Growing up I never followed any sort of organized religion. My parents claimed Hindu, but never went to temple because according to my mother ‘dem all talk nuff shit’ so instead I spent my most formative years sprawled out on a beige carpet transfixed by the moving picture box known as the television set. It was there that I learned everything I know about anything. And one of the most important things I learned was from George Costanza, a fictional character from the show ‘Seinfeld’. ‘Seinfeld’ would become a sort of visual bible to me as I absorbed it’s lessons like parables from the mouth of Christ, such as the one I was referring to earlier from George, which was in a nutshell the importance of compartmentalizing different aspects of a persons life. Much like there was a ‘relationship George’ that was a separate entity from ‘independent George’ so too did I have various grouping of self, be it ‘stoner Andy’ or ‘yuppie Andy’ or ‘Cool as fuck Andy’ I make sure to keep all of these ‘Andys’ separate as they all served different functions at different times. ‘Cool as fuck Andy’ would always do very well with women, while ‘Stoner Andy’ would be less successful with attracting girls and more successful with groups of potheads. In the rare situation where I would meet a pretty girl who smoked a lot of pot (I mean A LOT of pot) there would be some blending of the two personalities. But social groups and settings would be kept strictly separate as to not disrupt the delicate balance of the order of my universe as Id formed a comfortable niche in all respective groups and any sort of mixing would surely result in chaos- I’d previously thought, only to be proven right later on.
It started innocently enough at the movies. Id made the mistake that I would learn later to never repeat, and that was- avoid taking dates anywhere you think people might recognize you, unless you are absolutely sure it will be in your favour. For example if you and your date are walking by the children’s hospital you volunteer at, and the kids you read to in a soft reassuring tone spot you and wave from their bedside windows, that is perfectly acceptable and in most cases would likely get you some sort of physical contact later (from your date, not the children). However the flip side of this is less beneficial and more common, and happened to me that day outside the theatre.
The movie was over and she was clasping at my arm excitedly recounting everything that she just saw, like I wasn’t with her when we both watched it seconds earlier. Still I was able to overlook this minor annoyance, because I was almost certain from the pace of the entire date that I was going to get some sort of physical gratification, and if I played my cards right and took her somewhere where there weren’t so many people around, there was a good chance I could take out my penis. As she got up to about the third act of her recreation of the film, I was only half paying attention as I was too busy trying to dream up a scheme where I could most comfortably whip my cock out. The plan included either drugs or alcohol as most of my plans did when I was twenty.
‘YO ANDY!’ Yelled a voice in the distance, temporarily halting the mental notes I was taking for my scheme.
‘…oh fuck’ I mouthed as Anwar walked towards me, pulling up his overly saggy pants with each step. ‘Heyyy!’ I dragged the ‘y’ in my ‘hey’ in a subliminal attempt to try and give him the hint to get the fuck out of my face, unfortunately he didn’t catch my signal and didn’t budge.
‘What’s good?’ he asked. This was no time for small talk, at least as far as I was concerned. If Id had my way id already be mid-zip down the front of my pants in the forest near the mall where the theatre was at. But as young as I was then, I was still smart enough to know that I had to handle this situation with tact, else risk looking like some kind of biplolar maniac that spazzed out on his friends, and that didn’t seem like appropriate first date activity, maybe by date three.
So instead I just went into ‘Cool as fuck Andy mode’ and tried to coast ‘Chillin man. What are you saying?’ I asked.
A weird yet appropriately awkward silence happened, before I motioned over to the girl I was with ‘Oh, this is Kaye by the way.’ Then I gestured to Anwar indicating that he was Anwar. He jilted his head forward in place of an actual response.
Another appropriately awkward silence happened before Anwar spoke up again.
‘Yo im getting a ride from Balwinder back home and you’re on the way, you wanna reach with us?’
Of course I didn’t. I was trying to enter someone. But I couldn’t say that, and at that point I didn’t know how to convey this without actually saying it as bluntly, Kaye interrupted before I had the chance to. ‘You know I can just catch the RT and head home.’ She said in reference to the rail transit located conveniently inside the mall ‘my place is on the way’.
I grinded my teethe and squinted at Anwar, then turned and shot the beamiest brightest smile I could at kaye, giving her a playful nudge in the shoulder with my fist, because any physical goodbye other than that would be uncomfortable, what with Anwar standing there gawking at the two of us.
Another all too appropriate awkward silence happened.
‘… Okay bye!’ she said before walking away.
As soon as she was out of my line of sight, I turned back to Anwar and iced him out with my expression, which he didn’t notice as he was mid slurp of his giant coke. ‘Balwinder just texted me, he’s outside- come reach’ he said motioning towards the door.
In the car with Balwinder and Anwar questions abound about this mystery girl I’d just been spotted with, all of which were answered with a simple ‘Don’t worry about it’ on my part. In a perfect world this would have been the end of this tale of woe, a simple accidental cock block story. But instead this all turns into a hard learned lesson about the importance of relationship segregation.
I woke up Thursday morning at because I didn’t have class that day. Before getting out of bed, brushing my teethe or fully opening my eyes I wildly swatted my left arm in every direction until It made contact with my laptop, I snatched it up and flipped it open. My Facebook page is already active as soon as my laptop de-hibernates, so I check it. I had one new post on my facebook wall. After reading it I rubbed my eyes in an exaggerated cartoon like fashion to make sure I read it correctly. After re reading it, I rubbed my eyes again hoping it was some sort of post slumber illusion. Then I read it a third time:
BIG P: Yooooo! Anwar told me he saw u at the movies wit dis maaaaaaaaaaaad sexy bitch yo! What happened? Did you smash yet? Peace nikka
I rubbed my eyes one more time, because I didn’t know what else to do. Then I immediately deleted the post. Had this been a private message I would have gladly divulged anything Big P needed to know. Instead this was a wall post, and everyone I knew could read it, and everyone unfortunately included the ‘maaaaaaaaaaaaad sexy bitch’ herself- Kaye. It was about at this point, if Kaye was anything like me she would have checked her facebook the moment she was conscious that morning. I tried to reassure myself, I thought maybe I’m just extra self involved, more so than most people, perhaps not everyone checks facebook the second they wake up to see if they’ve been either mentioned or contacted? I snapped out of that illogical thought at almost the moment I’d conceived it. All I could do was hope it was no big deal, and assume she didn’t read it. I figured, as long as she doesn’t mention it, and I don’t mention it, even if she did read the facebook post, if no one says anything- it practically never happened. This was a flawed logic, that would go on to fuck me often in the coming years, but at that point in my life I was too ignorant to know better.
I quickly typed out a private message to Big P, politely informing him that his wall post was very much unappreciated and lacked foresight on his part, the phrases ‘fuckwit’ ‘Dipshit’ and ‘Stupid Cunt’ were liberally sprinkled over my note. Then I put on the cleanest pair of jeans I could find, and washed my face in place of a full shower because I was running late for a study session I was supposed to be at in a half hour. Usually I never studied, as art history was a major that required little to no study time, and instead served as a tool to sharpen my skills for bullshitting. But I decided to actually partake in this otherwise useless study group because I was trying to cozy up to this cute psych major who knew nothing about art, and only took the course as a break from her usual workload. She asked me if I could give her some pointers and I said yes, and pointed my index finger towards the direction of my cock (editor’s note: everything after the comma in that last sentence never happened). I got the impression she kinda liked me, although to be fair I usually assume that about most people. Even still, we were ‘talking’ to each other and I’d hope this would somehow lead to some sort of penetration.
Id done such a good job at rushing towards the campus library that I was actually a few minutes early, so I wandered around for a bit until I was fashionably late, and Gena was already there with her gay sidekick Paco. I usually assume most people are into me, and Im not egotistical enough to think I’m always right. But Paco had said enough wild shit to me in the past, that I could safely assume he wanted me to fill his butthole, I’d come to this conclusion after he told me via text that he wanted me to ‘fill his butthole’ after I texted him back with a very clear ‘wtf!?’ response, he tried to save face by responding with a :) followed by another text saying ‘just kidding LOL’. From that point on I made it a priority to avoid Paco in all my art history classes, until he buddied up with Gena and I had no choice but to deal with him until Id either been blown off or just blown by her.
I showed up arms outstretched with a smile so wide the ends of my mouth almost looped together ‘Hey gang! What up!’ I said in full ‘Goofball Andy’ mode.
Paco looked up at me wide eyed with an enthusiastic ‘hello!’ Gena mumbled something that kind of resembled ‘..hi’.
I grew up with a crazy Guyanese mother, along with her understudy, my crazy Guyanese sister, so I’m well aware of when a woman is mad, Gena clearly was, the only thing I wasn’t sure of, is if it were at me. I wondered if it was about the facebook comment from earlier. I sat down at the table they were at with much trepidation, this was before Id learned to be turned on by angry women, and was instead merely frightened by them. I tried to get a read on the situation, but couldn’t because Paco wouldn’t shut the fuck up. He kept going on about something or other about Salvatore Dali, probably because he was on the exam we were supposed to write in two weeks. I ignored him and focused on Gena. She was so furiously scribbling notes down into her book that there was no way it was anything other than gibberish.
‘If you write any harder your hand’s going to fall off’ I advised her. She grumbled something and kept scribbling, while Paco kept going on about surrealism like anyone gave a shit.
‘Gena, could you possibly write a little neater? How else do you expect me to photocopy those notes?’ I said in a failed attempt at cuteness. I know it was a failure, because instead of her looking up at me with pursed lips and a ‘touch it face’ (like she was supposed to!) she looked up blankly and announced to everyone and yet no one in particular that she was going to the washroom. As she left I turned to Paco and asked what was up with Gena, and with a suggestive smile and a pronounced lisp he responded ‘Oh Andy, you know I don’t get women.’
I excused myself so I could meet Gena outside of the washroom when she would eventually get out. Probably not the best move as I was met with salty looks from the other girls who would exit, and all I could do was meekly grin back at them, all while trying to convey the least possible creepy body language, which included standing perfectly upright and not staring directly at the door of the women’s washroom, and it was because I wasn’t facing the washroom that I didn’t see Gena when she exited, and instead heard her ‘What are you doing?’ she understandably asked. I beckoned her into a corner of the library so we could talk. I asked her if she was upset about anything and she denied she was. She said if she seemed grumpy it was probably because she was sleepy. Which I didn’t buy for a second, anytime a woman passes up an opportunity to tell you why she’s mad, it’s almost always because you’re the person she’s mad at. So I kept pressing. ‘So nothing’s the matter?’ she hesitated before responding with a very unbelievable sounding ‘…no.’
‘Well look,’ I started ‘Even if you’re not mad, can you at least pretend like you’re not upset? Because I have trouble focusing if I think there’s something wrong with you, and its bumming out my whole learning process.’
This seemed to perk her up a little bit, as it was the first time all day she maintained any sort of extended eye contact ‘So what exactly should I do to make you comfortable?’
‘Gee I dunno, maybe smile a little? Be cute? Same thing you usually do.
‘Cute huh? Like the rest of your ‘maaad sexy bitches’’?
I laughed in an attempt to stall for time before coming up with something to save my ass. ‘Look, my friends, they have a weird sense of humor. They saw me with this friend and they thought it was something more than what it was’
I felt like I had escaped from any sort of moral quandary as I had no hanky panky activities with Kaye from the movies, and in effect had told no lie. But in a flash of brilliance I was able to use this situation for my benefit when I asked Gena ‘And if I did have some ‘maad sexy bitches’ is that a problem for you?’
She was momentarily flustered, but considering the circumstances was able to recover pretty quickly ‘No not at all, who wouldn’t want sexy bitches around?’
‘Is that why you hang out with Paco?’ I shot back, which got a laugh from Gena. A silence happened that was less awkward and more pleasant. The brief pause was eventually broken up when I suggested that we get back to studying and Gena agreed.
We both got back to the table where Paco was at, before I was able to fully sit down, Paco informed me that someone one looking for me. I asked him ‘Oh really? Who?’ and almost as soon as I finished that sentence I could feel a warm liquid pour onto my scalp and run down my back to my seat. I would have turned around if it wasn’t already obvious based on the circus that is my life who was doing the pouring and why.
‘That’s for gossiping about me with your friends you asshole!’ Kaye yelled behind me before running off to avoid facing any sort of consequence for her absurdly juvenile behaviour. I was beginning to think she was not the girl for me. Gena and Paco immediately jumped up from the initial shock of the entire incident. While I stayed seated, resigned to my fate as that morning’s anecdote, no doubt already being passed around from student to student. Gena stared across at me in disbelief as the warm substance I later found out was coffee dripped off my head onto the table where we were all studying. I wiped some of the coffee off my face so I could at least see the stir myself and Kaye had created. I spoke, more out of a perceived obligation than actually having anything practical to say ‘Doesn’t she know you’re not allowed to have coffee in the library?’ I was hoping for a laugh in order to try and take control of the situation. When that didn’t happen, I felt like all I was left with was my sincerity.
‘Hey Paco’ I said.
‘Yeah?’ he replied.
‘I don’t get women either.’
Over the past 48 hours I’d made the mistake of crossing two many different universes together, and as a result I’d damaged several. Big P felt I was too harsh on him in my facebook message. Kaye never spoke to me again. I tried to get something going with Gena, but after the coffee fiasco I felt like a good deal of whatever attraction she had towards me, spilled out of her much like the coffee in the cup Kaye poured on me. I was not ‘Stoner Andy’ or ‘Cool as Fuck Andy’ and was instead ‘Wanted to creep up into a ball and die Andy’ but if this story can help at least one person learn the importance of keeping your universes separate, then it’ll all be worth it.