Your Friend is Miserable

Ladies, do you have a close male friend whom you love platonically? He’s the friend you had one drunken sexual encounter with. You both share a giggle when it’s brought up. Oh, you may have dated for a hot minute back when. Now, you’re just friends. That’s all. Not going to hook up again. Nope. That wouldn’t work out. It would complicate things. He isn’t attracted to you like that anymore.

Right.

Let Phil fill you in on a little secret: Your “friend” … is … fucking … MISERABLE. You’ve frustrated him to the point where he’s developing forehead bruises from banging his head into a wall after hugging you goodnight.

Ran into this again last night. Lovely woman, early forties, sitting next to me pounding martinis like there’s no tomorrow–more like there will be no last night. We chat and flirt. Other men stop by and chat and flirt. She’s playful. She’s single. She has a sleeve of tribal tatts. She’s reading and highlighting a psychology book. She’s responding to text messages. I’m curious.

The men around me are acting silly. I feel the need to apologize. One millennial ass-hat is upset that the bartender won’t serve him anymore. He calls her a cunt and leaves. Awful. The guy on my left is ex-military (25 years). He witnesses the millennial misdeed, shrugs and says he hates people. GI Joe keeps bending my ear on my left as No-Woman Phil tries to secure a new woman.

“I got one word for you: Chlamydia.”

“What?”

“Better wrap your pecker.”

“Aye-Aye, sir.”

“Dude. Ask her what those numbers on her tattoo mean.”

“What numbers?”

“Three Six Seven …”

She didn’t have numbers on her tattoo. Still, thinking my failing sight was failing-er, I asked. She confirmed there were no numbers.

Then, her male friend “just happened to be in the neighborhood,” so he stopped by to have a beer. She introduced him as her friend and gave me the usual rundown about her boy bestie. I could see in his eyes that he was playing the bestie role with hopes of converting it back into a romantic role.

Her bestie walked outside to have a smoke. I grabbed her psychology textbook and lectured.

“So, have you gotten to the chapter where is discusses how to tell when a man loves you and desperately wants to be more than just friends?”

“Huh? No, silly. I told you. We tried that years ago. Didn’t work out.”

“Didn’t work out for you, maybe. He’s not over it.”

“Yes, he is. Seriously. You must have a friend who is a girl who is just a friend, right?”

“Oh, sure. And, I warn those friends that they should not give me an opening, because I’m still a man.”

“Well, it’s not like that with us.”

Her bestie came back in and struck up a conversation with me (read: he began interrogating me). I know how to defuse a situation. I made him comfortable with me, hoping he’d leave, knowing he wouldn’t. GI Joe got back into my ear.

“Who’s this douchebag?”

“Her friend.”

“Fuck that. He’s one sad sack of shit.”

“I know. You hate people. I get it.”

“Want me to kick his ass?”

“No. I’m lulling him into a false sense of security.”

“Told him you’re gay?”

“No. Told him I have a girlfriend and I’m just having innocent chit-chat with his obsession.”

“So, you’re not going to bang Miss Tatts?”

“I’m definitely not going to as long as Mister Hop-a-Long is around.”

You’d think by now I’d know better. You’d think I’d pay my tab and return home to my La-Z-Boy and glass of XO Cognac. You’d think right. I left to love another day, another way.

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.

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