I knew this wouldn't end well when you suggested meeting at Gloria Jeans. I mean seriously, when's the last time we met up at a coffeeshop? Is that even normal? I heard the rumours- just like everybody else- but I've tried my best to remain unaffected. You're my bro, my oldest friend, and I'm not going to buy into the nonsense that has been doing the rounds about you. I'm here and waiting, and you're ten minutes late and you won't answer your phone, but I'm counting on you to show up and tell me the coffeeshop thing was a joke and take us to some crazy new bar you've discovered and end the night scoring eckies off some random in the Red Light District or some such. Rock out with our cocks out, etc. Don't let me down, broheim.
You're wearing a pink shirt. You tell me it's not pink, that it's salmon, that the 'l' in salmon is silent because it originates from the French 'saumon'. I just want to have a drink. I want you to shave off that ridiculous hipster beard, and ditch the man-bag, and insist the barista top up our cappuccinos with a sprinkling of Ketamine. I want to go back in time to an age when you would never use the word 'sprinkling'. It'll have to wait. Because you want to wait for your girlfriend, whom you're so excited for me to meet. So she's Frankenstein. I don't like her already.
She's not unattractive. She's actually quite nice. She's interested in my novel, she reels off football stats like a pro, and chases her espresso with a smoke and pokes indulgently at your nicotine patch. I think I like her a little bit, but then I notice you're wearing suede loafers. Did she do this to you? Does she do your shopping now? Would you like me to take her out, Liam Neeson-style? I've got your back, bro. Just say the words.
She's going to the loo. And she's taking your man-bag with her. So it's her bag. I'm sorry I'm such a superficial bastard but I'm so glad it's her's. So glad, that I'm going to ignore the fact that you lug around your girlfriend's bag. Holy fuck, you have a new tattoo. I love that you didn't post pictures of it on Facebook or show it off to me the moment you walked in. That's the cool motherfucker I used to know. I wish your tattoo weren't of a Puerto Riccan Parrot, though. I get that it's an endangered species, but I don't know if a tattoo of it on your neck is going to help them live long and prosper.
Fuck, my stomach is cramping up again. Fuuuucccccck. Fucking fuckitty motherfucking fuckbiscuit. FUCK. Oh great, now my nipples are sore. I knew I shouldn't have worn my stupid polyester Chelsea jersey. God, it chaffs so bad. Who thought making replica football jerseys for scrawny men with all the upper body strength of an 8-year old was a good idea? Why the fuck did I ever think buying it was a good idea? I'm so susceptible to male wish-fulfillment. I'm every advertiser's dream consumer. God, men can be so stupid sometimes.
She wants to go to Totos for a drink. It's just past one in the afternoon. What a couple of alcoholics. I just want some chocolate. All I want is to sit around at home in my boxers, order that pork thing with the black bean sauce from that Chinese take-out place, and watch that Sandra Bullock movie I've been saving for just this kind of day. But I'm never going to tell anybody that. Unless my stomach starts cramping again. Oh fuck, it's cramping again. I hope a bus runs me over the moment we step out.
"Dude, you look like you're going to pass out. You ok?", you want to know.
"Oh, finally you noticed?" I find myself saying, and realize immediately how mean that sounds.
"What? You don't like her or something?", you whisper, though she's in the loo again.
"I'm sorry man, it's just... that time of the month again," I say. And die a little inside.
"What time?", you say.
"You know, that time. The whole... menstrual thing." Why do men always pretend like they don't know?
"But you're a dude", you say, as if the universe really is that cut and dry.
"It's my girlfriend, man. She's getting her thing. I'm getting them sympathy-cramps. You know."
You're silent. You're doing that thing men do. Please don't do that thing, we're bros. I stood guard while you took a drunken shit on your ex-girlfriend's car when you found out she was cheating on you. Don't do this to me.
"Did you just say sympathy cramps?"
"Oh for fuck's sake, don't go on like you don't know. Everybody gets them."
"You get cramps when your girlfriend's PMS-ing?"
"Yes. Everybody does."
"No they don't."
"Yes, they do. It's a thing."
"It's not a thing. But do you need meds or something?"
"I don't needs meds, alright? Who even says 'meds'? Why can't you just say 'medicine' like normal people? God, I can't even stand to look at you. Why are you wearing a fucking pink shirt?"
"It's not. It's PINK."
"I'm sorry. You make it work. Salmon is good on you."
"Really? Lisa picked it up for me. I wasn't too sure about it."
"It's beautiful. It really brings out your eyes. I love you, man. I'm sorry."
"It's alright, bro. Just don't mention the sympathy-cramps things around her, ok? I don't get those."
"Yeah, sure you don't. Ooh, cupcakes! You want one?"