Married with a Kid

I see him walking towards me, purposefully, like he’s been thinking about doing this for the past hour. Bracing myself, I stare at the book in my hands and ignore him. But he sits down in the chair next to mine, familiar like it doesn’t bother him that my feet are propped on his armrest. I move them onto the floor.

“Hi, what’s your name?” He drops the line so casually, as if he has no further intentions. I’ve got to hand it to him, he’s got guts. It can’t be easy to walk up to an unfamiliar girl and try to get to know her; then again, maybe it’s too easy.

“Lauren,” I say. I can be one of those cocktail waitresses with no last names, like in a movie. I’ve had this conversation before.

“I’m Jamal,” he says. He begins to tell me about his life, painting a picture I’m inclined to believe despite having never met him. He’s got me pinned there, in my chair, unable to speak. How can I slip it in, but nicely? “You’re wasting your time.” It sounds harsh. Easy to misinterpret. Either way, one of us will end up feeling stupid.

Finally I work it in. “I’m married,” I say. “With a kid.”

“Oh, okay,” he says. He continues talking as if I’d told him something inconsequential, like I had a pet cat. He’s indifferent. For a minute he makes me wonder if he’s one of those men, the ones who don’t care either way. You’re married? All the better. But no, this one’s smooth. He does a double-take of another girl, politely finishes the conversation, shakes my hand, and excuses himself without so much as an awkward pause.

. . . And leaves me sitting there, wondering: why can’t all men handle this so perfectly, if it must be handled at all?

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post, and amusing :) I had a guy call me a b*tch because I politely said I was married, once. Jamal should give lessons :P


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