Between the time I shut the door behind him and the time he kissed me goodbye, other stories happened.
My friends decided I needed to date. Find someone to kiss, they said. Find someone to prove I’m attractive, I thought.
I kissed the guy I met at the bar. He immediately talked about his bearskin rug, and I decided one kiss was enough. “Are you seeing someone else?” he asked.
“You must be seeing someone else or you’d say yes,” he said.
“Perhaps I’d rather be alone than be with you,” I said. He didn’t call back.
There was the guy who a friend set me up with. He wore jeans, tennis shoes, and a plaid shirt. He drove a pick up that needed steps to climb in and that had a gun rack. He said he was disappointed I wasn’t wearing a skirt. At Denny’s I didn’t tell him about my Master’s thesis or my invitation to the Peace Corps. I said, “That’s interesting.” I said, “Really?” I said, “Oh.” I think the only sentence I said with a subject and a verb was, “I’d like to have the number six, please.” He told me I was the most fascinating girl he’d ever met. I kissed him goodnight and didn’t return his calls.
I was at the library and ran into an acquaintance. He suggested we go get a beer. At the bar was my tactophobe ex with his new girlfriend. Of course, I entertained the idea of getting my acquaintance to kiss me then, but just asked him if we could sit in the other room.
Every time I told someone the name of my tactophobe’s new girlfriend, they would say, “Oh, her. She drinks. A lot.” Ah, well, I thought. He drank. Maybe that’s what he wanted. Though I’d gotten drunk with him more than once, and it never worked for me.
In this picture I’m telling two friends the underwear story. This is after the bearskin rug guy, the Denny’s guy, and the acquaintance, but before the end. In fact, the ex is around the corner in the kitchen–getting drunk. But I love telling a story. Some stories make some people sit up and listen, while others say, “No. I don’t like stories like that.” I love how K’s girlfriend leans back as if she wants no part of story that involves tiger-striped bikini underwear and a dumpster at Wal-mart.
D. and his date were fascinated though, and I made us all laugh.
Some people will like your stories. Some people won’t.
I finished my novel tonight. I danced. I think I may dance some more.
Some people will like my novel.
Some people will, well, turn away.
So, how do you feel about rejection?