“Sometimes the roughest road leads to the prettiest meadow”
After my triumphant comeback tour into the life of a university student, I managed to break from class for the mid semester holidays in a much better mood than usual. That’s not to say that I wasn’t still me. I mean I had changed a bit, I had grown a bit, and I had decreased the influence that some of my fears had had in destroying the fabric of my existence over the course of my life up till now. However I was still a Nobby No Friend loser, so I spent the first couple of weeks reacquainting myself with some of my old bad habits.
So I’d watch lots of television and movies at home in the dark, I’d eat lots of terrible food and throw the empty take away cartons straight onto the floor, and occasionally I’d even go for a walk past one of my old peeping tom houses, careful not to stop or even slow down as I walked past, and making sure I only had a quick look out of the corner of my eye. I never saw anyone in the windows though, and strangely I was always relieved to fail on these missions. I guess I didn’t want my nudity to come from girls who didn’t want to show it to me anymore.
Then one day while I was lying on my bed wearing only a pair of boxer shorts and with a chocolate stain on my bare stomach I suddenly had a knock on the door.
I opened it up and was nearly blinded by the sudden gush of sunlight hitting my face, and when the red light flashes cleared from my vision I had Hannah standing in front of me.
“So Mr Domey is still alive after all” She said
“Yes” I replied
“So why haven’t you called me…..I haven’t heard a thing from you in three weeks!”
“But the assignment is over!”
“Oh really…..so you don’t want to speak to me anymore……it was only about the assignment…..we’re not friends any more!”
“I thought you wouldn’t want to be”
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…….Jason……you really crack me up sometimes….and I have bad news for you old pal….I’ve gotten to know you now…….and I like you believe it or not….I like you quite a bit in fact…..so I don’t care whether you like it or not we’re friends now and your just going to have to put up with me”
“I’m so glad you’re so thrilled and enthusiastic about that prospect”
“I really a”
“I know I know….sorry I didn’t call you all holidays yet….I was actually camping with some mates….no electronics allowed….so no phone obviously….but thing is I’m having a dinner party tonight…and your coming!”
“Oh…..I’m not sure that I can”
“How did I know you were going to say something like that to me? That’s why I came in person instead of calling you…..so do you really have some other plans tonight?
“I don’t know just stuff”
“You can do stuff anytime!”
“So come along”
“I don’t know”
“Look Jason….you look me right in the eyes right now and tell me that what you are going to do tonight is more important than coming to dinner at your good friend Hannah’s place…who has been slaving herself in a hot steamy kitchen all day just to create a wonderful meal for you…..only for you to not show up…and she’ll have to feed all of her hard, hard work to some alley dog”
“Um….well…um…Ok…..I’ll come…I guess”
“He he he he…..I knew you would….I reckon I could talk you into doing just about anything for me couldn’t I? Might have to test that out one day!........anyways come over at about seven thirty and dress as nice as you can ok?”
“Seeya wouldn’t want to shag ya….not quite yet anyway” She said as she suddenly departed and hurried down the street
“Aaaaaawwwwweeeegggghhh…..I don’t want to go to a dinner party” I moaned to myself as I closed the door.
I guess Hannah was nice about one thing (well lots of things in hindsight). She had waited till reasonably late in the afternoon to force me into this horrible social situation, which allowed me only a couple of hours of panic and only a pound or two in lost weight from sweating.
I made my way over there at about seven forty five – trying to be careful not to be too early or too late. So I was surprised when I got there to discover I was the last to arrive. I was guest number five. So as I walked into the room, after Hannah had greeted me at the door, I had four unfamiliar faces starring right at me. It’s amazing what a powerful force eight eyes in unison can project. It felt physically difficult to fight it as I entered.
Hannah was right about one thing. Her apartment was as shit as mine. Only she had made a better fist of decorating hers. Hers was about the same size as mine, about the inside of a voltswagon beetle. Only she had managed to do much more with the space. Her bed was a bunk bed with no bottom bunk; underneath she had a couch instead, with her television and stereo opposite. And the entire rest of the apartment was made up of a dining table with six square backless chairs around it. On closer inspection the chairs turned out to be milk crates with a cushion on top and like a small dining cloth over them. They were all different colors. The dining table also turned out to be milk crates leggoed together with a dining cloth over the top. Later Hannah told me that when she wasn’t using it all as a dining set up she would turn two of the chairs into a coffee table, two of them into side tables for the couch, the other two would stay as seats, and the dining table would be rearranged into shelving. I thought this was quite an inventive method of furnishing such a small space.
The rest of the apartment was basically a dump. The walls were covered in posters for bands and movies which I had never heard of, but to the side of them you could tell the walls were filthy. The kitchen and the bathroom were completely falling apart, and the carpet was only actually carpet in some spots, other spots were burn marks and others were just big holes with old moldy floor boards showing underneath. By this stage Hannah had been to my place several times, so upon seeing hers I was both impressed and relieved that I didn’t have to be so embarrassed about mine anymore.
Although that was only a minor relief, I did have other matters pressing at my nervous buttons of course - a dinner party!
“So this is the world famous photographer Jason Domey” One of the girls said as I entered the room. There were three other girls and one other guy apart from Hannah and me.
“Yes this is Jason” said Hannah “Jas, this is the gang…over here is Katherine (she pointed at the one who had addressed me as I entered)…this is Clair and her boyfriend Leigh (she pointed at the two on the far side of the table) and this is the lovely Jennifer” (she pointed at the girl who I was currently standing over, forcing her to look up over her head and up my nose to say ‘nice to meet you’ back to me”)
“It’s just Jenny” Jenny said as she tested out those neck muscles of hers
“Hi everyone” I lamely forced out
“Come and sit next to me” Jenny said.
Of the three girls at the table, Jenny was the stand out as far as looks were concerned, at least to me. She was short and very petite, but just had this unbelievably cute face, which looked like it should be on ads for fabric softeners. She had those round cheeks which made her entire face light up with even the briefest of smiles and the softest looking skin I had ever seen. On first impressions anyone would just assume she would be the sweetest girl in the entire world, she just had a face like that. She was a brunette with a shortish shaggy haircut and was wearing a tight white t-shirt which said ‘semi’ on the front, and small shorts which showed off how petite she was.
Katherine was probably the least attractive of the girls, in my pointless opinion,, but she was attractive in her own ways. She had her nose and tongue pierced, was wearing a scarf in her hair, and was wearing baggy almost hippyish clothes which covered up a larger and curvier body.
Clair looked to me what a Clair should look like. She was a redhead with freckles, only not that really orange red, more like the brownie reddy type. She was pretty without being anything especially special, just a normal attractive girl. She was wearing simple jeans and plain blue singlet, but I didn’t really pay her that much attention, I have never really known how to treat a girl with a boyfriend, you don’t want to be too friendly in case he takes some offense to it, and you cant have a red hot perve, so I just pretty much try to ignore them.
Leigh looked a little like a Brad Pitt wanna be. He had what looked like a well maintained hair cut, all spiky in the front, was wearing a white button up shirt with the top five or so buttons undone showing off what must have been a waxed chest, he had that designer stubble three day growth look happening, and clearly had a heavy beard. I can barely grow any facial hair and I still have some chest hair, he had none. Apart from that he was wearing baggy jeans and sandals for shoes, with the bottom of the jeans all frayed from dragging on the ground. I wondered if I could pull off a look like that.
Hannah meanwhile seemed to be having a bit of an army themed day. She was wearing camouflaged cargo pants, and a tight black t-shirt, with her hair in a pony tale. She looked like she could head straight from dinner into basic training at the local military base, I never figured out how she could dress so differently from day to day but still always look the part, where as I could wear just about anything and would feel completely out of place. Must be something to do with attitude, that or some people are just lucky I guess.
I was wearing my only pair of jeans and a baggy dark grey t-shirt, Hannah told me to dress nice, but nice wasn’t something I had. However having shown up I realized she meant just nice for me, this was certainly a casual group.
I sat down next to Jenny as instructed as Hannah began to fill the table with food. She put out a big bowl of buns and then a plate of corn on the cob.
“How do you like your steak?” Hannah yelled out at me over the sound of numerous things sizzling on the fry pan in front of her
“Well done” I responded
“You can be so predictable sometime Jas” She said with a giggle
“What does that bloody mean?” I thought
The rest of the table then proceeded to give me a four on one interview about my whole life up till then. They asked me questions about my family. I managed to speak reasonably positively about my parents somehow, I also managed to say nice things about my brothers, and how nice it was that they had their careers and girlfriends, those bastards.
They asked me about my relationship history. I resisted my overwhelming desire to confess that in fact I only had one sexual experience with any female of any kind and that was with an old truly disgustingly ugly woman. Instead I pretended that she was my one short-term girlfriend, who was older, but not much, who I had parted with due to differences in ideas on where we wanted to go. Apparently we broke up because she was getting to that age where she wanted to settle down, and I was too young to be going down that road yet. I thought it was a pathetic enough history that they wouldn’t suspect I was lying, I mean when you lie about such things you tend to make it sound good, but I don’t think Hannah believed a word of it, she kept giving me these wry smiles from over in the kitchen area, at least to her credit she didn’t reveal the truth.
The others all seemed more than convinced. Jenny was particularly nice about it. She would say things like “that must have been really hard on you” and she rubbed my leg. That was sweet of her.
They asked me about my career up to now and I told them about my security job. Only I somehow forgot to tell them about the whole firing episode. Instead I made up some story about how it was just a short term job, but wasn’t going anywhere, and I needed to quit to concentrate on my art. This got more wry smiles from Hannah, and more leg rubbing and comfort from Jenny.
They asked me about school and my living arrangements and a whole other pile of things which I don’t remember. In my memories defense of this, I was somewhat distracted. For one thing I had the incredible uncomfortablness from being interrogated by four strangers. But also I was constantly distracted by what turned out to be this group of friends own vocabulary.
They had invented their own words for lots of things. A really, really attractive girl was referred to as a ‘moisty’. A girl who was not attractive would be called dry, only not just dry, she would be “dry as a pack of salted nuts half way through a marathon”, or “dry as a month old dog shit on a driveway”, if you’re a girl you pretty much don’t want to be referenced to anything which could be considered not wet. A girl who was attractive but not quite a moisty was a ‘semi-moist’ or just ‘semi’. “‘Semi’ as in what’s written on Jenny’s shirt? I think she is more of a moisty myself”.
‘Semi’ it turned out was a word that could be used in numerous situations.
“Are the steaks ready yet?” Leigh asked
“Semi done” answered Hannah
“Are we getting smashed tonight” asked Katherine
“Semi” answered both Clair and Hannah
“Draino!....I’m getting completely smashed” replied Leigh
Draino was their other big word. Anything could be draino, and they would all yell it out together. Someone drops food on the floor “Draino!” Someone says they can’t stay that late “Draino!” someone asks someone else to grab them a beer “Draino!” They would all yell it out at the same time, seemingly trying to be the quickest. Although there was no prize for being the fastest I don’t think.
Apparently to say ‘Alan’ meant you didn’t like something and were therefore ‘off it’ like Alan Moffit. ‘Peter’ meant you were over it’ like ‘Peter Tover’, and to be ‘David’ meant you were a complete arsehole and therefore just like ‘David Holesbrook’. It was all a bit confusing to me. ....
At first it all seemed a little childish, but after a while I got into the fun of it all and was yelling out draino and semi like the rest of them. In fact by the end of the night I actually had the confidence to say the comment “I met this girl last week, but she was no moisty, barely a semi, bit of a draino really!”
You don’t really believe I would say that do you? I did think to say it, but I didn’t actually say it. Mostly I just sat around as the rest of the table discussed everything from why reality television is so crap (everyone except for Leigh – he loved it), why music was so crap these days (everyone except for Leigh – he loved it, mostly because as he described it there were so many moisties on the charts these days like Brittany Spears and Lilly Allen). They discussed politics, work, school, people they knew, relationship issues, and lots of other things. I basically just sat quietly, only really ever speaking when the table had a round of “Draino” which I would join in on.
Also with any topic what so ever, I don’t care if they were discussing ethnic cleansing, if a female was mentioned Leigh without question would ask “Was she a moisty?” I was surprised he was so open about his perving inclinations with his girlfriend right there, but she didn’t seem to care, she would usually giggle along with the rest of us. They were a very laughy bunch; maybe it was the beers and wine non stop draining down their throats! Only thing was when Leigh was telling a story there was no one to ask the questions if the girls in it were moisties or not. So out of no where I asked.
Leigh was telling a story of some draino girl who was seriously draining him at the library, when he was returning some draino book, when I piped up with “Was she a moisty?” Everyone found me asking that very amusing, I was quite proud of myself. As everyone was laughing Jenny even gave me a bit of a hug. The answer was she was only a semi, in case you were wondering.
As the night wore on I managed to find myself more and more an actual part of the conversations. I didn’t say a lot, but I offered the odd opinion on various topics. One thing I liked about this group was that they always considered every different opinion. They never bagged each other, they never argued, in fact almost not surprisingly the most cruel thing anyone said all night was I think everyone at some stage called everyone else a draino.
At one point near the end of the night everyone was laughing along to a story Katherine was telling us - about the time she was in Amsterdam and desperate for a piss, and couldn’t find anywhere to go, so decided to sneak down an alley and lift up her skirt, have a squat and go on the street. Only thing was she didn’t realize that the building she was urinating on was in fact the back of the police station where they had cameras watching. She thought it must have been the only time in history where someone was arrested with both the arrestee and the cops laughing their heads off.
I was pissing myself laughing, as was everyone else, then I caught Hannah starring at me, not laughing, but just with this oh so happy smile on her face, we looked at each other for a little while and then she gave me a wink before looking away to call Katherine a draino. I think she was just happy to see me happy. I felt lucky to now have her as my friend.
As unlikely as it seems there was actually several times I was able to piss myself laughing that night. The other one I most remember was a story which Clair had told us about one night Leigh had cooked them both dinner, he cooked spaghetti, and as was custom in their house the non cooker did the cleaning. Only thing was on this particular night when she was half way through the dishes, with the sink still full of water and left over pasta and sauce, she was distracted by Leigh’s desire to go to the bedroom for some ‘fun’. In the end he went out with some mates and she just went to bed – dishes undone.
She woke up in the morning and had a look in the sink and saw a quite grotesque sight. The sink was full of stinking rotting food from the night before covering all the dishes and all over the sink. She concluded that it must have just ended up like that after the water had drained out, and therefore it was her responsibility. So she spent the next twenty minutes scrubbing away with her bare hands and a sponge to get it all clean enough to eat off.
She then sat back and ate herself an apple for breakfast. When Leigh woke up and walked into the room right as Clair had the now half eaten apple engulfed in her hand. His first words of the day were “Honey don’t go near the sink, had a bit too much to drink last night and ended up puking in there when I got home!” That’s just gross.
As the evening drew to a close I had come to the conclusion that I was quite fond of Hannah’s friends. They seemed like a really fun bunch to me, I could see myself enjoying their company in the future.
They all seemed reasonably fond of me too. Leigh seemed most impressed by me because of one of my recent achievements, which I could tell by the way about seven times he suddenly blurted out “I can’t believe you got to spend four hours with naked with Hannah!” This received numerous responses, such as all in giggles, a punch from Clair, Hannah jumping up and doing a bit of a dance while grabbing her breasts and singing a stripping song “vra vra vra vra vroom”, to eventually us all calling Leigh a draino for keeping on saying it.
Everyone else seemed pretty pleased to meet me aswell. In fact at the end of the night I had three volunteers to drive me home. They were actually arguing about it! Then Hannah for some reason jumped in and said “Jen should drive him home, he’s on the way for her”. To which they all suddenly burst out in smiles and just said “ok”
So Jenny and I said our thankyous and walked to her car two blocks away. Jenny drove an old crappy Honda Civic. At least that’s the way it looked from the outside. On the outside it was blue with numerous dents and scratches and old worn out paint job.
The inside however was beautiful. She had these crazy looking purple seats put in, which were the most comfortable seats I had ever sat on in a car. She had a great sound system with a multi disk CD player and great speakers, and everything else was nice aswell, leather steering wheel, and all these racy looking speedometers and stuff (I think that’s the technical terms for those things – you may of guessed I don’t know much about cars, but hey why learn if you can’t afford one?). I questioned why she kept the inside so nice and hadn’t done anything to the outside, and she said that it was because she spent much more time inside her car than looking at it from the outside, so she puts her money into making it nicer to be in. I thought that was an unusually wise attitude. Most people these days seem to be more interested in how something looks than how good it actually is.
“Have you got a nice stereo at your place?” Jenny asked me in response to my admiring her car system.
“No, actually I barely have a radio that works….I don’t really listen to much music, more of a TV man” I confessed
“Too bad we could have gone there now and played a few tunes!”
“Really, well if you’re in the mood for music looks like you’re much better off just staying in your car”
“So what’s your living situation?” I asked
“Do you mean do I have a boyfriend?...well no I don’t….I’m completely available for the right guy”
“No actually I meant do you live alone, or roommates or what?
“Oh ok, no um….I still live with my parents actually”
“Really that must suck?”
“Yeah its pretty crapy most of the time….but I can still sneak boys into my bedroom if we come home late enough….like now…as long as my parents are asleep and he sneaks out early….they’re definitely asleep now though”
“That’s pretty good I guess….its not that expensive to get your own place around here though….I mean if you don’t mind a piece of shit like my place”
“Really…maybe I should see your place to see what its like!”
“Well you don’t really need to….my place is basically the same as Hannah’s but three times as messy”
“Oh…..ok” she sighed “So you don’t mind living alone….you don’t get all lonely?”
“Yeah I guess I do sometimes……but it’s nice to have a night like tonight….spend the whole night with people and then can go home and just relax on your own…sometimes its good to have no one else home”
“Depends who the someone else is doesn’t it?” she said while running her hand through her beautiful shaggy hair
“Yeah you’re right…although I don’t know too many people who I’d want there too often”
“You know it would be nice to have some company sometimes though” I said
“Really…..got anyone in mind that you’d like to invite over soon?”
“Well….no…not really…..I mean there are people I’d like to come over, but I doubt they’d want to”
“You’ll never know if you don’t ask!”
“You’re right….I guess I will have to start asking one of these days…..but if there really are people….well girls…..who would want to come over I just wish they would give me some kind of sign….I mean how am I supposed to know?” I whined, I didn’t really like this line of questioning, it’s not nice having to talk about your love life when you have never had one
“You’re right…some girls just need to be a little more obvious” She started to rub my leg a little “What kind of jeans are these?”
“I don’t know actually…just cheap ones”
“Well they’re nice and warn in….you rarely find denim that feels this nice”
“You really think”
“Oooh yeah…..I could rub this all night”
“Well hey I guess I have one thing good going for me now”
“You could have more than one thing”
“I don’t know…..oh that’s my place up here on the right”
She pulled over and turned the car off.
“You know I’m feeling a bit tired I wouldn’t be able to come in and have a quick coffee would I?” She asked
“You know sorry I would definitely give you some but I don’t actually have any coffee…don’t drink it myself…oh hey but there’s a ..seven eleven.. up the road…open twenty four hours and they have a coffee machine I think”
“So thanks so much for the lift…I really didn’t feel like walking home tonight” I said genuinely appreciative
“I can imagine…you don’t seem in the mood for physical activity”
“No not tonight….been quite a long night hasn’t it…I must have had ten beers….oh it was great though…like I’m really glad to of met all of you draino’s”
“He he…yeah….well nice to of met you too Jas….you seem like a really sweet guy….too sweet maybe”
“Well thanks…you’re sweet too”
“So do I get a kiss good night as thanks for the lift?”
I lent over and gave her a little peck on her cheek. Her skin really was so soft. She kissed me on my cheek too and as I pulled away she just lingered there for a second with her lips still out in kiss formation. She looked incredibly pretty. I remember thinking how lucky those guys she was talking about coming back to her place must have been, I would have loved to spend a night with her. Just looking at her all night would have been enough for me. Things as lucky as that just didn’t happen to me though.
“Well ok good night Jen…thanks again for the lift”
“That’s ok Jas….sweet dreams”
“You too” I said as I ran into apartment with the sound of her driving off in the background. “Yeah if I get to dream of you I’ll be having sweet dreams for sure!” I thought to myself.
I didn’t though. Instead I watched a little TV, I think the late night news followed by an infomercial about how to get the best abs in the world, I didn’t really think that crappy machine would produce those abs, I did like looking at the chicks in the show though, and they did have quite nice abs.
I had one of my night’s sleeps when I don’t remember even a single element of any of my dreams. I hate nights like that. Although that is most nights for me, so I maybe I should just get used to it. All I remembered was being woken up around the middle of the morning by the phone ringing. It was Hannah.
“So how was it?” She said before I had finished my groggy morning harllooo.
“You know it was pretty good in the end….I liked your friends….I’m glad you talked me into coming in the end” I replied
“Oh I bet you are!”
“Yeah I noticed you giving me that wink when I was laughing….I know…not that usual a site for me”
“You know when Katherine was telling her peeing in ....Amsterdam.... story?”
“Oh…..but that wasn’t the funnest thing of your night was it?”
“Um….I don’t know the whole night was pretty good I guess….I like you’re language stuff….all that semi draino stuff…its fun”
“What about Jenny?”
“Yeah I like Jenny….really cute!”
“Yeah she is isn’t she…..so aren’t you going to tell me what you guys got up to? …you can tell me….Jen will give me all the details anyway!”
“Um…..I don’t know she just drove me home….we had a nice chat….and I went to bed”
“Jason please tell me you didn’t go to bed alone”
“Of course I did…I always do….what are you getting at?”
“Didn’t Jen invite herself in?”
“No….what would make you think that?”
“She told me she thought you were cute…She told me she wanted to sleep with you….she sleeps with everyone she says she is going to sleep with!”
“Seriously…Jen is a cool chick…she’s my friend and all….but she is a slut…I mean I’m not meaning this to sound in a bad way….she just loves sex, can’t get enough of it…she rarely goes a day with out sex with someone….boy or girl!”
“You’re kidding me…she seemed so sweet?”
“Just because she loves sex doesn’t mean she can’t be sweet too!”
“Yeah I guess…I just always associate sweet with shy…and therefore not having lots of sex”
“You just think that because you’re the sweetest boy in the whole world and you’re shy….that’s one of the things that Jen said she liked about you”
“She really said she likes me?”
“Yeah she definitely said it….she saw one of the photos I had of you and told me she thought you were cute…so I asked if she wanted to meet you, and she said ‘you know me’…which of course I did…you don’t see many guys who she thinks are cute that she doesn’t end up fucking sometime soon…anyway so I set up dinner last night so you could meet her and my other friends…and she told me if she still liked you in the flesh she would offer to drive you home and then go back to your place for a screw….and she did offer to drive you home….I was sure you were going to get laid….I’m so sorry Jas, I thought that would have been great for your confidence with the girls to sleep with someone as hot as her….and she is phenomenal in bed…trust me I know…are you sure she didn’t drop any hints that she wanted to come inside with you?”
“She did ask if I had any coffee…but I didn’t have any so I told her that the ..Seven Eleven.. could help her out”
“Ohhh Jason……what am I going to do with you? ……from now on please, please, please promise me something…if a girl asks to come inside for some coffee, wait till she is inside to tell her you don’t have any….she doesn’t want your coffee inside of her, she wants your cock inside of her”
“FUCK!” I screamed, which I guess is ironic, I hate irony.So anyways to end a long story Hannah talked to Jenny later and apparently she claims to have dropped a bunch of hints that she wanted to fuck me. I never noticed any! Why didn’t she just say so? I mean as if a guy like me is going to say no. God damn chicks, surely by now you have realized guys don’t reject you! We want you! We think of nothing else most the time. Just tell us, don’t make us do all the work, the constant rejections we get are just too hard to take! Unfortunately much to my chagrin she told Hannah she had now changed her mind - apparently she has decided that I am too sweet to fuck and she just wants to be friends. Yahoo just what every guy wants to hear.
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