15 December 2009 at 3:55 pm
If it’d been a movie, it would have been a moment of triumph.
“Then he tried to kiss me!”
It would have been shared over cocktails, and possibly a platter of oysters if the character who would be playing me was fat. My mouth would have dropped, and I may have stuffed it with some mignonette-infused vaginas of the sea before screaming with glee. It would have been perfectly romantic, or romantically perfect.
She was in France, living with a male roommate who had attempted to kiss her. She had rebuffed him, but not because she publicly-hated-but-secretly loved him, as it would be in a shocking turn of events in some hundredth-consecutive 2pm airing of an early 90s romantic comedy. She had rejected him, because she didn’t want him, and then she had called me, crying.
It was a bad connection, international cell phone to cell phone in the early 00s, and I burst out laughing after she corrected my mishearing: I thought he had hit her.
“No, he tried to kiss me.”
“Oh, Christ! I thought you were being kidnapped or something!” That got her laughing. Perspective always does.
This happened to her all the time, or at least it seems that way the longer I know her: men coming on to her, that, of course, but also her visceral reaction of horror and trauma. She eventually got more used to it: when she called to tell me she had to find a new kung fu instructor because her now ex-master had asked her out, it was more of a sigh for the inconvenience, a far cry from the sobs that accompanied her phone call from Paris.
“Joanna,” I said, or I should have, anyway, “That’s what happens when you’re smart and pretty and fun and thin.” That’s what happens when you’re strong in a world full of inconsistency and misunderstanding and inconceivable reality.
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