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Camy

Dinner at Eight.

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Dinner at Eight

by Camy

"Fuck me," he said conversationally, his Gray eyes twinkling in the subdued light and riveting me to the stool. Sitting across the corner of the bar from him, half cut and horny, I raised my glass.

"Okay," I said. Or perhaps I slurred. I'm not sure. It doesn't matter either way. I spoke flippantly; on the spur of the moment. I should have been a damn sight more careful.

***

"You're a fucking idiot, that's your biggest problem!" Jane snapped like a well trained sniper as she stormed out of the flat and slammed the door. I lay in bed still half asleep as her venom hit home. I was not an idiot. Delusional possibly but not an idiot. I wasn't. It was simply untrue. The phone rang and I picked it up absentmindedly yawning. Jane again. This time not so angry. The venom missing - or spent. "You're gay. Admit it to yourself for god's sake. Everyone else knows."

"But...wait. Everyone?"

"Mmm." She hung up. Piqued, I flung the phone at the wall.

***

That afternoon I spent shopping for a new phone and thinking. Sex. That was the problem. That Jane wanted it all the time and I didn't didn't make me gay. It didn't. It simply did not. All it meant was that her libido was rampant.

The locks had been changed by the time I got back. Fair do's. It was her flat. I went to our local bar to think.

"Nice phone." That was the barman. He elaborated. "I think I'd have gone for the Samsung. It's had good reviews."

"Yeah?" I grunted, the Jack Daniels hitting the spot nicely. He poured me another. "I don't suppose you'd want to buy it then?" We struck a deal and over the next few hours I gave it all back to him for the sake of Jack. Jack, my friend, who never complained or told me I was an idiot. Slowly the bar filled up....

***

"Fuck me," he said, his eyes twinkling in the subdued light. Half cut, horny as hell, and sitting across the corner of the bar from him, I raised my glass.

"Ohkay," I probably slurred. I'm not sure. I don't think I was entirely sure where I was, either, or if it was my imagination that most of the patrons were clapping and not a few wolf whistling. It doesn't matter because we did. Fuck, I mean...at least I think we did. Pretty sure, anyway.

***

Now we definitely have. A lot. An awful lot. Then: I woke up with a blazing hangover, my head over a bucket and gray eyes making soothing noises as he mopped my brow with a damp flannel. Of course I didn't know his name was John, then - like I didn't know Jane had set me up. That dawned on me a few weeks later when I answered John's door thinking it was him and it wasn't. It was Jane.

"Happy now?" She said, her lips twitching uncontrollably upwards into a grin, the like of which, during our two and a half years, I'd never seen before.

"Umm, yes thank you," I said pompously, before remembering I was only wearing ultra skimpy briefs. I hastily covered what bits she might have been ogling before deciding there was no longer a point. "Sorry, I...wait a minute." I frowned. "How did you know where I was?"

"What? At John's?"

It was my turn to ogle. "You know John?"

"Of course she does," John said, stepping into view and putting down the shopping bag. "Jane's my cousin." He was grinning too and it was beginning to annoy. I scratched my neck.

"Ah," I managed. "You set me up."

"Mmm." John said as he slid past Jane and slipped his arm around my waist. Worried, I looked at him, but saw nothing untoward.

"But this, this is...real?"

His gray eyes widened in shock. "Oh, sweetheart, sweetheart, you silly man. Of course it is." He pulled me into him and kissed me hard, by which I mean I was hard by the time he'd finished kissing me. He pulled me into the flat and as Jane was following us in he held up his hand. "See you later, cous," he said, as he leant over me and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"But...but...." She said as he closed the door in her face, then opened it again. "Dinner at eight, here?" He looked at me. I grinned and nodded.

"Yes, dinner at eight." I said, then smiled at my ex. "And Jane. Thank you."

<<***>>

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Coo...! Polished and sparkly wit from the emu, despite the gargantuan workload he's been shouldering the last few months, what with launching Midnight Dude, and moving house, and all. How does he do it? Spinach? Kryptonite? Whatever it is can I have some?

Pretty wonderful, this flash, forcing me to read it over and over again to savour it. Beautifully crafted, precision ground, a jewel.

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Contrived humor doesn't always occur to me, but when it happens naturally I am usually shocked.

I wrote a story with a young character named John Bateman and during a formal introduction to an elder adult character the man bowed to the boy and said, "Welcome, Master Bateman."

I stared at that a while, laughed a lot and decided not to change the boy's name. He became "Master John" because I didn't want to derail the story...but I could have. Sometimes we have to kill the urges to be clever.

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A diplomatic reception was underway in an Asian capital, I've lived in. As each guest entered the ball room... they were announced formally... when the British Ambassador's family, including his 14-year old son entered the room, the straight laced announcer intoned...Ambassador and Mrs. Malcom Bates, and their son Master Bates. :applause[1]:

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Sunday school teacher trying to get his class enlivened to take part, asks a question to which the answer is 'happiness'. No answers. So he prompts them: "Come on, it begins with 'H'...?" Still no answers. He waits. A sea of blank faces. In desperation he continues: "... and ends with 'appiness'." The whole class went deathly silent for a moment, neighbours glancing awkwardly at neighbours, all thinking 'did I just hear what I thought I heard?'. The fact that they'd all been half asleep up to that point added to their confusion. But they certainly woke up!

That's a true story - I was in the audience, to my shame.

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