"OH, IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANYONE.''
I don't think I should be blamed for the little faux pas that occurred on the night of my almost first date with the cat of the walk from work.
I was trying to get ready for my much anticipated first date with a luscious specimen from work that all the women called "The Prince." He was the sole embodiment of everything that all the other male worker losers didn't have: he was intelligent, great looking, and had interests other than bean counting. He had been seen reading Salon.com at his desk while Forbes were stacked up in the wastebasket. He drove a hot car. Okay, call me superficial, but it's been a long dry spell since I've been out on a date.
Oprah wouldn't blame me for what happened, and I don't even think Dr. Phil would. I have a serious case of adult A.D.D. And if you do watch Oprah at all, then you know that hoarders have a disease beyond their control. They deserve understanding and not criticism.
I blame my friends too. They refused to support me in getting a pet. They insist that even a medium-sized dog or cat would get lost in my squalor, and never again see the light of day. I do have a pet, a very good pet, and I hide him if one of them comes over.
Aiden rang the buzzer just as I was wrestling a red leather sandal free from a clump of computer cables, mystery and extension cords and a few belts that got into the mix for some reason. I got to him on his fourth buzz. I like impatience in a suitor, don't you?
He looked as if he always wore that impeccable suit coat and lovely silk tie. I tried to imagine him in beat up looking jeans and a torn tee, and I couldn't. He was too perfect, while I was wracking my brain trying to remember if I had removed all of the paper towel I'd stuck in my dripping armpits while putting on my makeup.
I tried not to look at him as he took stock of his surroundings. The look revulsion which always came over the countenances of all my new guests was just too much for me at the moment. I had manners though, and asked if he would care for a cool drink. He said water would be "grand." I liked that, "grand." He spoke the King's English, alrighty rooh.
Of course there wasn't a single clean glass in the house. I found one less filthy than the others, rinsed it out and filled it with cold tap water. Then I set it down the only place where there was room: on the floor. It was a wide-mouthed empty jar but it would do.
I ran to the bathroom to check for stray paper towel bits and to wipe the sweat off my face. Then I returned to get the glass which was now a bit opaque thanks to the three pieces of ice I had pried up off the bottom of the freezer. I handed it to Adien with all the grace I could muster as I climbed over a very tall stack of yellowed newspapers to reach him, nearly tearing the hem out of my skirt with my high heel.
And then the man proved that he could pass an audition as a screamer in a slasher flick. I swear the effeminate, high-pitched wail he let out had to wake not just the dead, but my zombie neighbors who were usually transfixed in front of the tube hypnotized by game shows, sit coms and fried pigs feet or some other disgusting slop. I saw him throw the offending glass on my pile of last spring's vacation laundry, where it ricocheted off unharmed.
I was confused at first. I thought he was some princess and the pea type who had spotted my spit-and-a-promise washing job on the pickle jar. I waited to take my scolding, as he continued to cough up sputum from the bottom of his lungs and spit the crud on my floor. Uncalled for I say. I don't care what kind of dive you live in. You can't just go around spitting on people's floors!
"Did you put that creature in my glass on purpose?" he managed. "Is that your idea of a practical joke, because, listen you bitch, there's nothing funny about passing on germs, disease and God only knows what kind of infections."
I walked over to the glass, curious, picked it up and yelled to my little reptile buddy, "Timmy, how did you get in there? Did I forget to change your island home again? I am so mean. You just needed some clean water to get you going again."
Sure enough the high-strung little Map turtle, needed water to duck into because he felt afraid because we had a guest. Map turtles became especially aquatic when they felt nervous or fearful. I had neglected to provide enough water for him to cover himself. Thank goodness he was an independent kind of guy who could look out for himself. But being thrown across the room couldn't have soothed his nerves any.
Aiden found his way to the bathroom. I heard him gargling with my Listerine like a row boat with a tug boat engine. I owed Timmy some peat moss, wet sand and a little ivy plant for saving me from an evening with this hysterical neurotic. I had a new mystery I wanted to read anyhow. So much for dating. I think it's overrated. Too much trouble and too many changes to go through, if you ask me.
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