I followed J to the Toyota and walked to the driver’s side to open her door. My love offensive was in full throttle. I opened the driver’s door, J slid in and looked up at me, “You can close my door and get in. And, thank you.”
“It was the first time she thanked me. I wanted to do cartwheels around the Toyota to the passenger side. The only thing preventing me from doing cartwheels is that I don’t know how to do them. So I settled for a fist pump. My team still had a chance. I got in, buckled my seatbelt, and said “Let’s go to the airport, head to Vegas and get married, and have honeymoon sex in a poolside cabana.”
J half turned toward me, “The next time you ask me to have sex with you I am going to grab hold of both of your big ears and rip them off your head. You don’t need them since you don’t listen to me. You only listen to your mother. I never met her, but if she is anything like the haggard bitch on my wall, I feel sorry for you.”
J’s understanding of my rough deprived childhood was a signal to my immature male mind that soon our bodies would joined as one, perhaps as soon as this evening. It was time to ratchet it up a couple of notches. I said, “I think it’s important for couples who are going to be intimate to be able to talk about sex. Don’t you?”
“We’re not intimate. Get it? Whatever your fantasy, we are not intimate, we are not going to be intimate?”
J’s anger was my aphrodisiac. I was so turned on, my dials were popping off. I searched the storehouse of my stored memories on how to seduce a woman. I kept coming up blank since I wasn’t at a bar. While I was sitting speechless, J started the Toyota and pulled out of the parking lot.
My conscience interrupted me, “You want to listen to me or are you going to throw me out?”
“How do I get J to come home with me tonight. I can’t stand being without her.”
“You want sex without a commitment. You want sex without marriage.”
“What’s wrong with that?” I asked my conscience.
“If you really love J, and I have my doubts, I’ll give you advice. I’ll only give it to you if you promise me you will follow through on it.”
“What if I say I will follow through and then don’t follow through? You can’t hurt me. I got more money than you. You’re not connected with the mob or a gang, are you?” I asked.
“Fair warning, if you cross me, watch out.”
“Does that mean I’ll get hemorrhoids? I hate hemorrhoids. I had them once and the only good thing about them was Mother made Natalie insert my suppositories.”
“I know. Let’s not get into a discussion about your Mother. Sarah has her hands full with her and she’s begging for additional resources,” said my conscience.
“Mother has a conscience? I would have never guessed,” I said.
“She has one, but she’s never used it. I shouldn’t be telling tales out of the school. Sarah’s the low conscience on the totem poll. She doesn’t have enough seniority to bump any of us off. I need to meet with my support group, you going to take my advice or not?”
“No, you scare me,” I said.
“You’re on your own, kid. I can’t get a sub, no one wants to work with you. I’ll pick up the pieces when I get back.”
“Your lips keep moving. Who are you talking to?” asked J.
“You don’t want to know,” I said.
“Are you okay? Are you cracking up? Normal people don’t talk to nobody.”
“I didn’t start the conversation, he did,” I said.
“So, you were talking to someone,” said J.
I needed to change the subject. The last thing I wanted to do was to tell J I didn’t take my conscience’s advice. Given her high moral standards, that would be a sure turn off. Instead, I said, “Give me a good reason why you won’t marry me?”
“You want a good reason? I got so many it’s hard to choose the best one. How’s that for a reason?” said J.
“Watch how you’re driving. You almost hit that guy with a squeegee and water spray bottle. That’s not a good reason. That sounds like something somebody in the group might say,” I said amazed at my reasoning.
J hit the breaks and skidded to a stop at a red light. “Don’t make eye contact with anyone. Stare straight ahead.”
We both stared straight ahead. I dared move my eyes slightly to the right, but kept facing forward. I’d never seen people like this. Dickens would have described them as urchins or beggars. Mother might describe them as disgusting, lazy, and burdens on the backs of filthy rich people. I didn’t see anyone who might make the cover of GQ or Glamour. They’re carrying signs asking for money. The only people I’ve seen ask for money have been hedge fund investors, stock brokers, and people running for office. The light turned green, J pressed hard on the accelerator and got through the intersection.
She said, “Okay, I’ll give you a reason. You never asked me to go out on a date. You asked me to get married. You asked me to have sex. You never asked me to go out on a date.”
A date? Wasn’t that a dried fruit? Going out for dinner and expecting to have sex after dinner is not a date? I need some help here. ‘Hey, conscience, where are you?’ I asked and received no answer. I was on my own and I was watching the only woman in the world who mattered to me slowly walk out of my life. I needed a lifeline. I needed to phone a friend. I needed to look on someone’s paper and copy the correct answer.