I met two of Fuego’s friends today. I liked both of them, but I wanted to steal their girlfriends.
First I met Edmund and his sweetheart. Edmund is American, and a poet, and likes deconstructing shit. His appearance is striking; his shaved head and long, long (no, longer that what you’re thinking) grey beard get him roles in film and television productions. His girlfriend was dazzling and charmingly shy. He was taking her for granted.
Now, I have made a long career of taking people for granted. It’s a lesson I have not learned and probably never will learn, though I’m working on it. All I can say in my defense in the matter is that I can see the error that others make, even if I’m blind to my own callousness. So tonight I watched a beautiful woman swallow her own hopes for the day in deference to her man. She did it gracefully.
Later I met Jardo. We rode way the hell out to his place to hang out. He had a surprise to show Fuego, and what a surprise it was. Jardo had a new, amazingly gorgeous girlfriend. We joined up with her and after a couple of near misses we landed in a bar. “Pepsi Disco” the sign outside said. Fuego quickly made friends with the DJ (there weren’t many others besides us, but pL had the guy’s life story in minutes).
She is crazy for him. Jardo’s girlfriend, I mean. She’s crazy for Jardo. The little things he did for her made her world. Which made it really frustrating for me to watch him not do the little things. All night long she wanted to dance, and finally I agreed to accompany the couple to the floor just to get them going. When the dancing was done they sat together, her hand looped under his upper arm, and she snuggled up against him. She was tired, but the looks she sent him were adoring. Jardo couldn’t see it so well from close up, but he is the luckiest man in the whole friggin’ Universe. The devotion in her eyes said more than words or symbols could ever show.
Jardo didn’t see most of that, I don’t think. I wonder how many things I haven’t seen. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know; if I did it would only lead to deeper regret. I wish Jardo well. By then end of the evening I was adjusting my actions to maximize their togetherness. She was, as far as I got to know her, everything I could ever want in a girlfriend, but just seeing the way she looked at him made me hope that he saw it too, and he would make her happy.
Edmund, though, you better watch out, buddy. I got better glances from your sweetie than you did, and I wouldn’t make her feel like the unwashed heathen. Realistically, it will not be me you lose her to (more’s the pity), but sooner or later she will decide to go with someone who listens to her. Maybe one day I’ll learn that skill myself. But then again, probably not.