anybody,” Danielle said as I drove.  “Just drop me off and leave.”

“Okay,” I said.  I really had no problem with that.

“Somebody’s gonna try to talk to you,” she said.

“Why?”

“Because you’re my boyfriend,” she said.  “A bunch of guys there wonder what you’re like.  They’re curious.”

Nero’s was like a super-center topless club, but it couldn’t be seen from the street because of a giant brown brick wall that surrounded the half block.  Despite its name, the only Roman architecture involved were a couple pillars by the front.  Nero’s looked like a big block building from the outside, with a lot of guys with giant forearms strutting around the entrance.  If a customer wanted to park himself, he drove to the far end of the lot, but Danielle wanted to be dropped off, so we sat in the valet line, which was about ten cars long.

As we pulled in, a valet directed us to the line of cars waiting to be parked.  Danielle rolled down her window, leaned out, and shouted, “It’s me!  My car broke down!”

I heard a few guys laughing in the distance, and one guy yelled out “Again?”

The valet pointed to the right, and I drove straight up to the front door.

“Don’t talk to anybody, remember,” she said with a swift smacking kiss on the lips.  “I’ll have a friend bring me home.”

“Don’t steal anything,” I said.

“Shut up,” she said and slammed the door.  Then she put her head through the open passenger window and said with her cheese-eating grin, “Love ya!” and jogged into Nero’s before I could respond.

What?

*****

To be continued in… The Literary Girlfriend: Casual Love

And to read “The Literary Girlfriend” from the beginning, start here.

2 Comments
  1. Good work. You can also read a comedy like “five point someone”. Here is a review:
    http://sanchitasarkar.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/five-point-someone/

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  1. Profanity in Books and Writing | Dysfunctional Literacy

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