Thursday, September 30, 2010

Turf War: Exchange of Fire


I liked GalPal a lot. Even so, I’d never pictured her as more than a very close friend; at least not right up to the instant we were in each other’s arms and both sober. However, that inaugural session in my room was interrupted by Angela, that self-styled enemy of mine who had previously been my friend. She sneaked in, and when we discovered her, she ordered GalPal to leave. To my great surprise mixed with outrage, GalPal left immediately, falling just short of saluting and yelling “YES MA’AM!”

Angela and I remained staring angrily at each other. “What’s your problem?” we asked each other. Then we started a shouting match. If I wasn’t shouting I may have heard what she was shouting but I told her that it wasn’t my fault that her boyfriend (“Lucas”) was so intimidated by me that he thought I had already beaten him up.

Women can multitask! They can be shouting at you and listening to what you are shouting at them at the same time. Apparently what I said struck home because Angela’s tone changed and she said, amidst much index-finger jabbing in many directions, “This has nothing to do with Lucas. This is about GalPal falling for you when all you’re gonna do is mess around with her head just like you messed with [The Ex]!”

The full impact of her accusation threw me off balance. Admittedly, my smug style of attack was shaken to its foundations. In fact I retreated in disarray. And she had mentioned The Ex. I was dumbstruck.

Guilt.

“Yeah, think about that, and by the way,” continued Angela, talking fast, as she headed for the door, “Lucas and some of his buddies from the gym are wondering where you live; they’ve asked me a few times and I’m not sure where you stay.” There was an uncomfortable edge to her statement to add to the already confusing fact that she was standing in my room talking about not knowing my room.

I smelt blackmail in the air and rose, brave and defiant, to the challenge: “So what! What are you really saying, HUH?!”

Angela became smug and fixed me a hateful smile and clarified,  quite corrosively, “I’m just saying: if you ever get clever about MY GalPal, I’ll get very clever about where you live. Kaputsch?”

The stench of blackmail overwhelmed me; its bombardment bowed my head in shameful and dishonorable defeat.

As she marched out in a flying rage, Angela banged the metal door. I stood cringing for a while, and thinking, and wondering. Then I got on the phone to Uganda.

The dial tone sounded again and again, to no end.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Turf Wars: Unforeseen Consequences

Anyone who knows anything about women should contact me and give me a speech, for I might be foolish in that realm, if indications are to be relied upon, which I advise against.

Having invited GalPal to my room, and she having turned up, we sat side by side close to each other and went over the formalities of greetings, and then there was a heavy and expectant silence and eye-to eye, but suddenly, I remembered my duties as a host and asked her to wait a while. And I vanished into the kitchen.

GalPal assumed a comfortable position on my bed, stretching herself on my duvet and giving the Al Jazeera Channel a dead stare. It distantly occurred to me that gentle music would have set the mood, but I remembered that since we were just friends, Al Jazeera would keep the ambience very businesslike, so I left it there. I was using this time to scramble together a light snack, but I ended up rushing up and down to bring back what eventually turned out to be full-blown lunch, the preparation of which was constantly interrupted by GalPal’s interjections about not being hungry and wanting me to join her and feeling sleepy but my uniform response to all these things was “In a minute.”

During and after the meal she failed to comment on my cooking but I like to think she ate with relish.

The time eventually came when we could lie on the single bed in friendly relaxation and watch Al Jazeera to update ourselves on the pertinent issues informing political dynamics in today’s chaotic world. Nothing of the sort happened. Space being scarce, we sought a place to put our hands. I decided to clasp her hand to save space. Suddenly, a manic force possessed her and she spun on me, pinned me down and straddled me in one move.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

After overcoming the surprise from the attack, I seized her and pinned her down easily and effortlessly. “I thought you’d say no.”

I saw panic in her eyes – and she stuttered. “I haven’t said yes!”

A warning bell went off in my head so I let go of her wrists and began to go away. But she grabbed my neck and we fell to kissing and rolling about – which struck me as a yes, if an ill-defined one. I drew the line at making out, even if the curves of her body encouraged me unceasingly to shift that line, and the heat of passion was escalating rather too fast to pretend that any line was going to be braked at.
After a while, GalPal practically sprung away from me with a look of alarm on her face. Soon, I too was alarmed when I also realized that Angela had simply walked into the room and quietly positioned herself at a corner I like to call The Office. Neither of us knew how long she had been there staring or how she’d come in without being noticed; leave alone how she knew to come. GalPal and I goggled at her with mouths open and I scratched my head in confusion.

“Hi BFF!” exclaimed GalPal in a strangled tone, with shock all over her face and her eyes wide open.
“My room, now!” ordered Angela, unmoved, cold, her arms and legs crossed.

GalPal upped and left in double-quick time, leaving me staring at Angela glaring at me in my own room.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Turf War: Calm before the Storm

Sometimes, when one has spent too much time in Singlehood, one loses perspective.  One begins to feel like being single is normal and, indeed, universal, except, of course, for Mum and Dad and their friends and many other misled souls. Such was my worldview for a long time until sometime after I met another pathologically single person in an attractive, slender lady named GalPal.

GalPal and I began to wonder… Some of our wonderings included spending a lot of time talking and texting, to say nothing of Facebook Inbox.  Even the person who introduced us, Angela, thought there was more to it than single people sharing their different experiences of common delusions. Angela also thought we were dating. We jointly rejected her scandalous assumptions energetically.

Fate saw to it that one day, Angela’s new boyfriend (“Lucas”) got it in his head that I had beaten him up one night.  Reacting to express her solidarity and disapproval, Angela, my erstwhile friend, cut all links with me and asked, advised, forced her BFF GalPal to follow her lead. Things returned to normalcy in my life (meaning simultaneous singlehood and solitude) and life went on - but it felt different and unwholesome to keep my twisted convictions to myself, so I initiated clandestine texts with GalPal. She was enthusiastic about it all to the extent that our exchanges kept me up, sometimes till 3am, which I found bittersweet. (I wasn’t so goodhearted when the time came to wake up early but I would occasionally see her looking lethargic too and I would laugh to myself and yawn.)

Forbidden fruit is sweet because that Forbidden flavor is, well, addictive. After a while you start to need a bigger high and quite soon, secret texting just didn’t cut it (and what exactly is that, really?) and hence I planned a face-to-face chat. The venue had to be secret, we didn’t want Angela finding out we were talking. The most secret venue we could think up was my room.

GalPal showed up for the discussion looking very attractive, etc, and the conversation started with expressions of how much we’d missed each other, etc, and very soon we were very close and I was looking into her eyes very fixedly and her smile was vague.

Now I may have remembered to close the door and GalPal may have thought not to leave her shoes outside but, no, neither happened.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Turf War

Angela's mood varies. Sometimes she talks to me willingly. Other times, she breezes past me like I'm a fly on the wall which does not even deserve an opinion as to whether it should be swatted or not. Either way, I manage.

So, eventually, the day came when it looked like we were done being friends. She introduced me to her new boyfriend, a guy named Lucas. The boyfriend part wasn't a problem, trust me. Thorny issues did arise, however, because immediately after the introduction, my latest friend Lucas immediately identified me as his assailant, and accused me loudly and angrily of events alleged to have been perpetrated on one ill-defined drunken Thursday night of some obscure historical era, long forgotten and made vague by the sands of time.

Now, I shall not embark on a discussion of what is claimed to have happened; neither shall I speculate on what may not have happened. I can however confirm that it was dark. Suffice it to say that Angela got the firm impression that I am a ruffian of sorts and consequently cut off all links with me and expressed no desire to continue our association any longer. Further, she relayed this impression to her buddy GalPal. In a show of solidarity with her BFF, GalPal put me in her blacklist.

Shame. GalPal and I were geeting along rather nicely, starting to know one another well. Maybe she even liked me before this. Oh, well...

(I hope Anglea doesn't discover our clandestine texting.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010