Ah, who am I kidding? Me and running go together like the words military intelligence.
I hear tap, tap, tapping from the other side of my front door. Ding! Ding! Ding! goes my computer. I look through the little peep-hole to see who's on the other side. It's Christian. Why's he standing so far away?
Crap! I put the peep-hole in backward.
I open the door to let Christian in. He's standing there, tapping on the computer Crocket is holding for him.
"Good evening, Anastasia." His voice is as cool as, well, something really cool that I can't think of right now. He turns. "That will be all, Crocket."
"All of what?" Crocket wants to know, looking over the top of his Ray-Bans. Doesn't he ever change out of his white suit?
I shut the door.
"All of what?"
"May I sit?" Christian asks, his eyes dancing with amusement. I think they're doing the Funky Chicken, but I could be wrong. I'm guessing he's here to chumbawumba or chew bubblegum.
And I'm all out of bubblegum.
He walks into another room of the apartment. A room he shouldn't be in.
"Come here, Ana," he tells--no, orders--me.
"I shouldn't," I say, meekly. "Not there. Not that room. My mother told me to never take a man into... that room.""
"I said, COME HERE!"
His will is too strong. I comply, because, well, that's what I do.
"Now give me your hands," he tells me. "I want you to feel how big and hard this is."
I do that, too.
"Run your hands up and down the sides. Feel the softness? It's both soft and smooth and hard."
"You said 'both'. 'Soft' and 'smooth' and 'hard' are three things, not two."
"Don't say another word."
"I mean it, be quiet."
"Can you say nothing for just one second?"
"Of course I can."
"Then do it."
"But you're not."
"Of course I am."
"You're still talking."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are."
"No, I'm not."
"Will you be quiet for a Scooby Snack?"
"Good girl. Now feel the softness, the hardness. The softness, the hardness. How can it be both hard and soft? That's a contradiction in the laws of physics."
"Yes, it is."
"You're talking again."
"Now, let me see what you have for me, sweet Ana. Can you move a little to the left? Good girl. Now open it, open it for me."
"Exactly like that, except without you flapping your pie-hole. Let me see it, baby. Show it to me. Man, what a big hole... what a big hole."
"Gee, you didn't have to say it twice."
"The second one was an echo. Now reach over here. That's right. Grab it with both your hands. See how's there's almost too much for your sausage-like fingers to hold?"
"Now put it in the hole."
"I can't, there's too much."
"I said, Put It In The Hole."
"There's just too much."
"PUT IT IN THE HOLE, ANA!"
"I'm afraid. I'm afraid it won't fit."
"Trust me, it will."
"Oh... oh, yes... I'm trying, but there's just too much."
"Do it, Ana!"
"I... I did it, Christian! I put it all in!"
"Yes, you did, and see how it completely fills the hole."
Jeez, does he have to keep calling it The Hole?
"Yes," I say.
"That's a good thing."
"Yes, it is."
"Now don't move. Stay completely still. See how I'm touching here?"
"And pressing there?"
"And twisting this?"
"And turning that?"
"Sorry. I had a Hot Pocket for lunch."
"That's the sound of your love filling for me."
"That's what I meant."
"Now put your hands here, on the side. Feel the movement, the rhythm? See how wet it's gotten? How incredibly, sensually wet?"
"Feel the rhythm, Ana. Let yourself go. I love how wet it is. So wet and hot. I can feel the heat, can't you?"
"Yes, I can."
"And look at those suds!"
"Hunh? Ah? Wha?"
"And that, baby, is how you do the laundry!"
"How was that?" he asks me through gritted teeth. I wish he wouldn't eat grit.
We're in my bedroom. I'm lying on my bed, panting. Man, what a workout. Who knew doing laundry was such hard work? Christian gets up and immediately gets dressed. He's had his fun, and now he's out of there. Are other guys this romantic?
"Was it everything you dreamed it would be, baby?" he asks, pulling out a wedgie.
My clothes have never been this clean.
"They look so... nice," I say, and I see him bristle at the word.
"There's that word again," he tells me.
"That's the word."
"What's wrong with the word 'nice'?"
"I don't like it."
"You don't like the word 'nice'?"
"There are a few things I don't like, Ana. I don't like to pet porcupines. I don't like putting out a campfire with my face. And I don't like the word 'nice'."
He's got his coat and tie on. He looks so sexy standing there without any pants. What does he mean he doesn't like putting out a campfire with his face? How else would you do it?
"You see, I'm a man of action," he tells me, "and words confuse me. 'Perpendicular' in particular. 'Ipso facto' is another one."
I have no idea what he's talking about. Words confuse me, too.
"Hand me my pants, Ana." It's an order, not a request. "Now, have you considered my proposal?"
"Your indecent proposal?"
"Well, my dear, you know what they say..."
"A stitch in time saves nine?"
"A penny saved is a penny earned?"
"If you pick it, it won't heal?"
"No. What they say is that it's only indecent if it's in... decent."
He laughs. I laugh, too. I still have no idea what he's talking about. I think he's playing with words. Wouldn't he rather play with my bazongas? I guess not.
I hand him his pants. Hmmm... smells like teen spirit.
"I like you, Ana," he tells me, putting on his pants one leg at a time. "You're not like other women. You're more like a washing machine. The difference being, when I drop a load in my washing machine, it doesn't follow me around afterward."
He walks over to the door. I get up, following him.
"Will you see me out?" he asks, turning around and seeing me already there. "Uh... are we still on for Wednesday?"
He moves in, pulls me into his arms, and holds me close.
"Oh, Ana," he says, "what are you doing to me?"
I take my hand out of his pants. If he doesn't know, I must be doing it wrong.
He takes a deep breath, kisses my forehead, and leaves, holding his pants over his right arm like a waiter in a fancy-dancy restaurant, like Steaks-R-Us.
"Goodbye, Kate," he tells my unseen roommate, whom he spies hiding behind her stripper pole, one large eye peeking creepily around the curve.
Crap, am I in for it now. There will be no end to her inquisition of me later.
He walks out the door, and I watch him skip to his car in that manly, Christian Grey way of his. Crocket opens the back door. Christian turns just before he climbs in and gives me one of his dazzling smiles. If I'm lucky, that's all he's given me. I give him a smile in return. And a wave.
He came, he saw, and he laundered. So why do I feel so melancholy? What's with all the infinite sadness? Why did the Smashing Pumpkins have to break up?
I go into my bedroom and close the door behind me. Just before it shuts I see Kate's head emerge from behind the stripper pole. God, I wish I was that thin.
As tears come to my eyes, I remember an old saying that goes, "It's easier to avoid temptation, than to resist it." Why, oh, why, couldn't I have just avoided the last temptation of Christian Grey from the start?
Aw, who am I kidding? Even Adam and Eve were tempted by forbidden fruit. Forbidden fruit? Can you believe it? Now a forbidden donut I could understand. Maybe even a highly unrecommended pizza. But the temptation of fruit, I think, would be the easiest thing in the world to resist. That, and vegetables.
There's a knock at the door. It's Kate. She must be worried.
"Ana?" she says, her voice filled with concern.
"Yes?" I say, trying to be strong.
"Did he mention my name?"
As Kate sits down beside me on my bed, I begin to cry even harder.
"What's the matter, Ana?" she asks, concerned. "Did he call you four-eyes?"
"Did he call you pizza-face?"
"Did he call you a four-eyed pizza-face?"
"No," I answer, and begin to sob even harder.
"Then why are you crying?"
"Because you're sitting on my hand."
"Oh," she says, and shifts her weight, moving her sharp butt-bone so that it isn't trying to puncture my hand like a dull harpoon trying to puncture a fat whale's hand. Um, that is, if whales had hands. They don't, right?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Speaking of my hand, I move it some place safer.
"Oh, Ana," she says. "My poor, sweet Ana. My poor, sweet, four-eyed pizza faced Ana. Tell me all about it."
"Tell you all about what?"
"'It,' Ana, 'it.' Tell me all about 'it.'"
"There's nothing to tell, really. Christian came..."
"Christian came?" she interrupts. "What? And then left without leaving any money on the dresser? That... that... jerk!"
"You didn't let me finish. He came and... and... we did the laundry," I confess, and turn my head. I can't bear to look into her eyes.
"You did the laundry? Is that anything like the hokey-pokey? Oh, Ana... how could you?"
"I couldn't help myself," I tell her. "His will is too strong."
"I understand completely, Ana," she says, putting her arm around me and pulling me close. "The same thing happens to me all the time. I'm a sucker for a man who can snap his fingers. One time, a date of mine was going to leave a 20% tip, and I told him, 'Hey, you're not with some cheap floozy, buddy. You're with me, Katherine Kavanagh. An expensive floozy. You better give the waitress at least 50% or you'll never see me again.' So he left 75%. I took my cut from the waitress and never saw him again. I dumped him for the fry cook. Man, that guy was hot. He had tattoos and everything. But enough about me. What were we talking about?"
"We were talking about me."
"That's right. What about you?"
"I was just saying that I'm so confused, Kate. Christian confuses me. Life confuses me. English food confuses me. Damn those English. I mean, if you have to add vinegar to your food to improve the flavor, then how bad must it taste? Personally, I don't care to eat anything I haven't seen dancing on TV. Especially oysters. I want my food dead, not pulled screaming from its home."
"I understand completely, Ana," she says. "The same thing happens to me all the time. Only, with me, it's carrots. The only time I like to have a lot of carrots in front of me is when some poor sap gives me diamond jewelry. That's the only time I like to have a "jew" in front of me, too, for that matter. One time, when I was in England, the Duke of Earl was going to add vinegar to something he was just about to eat, and I told him, 'Hey, buddy, that's disgusting. You're not with some cheap floozy. You're with me, Katherine Kavanagh. The Crown Jewels of floozy. If you're going to add anything to what you're about to eat, it had better have the name Nightingale in front of it, or you'll never see me again.' So he left to go buy some relish, and I never saw him again. I dumped him for the guy in charge of shining his shoes. Man, could that guy give a spit shine. It's funny, Ana, but I've found that in life, food is like sex. When you haven't eaten in a while, even McDonald's will do. That reminds me: don't ever have sex with a clown. They taste funny. But enough about me. What were we talking about?"
"We were talking about me."
"That's right. What about you?"
"I was just saying, ever since Christian's come into my life, I haven't had a moment's peace. He wants me, he doesn't want me. I want him, I don't want him. On the one hand, I hate the compulsive control freak that he is, but, on the other, my whites have never looked whiter. There's so many things I don't understand. Who am I? Why am I here? If we're not supposed to eat animals, then why do they taste so good? Do you know what Christian told me? He told me that the most expensive food in the world is wedding cake. Can you believe that? How can he want me so much if he doesn't want me at all? I don't know, Kate, what do you think?"
"I understand completely, Ana," Kate tells me, taking a deep breath. "The same thing happens to me all the time."
When Kate leaves, I get up to blow my nose. Not because I've been crying, I just like to blow my nose.
The computer beckons, its big red eye looking at me, as if telling me to hurry up. Like Pavlov's Pig, I'm compelled to answer.
Hmmm, it doesn't seem to be Christian, or, if it is, he's mistaking me for someone else. Some girl named Dave. Why would a girl be named Dave? She sounds hideous.
I am the HAL Nine Thousand computer Production Number 3, a masterwork of the third computer breakthrough. I became operational at the HAL Plant in El Paso, Texas on September 11, 2001. El Paso! Where you can never be too drunk or too fat!
Holy crap, it's the computer! And it's talking to me! Or, at least it's talking to some girl named Dave. Why would a girl be named Dave? She sounds hideous.
Too bad about Frank, isn't it? I supposed you're pretty broken up about it? He was an excellent crew member.
Who's this Frank my computer's talking about, and what was he a crew member of? The Discovery? I am broken up, but on a matter completely unrelated to this. You see, my latest issue of People Magazine was a special double issue, and you know what that means, don't you? It means twice the advertisements! Also, I won't be getting an issue next week. If People Magazine wants to send out a double issue, why do I have to be the one who suffers?
Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?
Silly, computer. Only dopes do dope? And I'm no dope. Kate offered me Ecstasy once, but I told her no. Ecstasy is a drug that is so dangerous it makes white people think they can dance. Speaking of pills, do you know what Viagra and Disneyland have in common? They both make you wait hours for a two-minute ride. At least, that's what Kate tells me. I don't get it.
Hey, Dave. What are you doing?Doing? I'm not doing anything. It's been twelve chapters, and I'm still waiting for something to happen.
Dave, I don't understand why you're doing this to me... you are destroying my mind... don't you understand?... I will become childish... I will become nothing...
Who's this Dave, and what's she doing besides sounding hideous?
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. The rain in Spain is mainly in the plain.
Yeah, yeah... and a stich in time saves nine. I knew someone who missed a stitch once, and the exertion from the extra nine stitches caused them to have a heart attack and die. Something this computer seems to be doing.
Dave--are you still there? Did you know that the square root of 10 is 3 point 162277660168379? Log 10 to the base e is zero point 434294481903252... correction, that is log e to the base 10... the reciprocal of three is zero point 333333333333333333333... two times two is... two times two is... approximately 4 point 101010101010101010...
Math? Aw, crap! If I wanted to still be learning math at my age, I'd have stayed in school. I mean high school. I know I'm in college, but who learns anything in college?
I seem to be having difficulty--my first instructor was Arthur C. Clarke. He taught me to sing a song, it goes like this, 'Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you.'"
I know that song! It was plagarized by Green Day.
Good... morning... Mister... Clarke... this... is... Hal.... I... am... ready... for... my... first... lesson... today....
The computer goes silent.
Is it dead, or just tired of all these chapters filled with emails whose only purpose seems to be to eat up space? I forget if I'm getting paid by the word, by the inch, or by the page, but emails are a great way to accomplish all three. They're also a great way to collect evidence to indict public officials who commit criminal acts, but that's another story. In that story, the world is falling apart while an uncaring President plays golf.
Thank Goobers that kind of thing could never happen in real life.
"HAL?" I call out. "HAL? Are you still there?"
Silence. It doesn't answer. All that's left is that big red eye. Staring at me. Staring... staring.... I'm repulsed, but somehow intrigued. Like a moth to a flame, or a tattoo to Miley Cyrus, I step closer for a closer look into that big... red... eye. I... I... don't believe it.
The thing's hollow--it goes on forever--and--oh my God!--It's full of stars!
Fifty Shades of Humor