I bounce back up and wiggle my way back into his arms like an intestinal parasite. He tries to soften the blow.
"It's not you, it's me," he says. "Okay, it's you, but it's also me. But just a little bit me. In fact, my part in it is so small that, statistically speaking, it's not me at all, but you. Since I'm a gentleman, however, I'll include myself. (But it's not me.)"
I make it back to the apartment I share with Kate, and she immediately sees that I'm crying.
"Ana! What's wrong? What did he do? Did he take you to bed and call you by my name?"
"Worse," I tell her.
"He called you by José's name?"
"Worse than that. I was ready to give him my most precious gift, my celebrity nose-hair collection, but he told me... he told me..."
"That you're fat?"
"That you're ugly?"
"That you're fat and ugly?"
"No! He told me he didn't want to see me ever again! Waaah!"
"That jerk!" Do you know what you need? You need to go out and get drunk."
"But we have finals."
"Don't worry about your finals. My dad has already bought my grades for this semester, and I'm sure he'll do the same for you. Of course," she says seductively, giving me a conspiratorial wink, "he may want something in return."
"Oh, I don't know," she says, looking around the room, feigning innocence. "Something like... your celebrity nose-hair collection!"
We're at the Old Plantation again. We come here all the time to dance. There's nothing but guys here, so you would think a girl could get lucky in a gay bar once in awhile, but I'm the kind of girl who couldn't get lucky in a men's prison with a fist full of pardons, which is kind of like the same thing.
You know who's here, too? Sure, you do. Come on, take a guess. That's right... José. He comes by our table with a pitcher of margaritas.
"By the time we're done with you tonight, honey," he says, "you'll be over that Christian Grey character."
I only wish I could be over Christian Grey. I wish I could be all over him.
"I don't know how you can tell me that with a straight face," I say.
"Oh, honey, I'm gay," he says back. "I never say anything with a straight face."
We drink, we laugh, we drink some more. All that booze goes to my head, and somehow makes it's way further south. I feel a heaviness in the lower part of my digestive tract and excuse myself to go to the little girl's room.
I go into a stall and make myself at home. My cell phone rings just as I'm getting in the mood. I look to see who it is... OMG! It's him! How did he get my number? I guess when you're a billionaire you can get anything you want. Besides that, I gave it to him.
"Hello," I say, my voice a whisper.
"Ana?" he says in that magnificent voice of his. "Is this you? You sound like you're talking in an echo chamber."
"Um..." I say, "it must be the connection."
I shift uncomfortably on the seat.
"What was that?" he asks.
Great, he's rich, he's handsome, AND he's got super hearing.
"What was what?"
"That noise I just heard."
"What noise? I didn't hear any noise."
"Is there a thunderstorm where you're at?"
"No, no. I'm inside, as a matter of fact. It's the connection, I tell you."
Just then, the toilet flushes in the stall next to mine.
"Uh... gotta go," I say, and hang up. My subconscious looks at me in disbelief.
She's wearing a gas mask.
No sooner do I exit the bathroom, than José accosts me aggressively in the hallway. To get away from him, I step outside the building where there are no witnesses.
"Ana!" he calls after me. "Ana! Don't go. Cuando para mucho mi amore de felice corazon."
It's serious when he starts speaking that no-hablo-ingles crap.
"Okay, okay, José... what do you want?"
He gets up close to me, our bodies barely not touching each other. I can feel the warmth of the dance floor on his skin. I smell the margarita on his breath. His face is nearly touching mine.
"Ana," he tells me, 'I don't know how to tell you this, but I've been wanting to tell you for the longest time."
"Tell me what?"
"It's just that, ah, well..."
"Come on, José, just spit it out," I say, spitting on the sidewalk to encourage him. "You must be used to that."
"We've been friends a long time, and, I, well, ah... I've started writing a humor blog, and I want you to read it!" he finally says, it all comes gushing out at once like something that gushes out really quick and all at once.
So, that's what it is. Man, I can't even go to Walmart without running a gauntlet of people wanting me to read their blogs. Even my subconscious has hidden away, not wanting his subconscious to show her his latest story.
"No," I tell him. "I can't."
"Come on, Ana," he pleads.
"Please, Ana, querida."
"You won't respect me if I do."
"I'll respect you even more if you do."
"Please, José. Don't force me."
"Your lips are saying no, but your eyes are saying yes."
"You know you want to."
"José... no.. please."
"You'll like it, I promise."
"THE LADY SAID NO!"
"Holy moly!" I say, only I don't say "moly."
It's Christian Grey, and he's here!
José puts his blog back in his pants, and disappears so fast you would have thought that Immigration just showed up.
Christian watches José furiously as he leaves. He chants, "Attica! Attica!" at him, his fist pumping dramatically in the air like Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. I guess Mr. Grey must have been out conducting important business with Willie Nelson when he called me, because the wrinkly old unbathed-looking country outlaw is standing just behind him. He has Grey's back. Maybe, when he's done, he'll even give it back. Hmm, if I didn't know it was Willie Nelson, I could swear it was just some random homeless guy off the street.
Christian looks magnificent. He's wearing a three-piece white suit made from the finest Italian polyester money can buy. The buttons to his black faux-silk shirt are undone, showing off an impressive gold chain with a large religious medallion dangling in the front framed by an expanse of hairy chest. His black platform shoes glisten like a sparkly vampire in the evening light. His hair is combed back like greased lightning, ready to fight... or to make love.
Mr. Grey has something else in mind.
He grabs my hand hard, almost hurting me, and drags me back into the club. As if on cue, the DJ starts playing "You Should Be Dancing" by the Bee Gees. The crowded dance floor parts like Moses and the Red Sea. Christian spins me around furiously, and then suddenly stops, one hand pointing in the air, and the other on his hip. I can only stand back in my red dress and look at him in awe.
Oh, if I could only describe to you how beautifully he danced that night, but that would require some real talent, so I won't. After he finishes his solo routine down the dance floor and back up, he takes me by the hand and starts to spin me. Spinning and spinning. Faster and faster. I'm having such a good time I start to throw up. I look like a lawn sprinkler, shooting out vomit on the crowd. Not all of the crowd, mind you. Just the lucky few who happen to be standing closest to us.
"We're leaving," he tells me. Jeez, doesn't anybody ever ask anybody any more?
I look for Kate. I see her macking on Willie Nelson on the dance floor. If I know Kate, she's going to make his blue eyes cry in the rain, if you get my drift.
"Look," I tell Mr. Grey, nodding my head toward the lusty couple. "Kate and your friend Willie Nelson won't even know we've left."
"Who?" Christian asks, looking in the direction I'm indicating.
"Your friend. The guy Kate's practically having sex with on the dance floor. Willie Nelson."
Christian turns back, and we start heading toward the door.
"That's not Willie Nelson," he tells me.
The information makes my head swim, and I can feel the floor rising up to meet my face.
"Fudge!" I hear Mr. Grey say.
Only he doesn't say "fudge."
The Aw, Nuts! Humor Blog