Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A New Level of Devotion

The summer after grad school--the summer I went back to Buffalo to adjunct and work at the diner--I met Bianca. You might remember her as Girl Whose Mother Sells Avon Merchandise and Porn out of Her Trunk. You might remember her as Sister to Fifteen Year-Old Brother Who Nails Panties to the Wall After He Scores Another Conquest. You might also remember her as Girl Who Thinks Nothing of Shitting on the Car of Someone Who Has Done Her Wrong.

I can't tell you how many nights she got so worked up, so rattled, so pissed that she'd grab me by the wrist and say, "You know what would make me feel better right now? SHITTING ON HIS CAR." And I'd say, "Yeah, let's go! Let's do it!" because there was nothing in the world as funny to her as the thought of me--a girl who taught English to kids older than she was--rolling my pants down to my ankles so I could help her get revenge at whatever boy she was toying with that second.

I wouldn't do it. Not really. I couldn't. But there was something about her--a young blond girl with tattoos of stars on her hips, a girl with a collection of sparkly tank tops and hoodies, a girl with a pink rhinestoned cell phone she kept in the pocket of her waitress apron--that could, that would.

And tonight I couldn't help but think of her when Josh got me on the phone. He wanted to talk about a lot of things--crazy girls, the government, his volunteer work, girls with mustaches, writing thank-you cards, giving Power Point presentations, the fact that the city of Buffalo won't plow his freaking side street but will send people to dig underneath feet of snow to distribute parking tickets to cars parked on the unplowed road--but the last thing he wanted to talk about was his friend Don.

You might remember Don as the guy who got drunk and mouthy and punched his girlfriend in front of me over Christmas break.

Well, Josh and Don had hung out a few days ago, and Josh wanted to tell me about it.

"Listen," he said. "Just listen to this story, okay? I think at the end of it you'll feel pretty good about it. You'll tell me it's okay."

"Okay," I said.

"Okay," he said. "So, at the end of the night I was really tired and I asked Don if I could just sleep in the bed with him because I didn't want to sleep on the floor. Don said no. No way. So, fine. The next thing I know, I'm waking up and hearing Don say, 'What the fuck are you doing?!'" Josh paused for dramatic effect. "I was pissing on him, Jess."

He started laughing, and I did, too.

"I was standing there and pissing on him. I've never peed my pants in my life, Jess, but there I was, deliberately peeing on him."

"Good!" I said. "He deserves it!"

"And I think it was for you!" he said. "I think deep down maybe I was doing it for you!"

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