Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sam Grows Up

Sam has a revelation, but, much like the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, he's always been like this. He just never realized it before. Lucy and Sam are starting to take charge, which is a good thing. But, since this is comedy, it clearly won't work out as planned. Either or, it is Thursday morning now, so we've just got a few more days before all the plans explode.

Table of contents; fiction below.

* * *

The last time I had a hangover like this, I had a revelation. That revelation then was that I was not a smoother operator when tanked, as Kenny had suggested. He said we had to do it for science. It is so odd how clear of an idea he has of science for having never passed a science class without cheating.

“Did I make an ass out of myself last night?”

“It was just me around Sam,” Kenny said handing me an orange juice. He always took me back to his parents’ place when I got plastered.

“Ah, so yes, but it doesn’t matter. Thanks for looking out for me.”

I blinked at the encroaching light. My head hurt. Thursdays I worked late, and that was why Kenny and I made Wednesdays our bowling nights. Thankfully, he’d forgotten they were supposed to be pants-less Wednesdays.

“Do you ever think we’re doing everything the wrong way Kenny?”

“All the time man,” Kenny said. He never seemed to miss a beat, even after a night like last night. “I mean, when was the last time I really had a steady thing going?”

“What was it, two, three years ago? What was her name?”

“That’s why it’s not still going on,” Kenny said. “I forgot.”

“Ouch.” Ouch was the best answer I could muster, but I think I was talking more about my head than anything else. “When was the last time I even had a real date?”

“You have one Saturday, do you remember?”

“Vaguely.”

“She’s bringing a friend for me, too,” Kenny said. “So, see? We’re doing something right.”

“Are we though, I mean really?” I sat up and leaned against the wall while the world righted itself. I told him about Rusty and Peter.

“Look, you’re just bent out of shape because this Rusty guy has that cute thing at your work. Well, both the cute things at your work.”

“Thanks for rubbing it in,” I said. “Aren’t you afraid of turning out like them though?”

“Like an asshole? Sam, I’m philosophical about things like that. What a man sows, he shall reap. And fooling around with two girls at once is sowing a whirlwind.”

“Right, right, so they’ll reap the whirlwind, I get it,” I said. I drank a little deeply again. “But, look at us. We’re kind of the same way, aren’t we? Just a pair of horny skirt chasers.”

“But we’re ethical about it.”

“I lied to that reporter,” I said.

“Ethics are a complicated thing,” Kenny seemed to want to leave it at that. But, he could see that this was eating away at me. Picking at my brain like one of those brain slugs in the movies. “Look, you want to clean away your sins and all that junk?”

“Yeah, I do Kenny.”

“Right, then, this Saturday, face-to-face, tell Susan the truth,” Kenny said. “Even if her friend is a total babe, I see this means a lot to you.”

“That doesn’t solve the other problem; Rusty’s messing around with Lucy and Fiona. He’s going to break their hearts, and Peter needs to get straightened out too, for his kid’s sake if not his wife’s.”

Then Kenny smiled. That was the smile I loved to see, because it meant that Kenny had a plan. Kenny’s plans had never gotten either of us laid, but they’d always managed to solve any of my other myriad problems. “Why do you care? Is this about ethics, or is it about winning over little miss breadsticks.”

“Kenny, from here on out, there are more important things than pretty girls and sex,” I told him, draining the last of the orange juice. “This is about doing the right thing and reclaiming some dignity for our sex.”

“And by that, you mean catching her on the rebound?”

“What the hell? No. Look, I promise you, as of right this second — Lucy is off my to-date list like a nun,” I told him. It was the first time I willingly put anyone on that list, and it was an oddly liberating feeling. “This is about protecting my friend from an asshole.”

“And to do that,” Kenny said. “We’re going to need lie like dogs. But, like one of the noble dogs. Like a collie or the ones with the booze in the arctic.”

“Saint Bernard?”

“Fuck, man. Didn’t know you were Catholic. Sure, we can lie like him.” And this is why I loved Kenny like a brother.

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