by Con Chapman
Hey girlfriend. Just checkin' in. Hope that mean old boss of yours is being nice to you today!! Both of the guys I work for are gone for the afternoon—ain't Fridays great! They're out playing golf so-o-o-while the cats are away the mice will goof off! I've got a lot of filing to do but frankly I'd rather have my teeth pulled than start on it.
I took a two-hour lunch and ate my sandwich at the Art Institute. It's nice and cool in there and it's free! They ask for a donation but what do I look like Ms. Moneybags? Also, I got kicked out of a soup and salad place last week for trying to buy a large soda so I could sit and eat my sack lunch there while I read “Love's Desperate Creatures” by Dorothy Danville. Have you read it? Its great. I'll give it to you when I'm done.
Oh and I almost forgot-I met this real cute guy at the Art Institute! I was sitting eating my sandwich on a bench and I noticed this like college student come in and start looking at this one painting well it wasn't really a painting because it was sort of like a sculpture in a frame like a painting and he kept looking at it and looking at it and taking notes on a pad of paper so finally I said to myself—Girl, your not getting any younger and there's a guy just standing there and he's obviously interested in you otherwise he wouldn't be faking that he's writing a book about a painting, so-o-o, I put my sandwich which was tuna in my purse after wiping my mouth with my napkin and then wrapping the sandwich up cause I didn't want to smell like a fish market also I wiped my teeth with my tongue and just went up to him and said “Excuse me, can I ask what your doing?” with a big smile on my face. A smile's important at a time like that.
Anyway, he gives me this funny look-it was partly a smile and partly an I-don't-know-what. Then he says to me, “Well, I'm taking an art appreciation class and I'm supposed to pick out one piece of art and write a paper on what the artist's intent was and how he expresses it.”
Well, I can appreciate art, I said. I come here every day (so I lied!) to look at the paintings and sculptures. “Oh really?” he said like he didn't believe me, so I said sure I do, like that painting there, I said, I can appreciate that.
Then he looks at me funny again and says, “Well first of all it's not a painting” and I said you know I noticed it sticks out from the frame a little and he says “It's a bah relief” so I said oh, right. Then he says “What do you think the artist's intent was?” but I noticed he was looking down at my cleavage so I knew he didn't care if I knew the answer or not so I sorta cocked my head to one side and said “If you think I'm going to write your paper for you, mister, you can forget about it!” How's that for thinking by the seat of my pants! So he laughed at that and said would you like to go to the coffee shop and get a bite to eat so I said sure even though I'd eaten half of my sandwich already so we went down there and he just had a yogurt and a cup of coffee and I ordered a salad which I could hardly eat a bite of I was so full already.
We talked about this and that and he asked me where did I go to school and I told him I was not a student I was already a “working girl” and earning a living and he said oh what do you do and I told him I was a secretary and he said well I've heard that's a good way to break into a better career and I said a better career than what but he just smiled that funny smile again.
Anyway, he has to write two more of these papers this semester so we agreed we would meet next week when he comes downtown to look at some more art and I hope this time he picks out something that I can tell whether it's a painting or a sculpture so I don't embarrass myself! Then the check came and he put down enough for his coffee and yogurt and a little more for a tip, kinda cheap if you ask me so I had to go “Dutch” for a salad which I barely touched but I guess it wasn't really a date so I can't complain if we get serious I'm sure he'll make a lot more money than me cause he goes to college.
Gotta run-here comes the office manager and she's about to give me somebody else's overflow work unless I look busy. “Tapping fingers are happy fingers!”
Re: Little old me
Hey there! Wanted to tell you about my second “artsy-fartsy” date, though actually I guess it was the first since the first wasn't really a “date” so the second would be the first, really.
Anyway, we met at the “appointed time”-I love that phrase, it's from Dorothy Danville. It means “when they were supposed to meet.” He had a sweater over his shoulders tied around his neck-very dashing-and his little notebook. This time he told me he had to look at some “L-grecos” which are gloomy paintings that have people in them who are stretched out like rubber bands. He asked me what I thought of them and that's exactly what I told him! Art is supposed to be about feelings, right? That's what I felt. He said he found my opinion was “refreshing,” like it was a soda. I noticed he didn't write it down in his book though. He was looking at my boobs again when he said it, so maybe he forgot.
I told him I only had an hour for lunch and he said let's go down to the basement level and I hadn't eaten any lunch yet but I said okay and he took me downstairs and then back to where there wasn't any exhibit at all and there was a velvet rope which I know your not supposed to cross from going to the movies but he said it was okay because he was an art student and had a special pass sort of like a nightclub I guess so we went back there it was dark but you could still see a little and he took me to a stone bench and said “Have a seat, you'd like to sit wouldn't you?” and I said sure but I can't see any art down here and that's what I come for is to look at the art and before I knew it he was kissing me also he had his hand on my breast but not inside my top or anything.
Well as soon as we were done I said listen here mister if you think I'm that kind of girl and he interrupts me before I could go on and says well of course I think you are that kind of girl and I guess that made me get kind of teary eyed because then he said “Your artistic aren't you?” And so I said well yes but not that artistic and he said oh I guess I was mistaken. Here I thought you were Bohemian and I said no my folks are from downstate and he says no bohemia isn't really a place anymore it's a state of mind for people who have aesthetic values and I said my sister is an aesthetician she graduated from Lane School of Hairdressing. He said bohemian girls were artistic and in touch with their sensual side and none of them were virgins and I said really? they sound like sluts to me and he said it's true do you know what they say about the two statues of the lions out on the front steps of the Art Institute and I said no and he said if a virgin ever walked by they would roar and I said I wouldn't know I usually come in the side door.
So he started laughing and I said what are you laughing at and he said that was a joke and I said what was and he said the thing about the lions and I said oh so they are being sarcastic when they say that and he said no it is more like fasetious and I didn't say anything then although I'm not sure he's right and I'm going to look up sarcastic I bet he's wrong.
Then he said I'm sorry I misunderstood you he didn't get mad like some guys would if you turned them down, then he said I guess your not the artistic type at all which I resented so I said yes I am I come here a lot and I'm always reading and he said what do you like to read and I showed him the Dorothy Danville book and he kind of coughed but I thought he was stifling a laugh too so I said what's so funny every girl where I work has read this and loves it and he says “Shakoon a sone goot” and I said same to you and he says no that means “to each his own” and so I said okay I accept your apology.
He said he'd meet me same time next week if I was still interested and I said sure just don't go hanging around with any bohemian girls in the meantime I wouldn't want you to get a sexual disease. So that put him in his place and he said okay we'll meet again but next time he'd better buy me lunch or it's over between us.
Talk ta ya!
Re: Me again
Hey pretty lady! I am feeling so legarthic today! Want to know what that means? It means tired and lazy-sort of like “somnolent”. I got a book called “20 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary” and those words were in the first lesson. I want to be able to sling the lingo around with Mr. Artistic because we're going out on a real date!
We met at the Art Institute again and today was “modern art” day for him so I had to sit and look at something by somebody named “Rothko” with him and I don't know how he's ever going to get a paper out of that one because it was all black as far as I could see and he says what do you think and I said “To be honest, it's like looking at nothing” and I must of hit the nail on the head because for the first time he wrote down my suggestion and I think he's going to put it in his paper! Not bad for somebody who the only “A's” she ever got was in Typing I and II!
Anyway, he didn't try to take me down in the basement again this time he said let's go sit on the front steps it's such a nice fall day and I stopped him and looked him straight in the eye and said look if your trying to find out if I'm a virgin I'm not—those lions are not going to roar but that don't mean I'll sleep with just anybody. I was brutally honest with him and he got real quiet and looked me in the eye also he looked at my chest and I have learned to wear leotards because I found out that's what bohemian girls wear and I'm trying to make this relationship work, dammit! So he says, really, that's great because he's very choosy too and I guess is having a hard time finding any girl on campus that he can relate to because he says their stuck-up or else they just want to go on study dates with the guys who are pre-med or pre-law and I said isn't it kind of hard to study on a date I mean you pay a lot of money for your textbooks and then to get French fries or ketchup on them wouldn't your mom or dad be mad after all they are spending a lot of money for you to go to college?
He said yes they are but I also got a scholarship and now it was my turn to laugh because I said Ha ha I bet your little school doesn't even have a football team and he said no not that kind of scholarship I have one that's kneed-based and he said it like he was embarrassed a little and I just said oh and then was quiet. I had a friend growing up who had Osgood Slaughter's Disease and I know sometimes he couldn't play his knees hurt so bad he would stay indoors even during the summer when it was nice out.
So then he asked me would I like to go to dinner sometime and I said sure most of the time I just go to bars that would be nice and he said okay I'll have you down to the South Side and we can go to a foreign restaurant would you like that and I said okay but you'll have to tell me what the menu says cause I don't want to order something that turns out to be snails by mistake.
I'll let you know what happens!
Re: Your sophisticated friend
Well wait till I tell you about my date you won't believe it! We went to a German restaurant and that was fine because they had sausages and he said he chose it because I had told him I didn't want snails which is what you get in a French restaurant and I said thank you very much. He is very sensitive. I feel that I have a new leash on life with him, he's not like the guys I used to meet in bars.
He can't order liquor because he's not twenty-one yet so I said well I'll order it then and you can have some of mine which he thought was great because usually when he wants to get drunk he has to find someone old enough to buy it but its hard at his college because he says all the older students study all the time and never go out and I said boy did you pick the wrong college and he says I know but that's where I got my scholarship to and I took his hand in mine and this time was prepared because I knew about his Osgood Slaughter's Disease and looked him in the eye and just said “I understand.” Well, after that and a glass of my wine he was like a puppy in my hand I could do whatever I wanted with him so I told him we'd had a nice date but I had to go home so he took me to the train station and we kissed good night downstairs because you can't go on the platform without paying the fare and he didn't want to spend his money on that if he wasn't going to ride the train so I went up by myself it was kind of scary there was a gang up there but the train came right away so nothing happened, but I wish he would of just paid the fare he is still kind of cheap but I guess that's part of being a student. Oh well!
Re: Just me
Well I am sorry to half to write this but it looks like my “affair” is over I am so bummed! He had me down to his campus for a concert which wasn't very good it was some kind of folk music I guess and nobody danced they all just sat in their seats and applauded after each song it was so boring! I think he could tell I wasn't having a good time so afterwards he didn't seem to know what to say so I said why don't we go back to your dormitory unless you have a roommate and he said no now that he is a sophomore he has a single room so we went back to his dorm and I swear to god if they nailed the door shut you could have made it into a coffin!
Anyway, we listened to some music on his stereo for awhile then he said would you like to look at my yoga book and I said sure I didn't know you did yoga and he said he was starting it so he took out a book and what did it have in it but a bunch of pictures of some of the ugliest women you ever saw buck naked stretching themselves and all I could say was “yuck” it was so disgusting and he said I'm sorry I thought that you were ready and I said ready for what I'm not ready to look at a bunch of hippy-dippy girls parading themselves before a camera you would think they would be a little bit more “discreet” or “demure” which are two more words I learned from my vocabulary book they mean “shy.”
So I shut the book and said you don't have to show me that book to get something started and I leaned over and kissed him and he was off to the races I could barely get my skirt off he was on top of me and the bed was so small and there was people coming and going right outside his door I'm sure they could hear us but they just walked by like nothing was happening. I guess in addition to not liking liquor they aren't interested in sex.
Well, we kept it up most of the night and finally he fell asleep and was snoring and I rolled over to face the wall not exactly what I had in mind but guess I have no one to blame but my self. Finally I nodded off and in the morning woke up and went uh-oh what have I got myself in to now. At least it wasn't a one-night stand, because we had been dating for awhile.
He got up and went to the bathroom then came back and said if you want to take a shower the coast is clear so I did although I felt like a cockroach walking back to his room everybody looking at me not knowing who I was but figuring things out pretty quick. I know I must have made his day though because when we're walking out he's giving everybody a big shit-eating grin and I saw him do a little thumbs up to another guy coming up the stairs when we were going down.
So then we walked a few blocks back to where I get the train but before I got on we had breakfast at a little diner I had scrambled eggs and this time he was going to pay for everything but when he took out his wallet he only had five bucks he said he had spent most of his money on the concert and I said you sure didn't get your money's worth out of that so I ended up paying. Anyway, once I paid the check I said am I going to see you again and he said sure and he gave me his phone number with that smile of his so then he walked me to the station and we kissed downstairs because he didn't want to pay the fare again just to stand there. I got on the train and came home and slept half the day I was so tired from the night before.
Anyway, I didn't hear from him for two weekends and finally I called the number he gave me and it turned out it was a pizza place next door to the diner so he never even intended to see me again at all! Now I can see that a lot of the things he was saying he didn't mean so I've got a word for him and his little smile—
All rights reserved.
The author has not attached a note to this story.