Long story... Get comfortable.
It's a small world. After a long period of not having encountered my Alter Ego, that idiot appeared when I least expected it. I had just twisted my already bad left ankle playing soccer. Limping away from the pitch, Alter Ego came out of nowhere (maybe from inside my subconscious) and started gloating.
'Hello, Mr. Feelings! There goes your precious soccer. Bet you can’t swim either, not with the spoilt leg and all. Haha. To where oh where will you divert all your energies NOW? Suggestion: women. They're everywhere.'
I crossed my fingers, and hoped that the doctor at the dispensary – which happened to be where I was limping towards – had a quick fix for my sprained ankle.
'Don’t you wish you find a young but older nurse there? You can start with her…'
I cringed. The annoying bit about Alter Ego is it’s propensity to say scandalous things in an emotionless, matter-of-fact tone, usually to defeat celibacy resolutions I vowed to keep after my assumed girlfriend turned her back on me and knifed me in the back at the same time.
'You’d be surprised how many coital positions a virile young man like yourself can pull off, even with a bad ankle. Most of the Kama Sutra is still within reach, luckily.'
I needed to ignore the alter ego. Urgently. I reached for my phone, intending to get a social network to occupy my brain.
'Booty calls; that’s a start, big boy! The dry spell is OVER!'
I put the phone away. This calculating, evil-sounding Alter Ego seemed quite immune to moral qualms, and quite perceptive of channels for the furtherance of iniquity. The long trudge from the fields to the dispensary was exasperating, because Alter Ego was not keen on going back to whatever rotten part of my brain it had crawled out of.
The dispensary was crowded. Diseased youths sat gloomily in the waiting room. A few, the sort who were not sick enough to avoid standing, agonized about their weight at a nearby scale. I quickly discovered why all eyes in the waiting lounge were fixed on the doctor’s door a few feet away. As soon as the previous patient left, nearly everyone else sprang to their feet and dashed towards it, scrambling to be next. It was the law of the jungle, survival for the fittest, even amongst the least fit, the sickly, they who needed a doctor! Marx and Darwin were right after all! Society has gone to the dogs! My prospects of winning such a brutish contest with a sprained ankle were low indeed.
Yet despair is uncalled for; miracles are not to be dismissed lightly: a young man who looked like he was on his deathbed (a headache requiring painkillers or a missed class requiring a doctor's note) managed to lunge and elbow and shove and sprint until he reached the door first. He gave me a perverse hope.
It turned out to be false hope. I sat there for nearly an hour more, as fitter individuals jostled vigorously at the door at intervals, as a trickle of more sick students streamed into the waiting room, as the Alter Ego declared theses and opinions on each one who was female.
'The girl across the room looks familiar. She could even be in heat. Go for it. Wink and throw in a “get well soon”…'
I looked. Said girl was GalPal. She had already seen me and was now steadfastly ignoring me. I wasn't going to talk to her anyway, alter ego was mad if it thought I even wanted to. She hated me for knowing what I knew about her past, and I disliked her because I consciously blamed her for losing Ailis. Righteous anger flamed within.
'This is no time to be carrying THAT torch! It’s GalPal - You CAN’T MESS THIS UP even if you want to! ...unless you decide to. There she is, right in front of you! And where is Ailis now? Hundreds of miles away! Here's a tip: don’t cook up old beef.'
GalPal felt my stare on her. I know, because she looked up, down, left, right, everywhere but at me; shifting her weight from one foot to another, adjusting her hair, alternating between arms crossed and arms akimbo and otherwise refusing to look at me while her gaze skipped all over the place. I wasn't looking at her as much as I was fighting the Alter Ego in my preoccupied mental battle. My stare was on her only because she was in my looking place – (that place your eyes seem to look at, but don't see, because your brain is some other place or theory.)
'Yes, Mr. Feelings. Take a good look. We are drafting a hell of a bitching game-plan for lickin' a taste of some of that goodly goodness - preferably TONIGHT.'
GalPal couldn't ignore my unintentional prolonged staring any more, so she chose to bring the fight to me. Her scowl at me brought me back to alertness. I motioned her to join me. In reply, she stuck the tip of her tongue out at me, rolled her eyes, crossed her arms and looked away.
'Play that game!' ordered Alter Ego.
As soon as she glanced back at me (and I watched for it with taut precision), I stuck my tongue out at her, mirrored her mean facial insult, and motioned again for her to join me. It worked- a chortle burst out of GalPal; she couldn't help herself. Averting her face to hide her amusement, she stumbled towards me.
“Lucas was right - you're just a big clown,” greeted GalPal, forcing on a serious expression and jabbing at my forehead using her pointing finger. “What do you want? I haven't got time to waste.”
'You can smile now, Mr. Feelings, you idiot.'