This Guy I Know

Might I be petty a while?

There’s this guy, see, he’s done me wrong, but my grievances are tiresome. I’d as soon not recount them. I’d rather just bag on him, carp on the little things. Can’t I? I want to.

So, he’s got this hair, right, this single stray hair. It’s smack in the middle of his cheek, just below the malar bone. It’s not growing from a mole, nor a straggler from his beard. It’s just…there for no reason, all curly and coarse, and it doesn’t even match. He’s white on his pate, and his beard is all yellow, then there’s this one sad black strand, and sometimes he tugs on it, and it drives me insane. Fuck that hair.

He makes a sound when he chews, like wha-wha-whawha. It’s his lips. They part with each chomp, and the air whistles in, and it’s horrid. Disgraceful. What, he can’t hear himself?

Another thing: he starts every thought with in my estimation. Well, not every thought, but a drink for each one, you’d be under the table. Sometimes, he even doubles down, like you ask me, in my estimation, or way I see it, in my estimation—Jesus! Get on with it! You could’ve said your whole bit, and the worst part, oh God! It’s not even his thoughts! He’s speaking in other people’s estimation, and you know how I know? ‘Cause we’ve read the same books.

Three times, now, I’ve corrected him on some minor matter, and he’s accused me of “womansplaining,” then dissolved in peals of laughter. Is that even a joke?

He attaches those read receipt thingies to his e-mails, and if you don’t send them back, he tries again. Several times.

He claims his dad died of blood poisoning from holding in his farts. I’m not sure that’s possible, but of this I’m quite certain: the only way this guy’ll die from his farts will be if they suffocate him.

It’s just, I understand not wanting to die, but we’re hardly on ass-ripping terms. There’s a certain etiquette, a fart code. A level of familiarity, sort of thing. Like, if you don’t know where I keep my aspirin, your assbassoon stays in its case. No—if I don’t let you wear my dressing-gown. No dressing-gown, no wind section.

This guy doesn’t even know my real name. He probably farts in front of his grandmother.

One time, I was at a funeral, and someone cut the cheese, right in the moment of silence. Everyone held it together till the end, but then these old ladies were bickering, like “hey Madge, who tooted? Was that you, that toot?”, and we dove for the car, just bursting with mirth….

Oh. I feel better now.

That was cathartic.

(Like a fart.)