Monday, November 22, 2004

A Story Without Much of a Moral

[Normally when writing a story like this, I change the names. In this case, the names are too good to change, so I'm leaving them as is.]

When I was living in Western Massachusetts, I was socially on the fringes. The uber-cool people like me well enough, but I was on the outside of their orbit. There were some people who took an instant dislike to me: one of them was young woman named Gage. For whatever reason, the woman always looked down her nose at me, spoke to me in a snide tone, and lorded her self-perceived superiority over me.

To be sure, Gage had a fantastic body. She had two of the hugest breasts I've ever seen, a fine ass shaped just like a heart, and a nice set of legs. When she wasn't busy being a jerk, she had a cute and refined southern accent, which someone told me came from growing up in Savannah.

What Gage did not have was a pretty face. Her cheeks were puffy like a chipmunks, and bore the scars of high-school acne. Her eyes were buggy and a bit close together; her lips, while thick and pouty, only served to highligh her poofy cheeks. Her facial structure was more than a bit piggy.

One of the guys from the cool crowd was a fellow named Hawkeye. He was one of the best-looking guys I've ever met. Self-confident, with a bitingly dry sense of humor, he had great taste in clothes, knew where to get a good haircut, and had these deep set blue eyes thats eemed to bore right through you when he spoke to you. He was a metrosexual before the term even existed. Hawk and I got along really well, although I'm sure if I'd been single at the time I would have hated him for his luck with women. I can't remember how many times we had conversations that began with "Hey Hawk, is it true you went home with.. NO SHIT! Dude you have to tell me how that went..." And as is true with a lot of good looking people, Hawk had a streak of cruelty and arrogance in him. But he was always nice to me, and really funny too. He and I had the same dark humor, and probably the same type of arrogance as well.

Gage, like almost every other girl in town, had the hots for Hawkeye and had been quietly pursuing him for months. One night, after a long drinking bout at Hugo's or some other dive bar, she finally got her chance. They went home together to Hawkeye's place. I don't know what transpired int he interim, but at some point, Gage stood in front of Hawkeye and stripped naked for him. Garment after garment fell to the floor until she was standing there in all her glory.

Hawk lifted his bleary lids, took a look at the girl standing before him, shook his head and deadpanned "No thanks." Then he got up from the sofa, walked to his room and shut the door in her face.

When I heard this story, I felt no vicarious triumph. I felt a little ill, and a new well of sympathy for Gage opened up in me. I thought a lot less of Hawkeye as well. A friend of mine who knew Gage during college told me once that she had major self-esteem issues. This friend of mine was part of a clique that was notorious for experimenting sexually. Group sex was the order or the day, and gage desperately wanted to be a part of it, but because of her less-than-spectatcualr face, she didn't hook up all that often. Upon hearing this about her background (this was well after I heard the Hawkeye story), I felt like I understood why Gage was so haughty and unpleasant toward me. I may have been on the outskirts of the "cool crowd" while she was one of the crowd, but I was more secure in my place than she was in hers. And she dealt with her insecurity the way so many do: by being cruel to people she felt were beneath her. The fact that I didn't care probably made me even more of a target.

A few months after learning this story, I moved to Philadelphia and began playing music full-time. We were in Brooklyn one night for a gig, and who should show up but a whole coterie of gals from Western Mass. Murdock was there, Jenn was there, the one-whose-name-I-can't-recall, and Gage. It was good to see everyone, and I said so. You know how it is wghen you see someone you haven't seen in a long time: you're extra nice to them, because it's such a pleasant surprise. And so I was extra nice to Gage, maybe even especially so since I couldn't look at her without thinking of how badly Hawkeye had treated her.

And maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, but she had the same snide attitude she'd always had with me, and spoke to me with such contempt I could practically see the venom dripping from her canine teeth.

Some people don't learn anything whether they know it or not.
I'm not sure if that refers to Gage or me.


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