|Blogs > rm_1spiderskiss > A Tangled Web|
Where do they teach that?
Where do they teach that?
I should start by acknowledging that I shouldn't be writing this. It reveals too many flaws.
I made five when I slumped lazily into the vacant chair. There was no work for them so I wasn’t surprised to catch them mid-banter. It was the banter of people who’ve known too much spare time together. All men, save one too young to be in this group. Her hair shimmered golden in a way that only youthful and untreated hair can. And to make matters worse, her long bangs hung softly across one side of her face partially obscuring a pale blue eye. How much delight to catch her sneaking a glance my way from behind that wispy mane.
I had work to do but was sick and tired of the tiny over-ventilated room that hummed incessantly at 60 kilohertz. The humid furnace blast of Hollywood air was a welcome reprieve. I was on a role this day and the witticisms (or what passed in this company) flowed easily - a combination of sarcasm and banter mixed with a general feeling of happiness (it was a rare day indeed).
I should have introduced myself but the old me is always lurking. I acknowledged her only with my eyes and a smile given equally to the others. I didn’t want to appear obvious. She had so much confidence. “I’m 'S' by the way.” Shit. The moment she leveled her gaze on me and moved her hand forward I knew I was a coward. Quickly now, try to appear as though this were a simultaneous action. I can’t remember what S’s hand felt like but her cheeks were marked by acne and caked with makeup.
There was more banter and I left on a high note, recalling some lost detail soon to be lost again then raising my arms in victory like a silly peacock. I said, “I’ve got to get back to work.” I know full well they must wait for work to come to them.
I saw S again the next day. I was heading down a side hallway as she called my name and said hi. My back was too her and her voice trailed as I caught her disappearing around the corner. “Hey, hi,” I didn't say her name at first (the coward is back) what if I get it wrong. In my defence, she does have a unique name. Finally I say, "It’s S right?” She should have been well down the hall but she suddenly appeared. “Yeah,” she said, and then “It is ‘P’” right?
And there it is. Did you see how easily she yanked the rug out with just a simple question, as if I suddenly didn’t take up enough space in her consciousness to be remembered? Was she getting back at me for not remembering her name? Why? I already felt like an asshole. Is it defense or offence? I never know when to attack and when to parry.
S asked me what I did "around here." I told her. And there it was again, the swift verbal chop aimed to take my legs out from beneath me. Something about me being a “big shot.” I suspect it is only her youth that made her miss the mark and I retaliated best I could, “Why don’t you play nice in the sandbox?” She looked down, the perfect wounded puppy look. I see through it, yet I still can’t help but be affected. Thank you S for lacking the experience to be truly devastating. When you get there, I hope I’m nowhere to be found.
As I think about this now, I’m stunned by S's tactics. Do they teach women this in some side class we men never hear about? Over the past few months I’ve been verbally attacked, belittled, emasculated by half a dozen women all served with a smile. Even young S who, I suspect may have just reached the legal voting age strikes without hesitation at a man twice her age. If I’m really honest, I’d say she was flirting with me (twice). I’d also say that I’m an asshole for flirting back. But the question remains: is this the female equivalent of pulling hair? If so, I don’t stand a chance.