Short Note


Love: Change of Rules (Part 1)

It was only a little past 11, and the Union was almost empty. Expecting a quiet lunch, I chose a table where I could look out the window at the Quad. No sooner had I set down my tray than a familiar face materialized in front of me. "Expecting someone, Prof?" It was Mark Manasseh.

"Not at all. Pull up a chair."

He sat down with a plate of something I didn't recognize.

"What's that? Some kind of taco?"

"Haven't you ever had a gyro?" he said. "It's like a Greek taco. Gyros have been around a long time."

I shook my head. "Food has changed."

"Food isn't the only thing that's changed," he said, and lapsed into a moody silence. He chewed meditatively.

"So what else has changed?", I asked.


"You said food isn't the only thing that's changed. What else has changed?"

"Oh. The rules. They're always changing them on you in the middle of the game. I can't tell who's on first any more."

"Who's 'they'? Has the Faculty Senate changed the graduation requirements again?"

"No. Actually I was thinking of a girl." He played with his gyro, then looked up. "I guess I'm not being very clear."

"Clear enough. Girl changes terms of relationship, guy confused. You don't have to explain."

"Maybe I should. We've talked about this kind of thing once before, and I could use the perspective of an, um, older person. Do you mind?"

I shook my head. "I have time. Being so old, you know."

He reddened. "I only meant — "

I laughed. "I know what you meant. Go ahead."

"There's this girl. Molly. She's a friend. But that's it: Just a friend. You know, we talk and do things together. But I talk and do things with all my friends."

"Do you talk and do things with them the same way you talk and do things with Molly?"

"Not exactly. She's a close friend." He paused. "But just a close friend."

I smiled. "Just very close."


"And a girl."


"When you talk and do things with her, are other people included?"



"But I do things just with other friends too. Like I told her."

"Like you told her? How did the subject come up?"

"I'm still trying to figure that out."

"Suppose you tell me what happened."

"Well, we were hungry, so we were having a pizza together at Molto Alimento."

"Just because you were hungry."

"Why does there have to be another reason? Can't friends eat a pizza?"


"Anyway, we were almost done when she said something about how we've known each other for almost two years. I said yes. She said we've had a lot of fun together. I said yes. And then she said some other stuff, I don't remember what — you can't listen to everything a girl says or it would wear you out. I think I must have said yes to that too, which was probably a mistake. The next thing I knew, she was talking about how a girl needs a commitment or something. And I guess it took a few minutes for what she was saying to sink in, and I asked 'What do you mean?' And she said 'commitment' and spelled the word. And I said 'It's not like we've been dating or anything.' And she said 'What do you call it when we've been seeing each other exclusively for two years?' And I said 'What do you mean exclusively? I do things together with lots of other people.' And she said 'Not with other girls you don't' and I said 'Girls and guys both' and she said 'What girls?' And I said I couldn't think of any and she asked me why I was holding back and I said I didn't know what she was talking about and then all of a sudden she was crying and she left the table and the waiter brought the check and he looked at me like I was dogmeat and I couldn't find her and so I went home, and I keep trying to phone her but she won't return my calls and it's all I can — I mean I — well — "

He looked embarrassed and took a deep breath. "So that's why I say she changed the rules."

"From what to what?"

To be continue....
 (Keep following this blog to know more!)


No comments: