“Rayne, it’s me, Vashti.” The sound of her voice sends contradicting emotions through my body. As much as she hurt me, she still has a pull over me. My attraction to her hasn’t waned; I’m just more cautious about acting on it. I think of her beautiful dark skin, hair and eyes, her full lips and the thin gold hoop through her right nostril. Her lush curves. I banish these images with difficulty and listen to her gorgeous voice which never fails to make me shiver. “I know I have been making a pest of myself, but I can’t help it. You are having every right to be upset with me—I am upset with myself. I am wishing we can talk privately tomorrow so I can at least try to make things better.” She pauses as her voice breaks. She steadies it and continues. “You are very important to me. I will be very sad if we can’t at least be friends. But I understand. I’m sorry. I do not know how many times I can say it, but it will never be enough. See you tomorrow.”
I sit motionlessly long after the click. This is the first time I’ve heard a whole message from her as I erase them as soon as I hear her voice. The regret and pain in her voice shake me. I had created this fantasy that she had withheld information from me intentionally because she cared more about the person she was trying to protect than she did me. I needed to tell myself that in order to harden my heart against her—I needed that in order to not be stuck in the morass I found myself surrounded by. After listening to her message, however, I can’t fool myself into believing that she meant me malicious harm when she lied to me. I can’t even convince myself that she knew the other person was dangerous. Being the person she is, Vashti tried to protect someone out of the misguided goodness of her heart. She was the victim of an error in judgment—no more, no less. That doesn’t mean I’ll trust her again, but at least I can begin letting go of the anger I am nursing against her.
I finish making the cookies. I have ten dozen when I’m done, including the plate I gave to Paris. I set aside fifty for the girls, which leaves fifty (after the twenty I’d already taken out for Lyle) for Paris and me. To be more precise, forty for Paris and ten for me. That’s the ratio between us—four to one. I clean up the dishes—another gift from my mother. She is lax in many ways, but she always cleans up right after baking. She insists it’s integral to her mental well-being not to have dirty dishes sitting in her sink. While I don’t mind letting dishes sit for a day or two, I really do feel better if I wash them right after using them. Once the dishes are done, I go to the living room and flick on the television. There is a college basketball game on, Florida versus Syracuse. I’m not much for sports, but I do enjoy college hoops. Not as much since kids are jumping to the NBA so early these days thereby decimating the college game, but I’ll watch a game when the mood hits me.
The game isn’t that interesting because Florida is thumping Syracuse. There should be a mercy rule as there is in softball. I switch to Comedy Central which is having a marathon, a show I think is funny as hell. Although they killed off my favorite character, Kenny, for good, and my favorite character from the movie, ‘the Mole’ died in the movie as well. I’ll never forgive them for that, even if they did bring Kenny back. I often thought if I ever had a kid, he would turn out to be like the Mole. Bitter, cynical, brilliant, undercover guerilla. More likely, the kid would be a staunch conservative who emulated Bush Senior and wore three-piece suits to school. A kid like Libby. If there is a god, she will end up with a kid like me. I will laugh if that happens. I can’t see Libby as a mother—she is so uptight and exacting. If she has her way, her kid would eat, sleep, and shit on a schedule. The kid would be painfully neat and not have an original thought of his own. Then when he turned fifteen, he’d kill thirteen kids in his school before turning the gun on himself. ‘He was such a quiet and nice boy,’ the neighbors would say, stunned that he could do such a thing. Libby would be devastated and have to be heavily sedated.
South Park is showing one of my favorite episodes, the lesbian teacher episode. Some of the dykes I know were outraged by the episode, but I think it’s hysterical to hear these little kids talk about ‘munching carpet’ and listening to the Indigo Girls in an attempt to be lesbians. I think what I like so much about the show is that it truly captures how little kids think. Like this episode. It’s so obvious to adults that lesbians are women, but the boys don’t know that, so they think they can become lesbians by doing certain acts, listening to certain music and wearing certain clothes. Logical thinking if you don’t know that a lesbian is a woman. I become immerse in the episode, relieved to not be thinking again. Eric Cartman is the perfect antidote for depression.