Thursday, May 26, 2005

So remember Heath & the Hot Piece? I mentioned that after that whole fiasco, I hooked up with someone else who became a serious college girlfriend. Chloe was amazing -- beautiful, brilliant, and seemed to be crazy about me. Actually, it wasn’t that amazing -- after all, I was a smooth smoothie.

Early on, when we starting to fall for each other, but hadn’t even admitted it to ourselves, we were sitting at our local jazz bar, drinking, chattin’ and scattin’. Shoo-bee-doo-I was considering studying abroad in London for a semester, but I wasn’t sure. Issues about money, school credits, xenophobia toward those uptight bad-teeth kidney-pie-suckin’ Limeys... Chloe had been to Europe and was encouraging me to travel and see it all (I did wind up going) but, she said, "If you go, I’d really miss you..."

I looked at her, so adorable in the candlelight, the music playing a soulful tune. What a great moment. I wanted to make it perfect, reached across the table to take her hand --

Crash! -- knocking over every single glass on the table. The candle fell and got snuffed out. Which meant we couldn’t see where her wine and my scotch spilled into a giant lake of liquor. Chloe had to feel the booze waterfall cascade onto her lap before she knew to leap from her seat. As I scrambled in the dark for some napkins, I marveled at my suave self -- like silk, I tell ya.

I became the urbane of her existence, and the relationship between Chloe and Don Juan de Miguel grew, even though getting some time alone, as I’ve illustrated earlier, is difficult in college.

Case in point: When we had a party in my suite. I really wanted to talk to her, but there were still a few people hanging around, it was getting late, so she decided to go home. I would’ve walked her back, but my suitemates all agreed that we had to stick around to help clean up. As she got down to the street, I had an idea and shouted out the window for her to wait a second.

Unfortunately, at the same time, Heath had sent one of his stoner friends out to score some more weed. Since the hedonist’s room faced the inside of the building, he kept coming over to mine to look out onto the street to see if Cheech was back with the ‘shish.

“Heya Mahhhk, I waitin’ for my dimebag, dude.”

I told the jonesing jackass to just be patient and gimme a moment, and he stepped away.

Then I scribbled a note onto a page and folded it deftly into the perfect paper airplane. Years of elementary school mischief turned me into the Boeing of looseleaf. I tossed it out the window, and watched it waft down to the street. Chloe giggled, waiting for it glide into her hands.

You know how when they show movies or TV shows about New York, they often have steam rising from the grating and manhole covers? That’s real. Even in the coldest winter, it could be a sauna in the subway system. The hot air from underground created this updraft on my street and lifted my 8 X 11" SST out of Chloe’s reach. The plane flew up and over our 10-story building.

“Dude, why’s yer girl looking up? Someone gonna jump?”

Fuckin’ Heath, standing right next to me. Guy was a like a mosquito. You shoo him off and he’s back a second later. I pulled out my swatter -- namely my hand -- and told him to stay away. One way or another he’d get a blunt fattie in his face.

Then I shouted to Chloe to hold on. Now I was on a mission. I rewrote the note, but folded two pieces of paper into the airplane. Same aerodynamics, twice the weight.

That did the trick. It jetted right down into Chloe’s hands. She unfolded the page, read the note and beamed. Then she shouted up, repeating my message to me, adding emphasis to the last word: "I love you."

I didn’t notice Heath slip up to the window next to me. "I love you too, Chloe!"

I slapped him.

Not that hard, but enough to make him stop and stare, holding his face.

“You hit me.”

“I told you I would if you came back.”

“I didn’t think you’d do it.”

“I didn’t think you’d come back,” I said. “Now we’re both surprised, huh?”

He didn’t have anything else to say and sulked off. I heard him whine to his stoner friends. “Mahhk hit me.”

I did actually feel bad; probably shouldn’t have done that. Guy just had problems, man. Later I made peace with him, but at the time I was still frustrated. First the damned druggie kept me from getting laid, and now he ruined a potentially wonderful moment.

I looked down at Chloe, shaking my head, told her I’d call her later.

Yep. What’d I tell you? Velvety smooth, baby.


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