Friday, December 19, 2003
"Help a brother out"
That's what Carter said in the office today. He wants to go see Intolerable Cruelty, but it's a romantic comedy, and he doesn't feel secure enough in his manhood to go see one by himself. I can relate; I've been the only guy not attached to a woman at Four Weddings And A Funeral and the only grown man not attached to a kid at Lilo & Stitch. There doesn't seem to be the same stigma attached to being a solitary girl at a "shit blowing up" movie, so I don't know if a born woman would get what he was asking.
Well, I somehow managed to miss that one - came out the weekend I first found out about Natalya, and somehow I never got around to seeing it afterward. Too busy doing other stuff, I guess. You'd think it would be a natural to see with Kate, but I think that's about when her guy showed up. So, yeah, I thought this seemed like a pretty good idea.
We had a little time between finishing work and the 7:30 start of the movie, so we got some dinner. Nothing fancy, just the Chili's near the movie theater in Copley Place. "Don't want it to get too formal," I said, "or else it might wind up a date instead of me just doing you a favor."
"Well, we could head out to the food court..."
"Nah. We do get seperate checks, though."
Don't get me wrong, I like Carter. If I had been born in this body, I would probably have no compunctions about saying I "like" Carter, or (if we were still in high school) that I "like-like" Carter. But I wasn't, so I kind of feel awkward around him. It's a new kind of awkward, sort of somewhere between how I always felt when meeting a cool new girl when I already had a girlfriend, meeting a cool new girl and instantly realizing that all I really wanted from her was something platonic, and when I see someone and realize that, yes, sex with him would be fun, no matter what twenty years of instinct is saying. Just, the whole idea of a relationship with him... It wouldn't be something I was pushed into, at all. It'd be my idea, and it wouldn't be something I can just walk away from, unless I walked away from my job. Which I'm not going to do; even if the economy's improving to the point where I/Michelle could find another job with ease, I feel good seeing biotech stuff going on around me. It feels like I've got access to information, even if I haven't turned it into much.
The guy's charming, though, and to a certain extent, the whole sexual tension thing vanishes over supper. We're just two people talking about sports, and movies, and the people at the office. We finish each other's Monty Python quotes. I honestly forget my form until I catch him just sort of looking at me, and then it's weird again, until the song on the loudspeaker changes and we joke about that.
We split dinner, but he pays for the movie - it's all about keeping up appearances, right? The crowd isn't big but neither is the theater it's assigned to after two months of release. The movie is explosively funny, too. It's a romantic comedy, but a guy-safe one, full of sharp wit and a somewhat cynical outlook. And, god, the scene with the inhaler... These breasts don't accurately reflect the body's lung capacity, because I was almost wheezing myself, I was laughing so hard.
We sort of walked around the mall afterward; even close to the holidays, places were closing/closed when the movie finished. I remarked that it was weird to build a movie theater actually inside a mall for that reason; they close at around nine, which means if you go to the last show you walk through this abandoned place to get there. It makes for enjoyable window-shopping, though. I may have to come back over the weekend to finish my shopping.
I forget what, exactly, I was peering at that made him ask the question - "so, just how did you become the coolest girl in the world?" I laughed; I mean, I laughed. I had to find a bench to sit down, I was laughing so hard. He, of course, asked what was so funny. I told him that I wasn't any more used to being called cool than I was being called pretty. Which was how I felt, but apparently confused him more. He'd seen people call me pretty, even to my face. "You saying you've had some work done or something, because that's okay if you have."
Which, I don't know, seemed even funnier. "It's the boobs, isn't it? People are always asking me if they're fake."
"Not going to say I haven't wondered. But if you say they're original equipment, that's good enough for me. Besides, I don't like you because of your breasts."
"Oh, really? Then why do you 'like me'?"
He says I'm cool - how many girls do you meet who like comics, kung fu movies, can recite Monty Python, and read Scientific American in their spare time?
"Ah, but don't you see - that proves you do like me for my boobies. After all, you call me cool for that, but if I were a guy, those traits would make me a dork."
He gets a look on his face that says he's never thought of it that way, but sits down next to me and starts rubbing my head. I, of course, ask him what the hell he's doing.
"Feeling for sutures - just to make sure you're not some guy whose brain has been transplanted into that sexy body."
"Would it be a big deal if I were?"
"Well, I admit, there is a sort of sliding scale. A good looking girl is allowed to be a little weirder than a guy. There don't seem to be any, though, so it looks like your brain's original equipment, too."
"Well, what if it's non-invasive?"
"Well, then we're talking total science-fiction. In which case, you may very well be a dork, despite your hotness."
I think, at this point, that we're both caught up in the whole screwball-comedy dialogue vibe of the movie. But I'm also wondering if maybe he knows something. It's kind of a turn-on, actually, the idea that he might know who I actually am but plays like he doesn't know for reasons of his own. It just seems so convoluted, so artificial, as to be intriguing, like I can look at it from the outside and see it as the plot of a well-constructed movie or book, if just for a second.
But it's not; it's my real life, and if there is an intricate plan, I hate the idea that I've got strings that are being pulled. I push away from Carter at that point, saying I ought to get going. He looks confused enough to drop the likelyhood of him being some sort of puppetmaster in my mind, but then just smiles. "Right. Not a date."
"Nope. Favor to a friend."
And we leave it like that.
Comments: Post a Comment