Day 271: You’re having lunch with a friend. Your friend gets a call in the middle of the meal. Write just your friend’s part of the conversation.

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Mexican Monday’s are the best. Joan and I head out, get burritos and a couple of pints and just chill out for a few hours, setting the world to rights. Can’t beat it.

“So, Phillip, Phillondo, Phill… Anderer. Who’s the newest conquest?” She asks me this around a mouthful of burrito, barbecue sauce running down her left cheek. “Everybody knows you’ve been getting some. So, who’s the lucky chick?”

“Nobody you know. It’ll stay that way until I’m sure this one’s going to be a thing. That she can handle you.”

“I’m not that bad!”

“Remember Carly?” I certainly did. We’d seen each other a couple of times, hit it off, then Jerry Budeski had a party. I figured it would be safe to invite Carly to come with me, she could meet my friends and then we could get away. Well, that’s not how it happened at all.

We got through the front door and Joan had come bounding over. She’d sunk a few by this point, but even so. She shook Carly’s hand like a mad thing, then grabbed me by the arm and dragged me to play beer pong. I didn’t see Carly for the rest of the night, then by the time I found her again she’d decided we were done.

“Which is why I should meet her! She clearly won’t be any good for you if she can’t handle me. Oh, crap.” She plucked her phone off the table, where it had just started buzzing insistently. “I’ve got to take this.”

“Fine, but you know the rules. Rest of the drinks are on you.”

“Fineeee.” She stuck her tongue out at me, then went to stand outside the window. It was open, letting her words flow back in on the cool breeze. “Hello?”

I paused, wondering if I should make myself scarce. I mean, she’d gone outside so that I wouldn’t listen in. I figured I could just nip to the toilet, wait there for a couple of minutes then come back out. That was the plan, at least, until I heard my name amongst the murmurs. “Claude doesn’t know anything.”

I almost fell of my chair to be perfectly honest. “What the…”

“No, he should stay out of it. I don’t even know why you want me to bring him in. He’s just a normal guy.”

Rude. I’m something special, I’d like to point that out.

“I’m serious. I’m not going to do this. If you want him that bad, send somebody else. But no amateurs like Carly this time.” She hung up the phone then marched back inside. I could tell she was worked up, but she was wearing her brave face.

If Joan’s got her brave face on, sit the fuck down and strap in. Once you’ve done that, pray that you’re not the reason.

“Right, I’ve got to head. Work emergency. Is it my turn to pay or…?” She fluttered her eyelashes at me, so I just nodded. I figured I’d process whatever had just happened when I got to the flat.

A shame really, that I didn’t make it back to my flat for a long time.

The Idiot in Tin Foil

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