let’s forgo niceness for oncePosted: May 23, 2009
“Put simply, I’m the kind of guy who would most likely break down and cry before punching someone in the face.” Jay slams his pint glass onto the varnished oaken table in a way that contradicted his statement. A salt shaker rattles, almost causing bad luck. Nick sits across the table, sipping what appears to be scotch but could in fact be bourbon. The ice within the glass clinks with a sound muffled by the cadence of conversation. He clears his throat after taking a sip and gently replacing the glass on the table.
Calmly, he says, “Grow a pair.”
Jay nearly spits his drink. He instead straightens his pristine navy suit, shaking off the bluntness of Nick’s words. He knew that was Nick’s way of conveying a point, yet it still stung when it came to personal matters. Jay gathers himself before replying in a trademarked cool-with-a-hint-of-desperation way. “As a man of sophistication, I take offense to that.”
“As a man who doesn’t give a shit, I don’t give a shit!” It was obvious to Jay now. Nick had been drinking far too much. He let out a chuckle, both to break any sort of rising tension and to point out the sheer stupidity of the statement. “All I hear you do is complain, complain, complain,” Nick starts, halving the contents of his glass, “Oh, the one that got away, she was perfect for me, but I guess destiny didn’t want me to be with her– That’s bullshit! She got away because you let her get away- If you really loved her you wouldn’t have been so laissez faire about it. I mean this seriously.”
“Anything else to crush my soul with?” Jay contests, half-genuinely.
“Oh, enough with that touchy-feely bullshit, man. I’m getting kind of tired of you describing some girl’s eyes as the color of a dew-soaked meadow on a cool April morning, or her hair the color of the sun on a February dawn or some shit like that. It’s not because I find them un-entertaining, because damn if not every time you start describing someone across the bar, I ask myself, ‘Hm, how is Jay going to top the faux-poetry he used last time?’ And every single time you find a way to top it.” Nick finishes his drink, slamming it onto a wet napkin. The glass cracks, ever so slightly. “The worst part about it is that it works. The worst part about it is that you’re more of a pathetic loser than I am– trust me, I’m damn pathetic, and that hopeless romantic bullshit works! While I’m sitting here, perfectly alright to talk to-if anything I’m more of a hopeless romantic than you are, I just don’t show it– I’m ignored because, well, because of that! I see people consistently going up to you and make conversation, completely ignoring me, thinking you’re some tortured soul because you sit around looking pensive in a well-tailored suit.”
Jay pauses. “You really like the suit?”
“It’s like talking to a goddamn wall.” Nick looks down at his glass. “Excuse me, miss?” He gestures to a waitress, pointing to his empty glass of scotch or bourbon. “One more, please.”