“What’s your type, Refugee?” The question fell from the perfectly painted lips of the very blonde architect who was new to our group of friends. It was the lazy flirt of an extremely attractive woman not accustomed to having to make effort.
“I don’t have one,” I replied.
“Everyone has a type, Refugee” she insisted and punctuated the declaration with a wink. VBA craved attention and I had no intention of providing it.
I had just completed an exhausting day at ABDR and my needs at the moment were simple: beer, time to decompress, and practice time on the pool table before my next league night.
The bartender, an old friend and former colleague, gave me refuge when he said “Refugee, if you still want a pool table 26 is open” as he slid a rack of balls my way.
I gathered the rack, slung my pool case over my shoulder and made my way to the other side of the room.
“Mind if I join you?” Clearly, she was undeterred.
“Can you play?”
“I guess you’ll have to get me on the table and find out” she said with a slightly exaggerated wink.
I detest the lazy flirt almost as much as sentences that end in prepositions; but no one else wanted to play and I practice better against competition so I waved an invitation.
“Race to three?” she half asked half declared.
“Eight-ball, Nine-ball, your preference.”
“Nine Ball. What are the stakes?”
“Dinner – winner’s choice of restaurants” she says with another exaggerated wink.
In one of my frequent bouts of extreme candor, I reply “that is a bad bet for me because I have never seen you play pool, but more importantly I don’t see a winning scenario for me.” It was colder than I would have wanted, but it was very true.
“What the fuck is your problem, Refugee?” Her angry, frustrated voice could have easily been that of any number of my friends had they witnessed me rejecting the overtures of an attractive and intelligent woman. She continued “Am I not pretty enough for you?”
“No, you aren’t clever enough, or subtle enough. You think that some lazy-ass, ham-fisted attempts at flirtation are all the effort you need exude and men should be grateful, but I’m not.”
“How’s the view from your high horse, Refugee? You know if you spent some time getting to know me, you might realize that I don’t flirt in a manner sufficiently sophisticated for your snobbish tastes because I never learned how. You might learn that until three years ago no one flirted with me because I weighed a hundred and twenty pounds more than this. I am sorry I didn’t have a lifetime to learn to be clever enough for you.”
She stood there – her vulnerability laid bare before me – waiting for me to say something. I had nothing. After what felt like a commercial break, I finally managed to mutter a “sorry” though I wasn’t quite sure for what I should be apologizing first.
Extending a hand I said “Hello, I am Refugee – normally I am not such a prick. Would you like to play some pool with me?” She shook my hand, and smiled a bit. Then she proceeded to kick my ass up and down the pool table as we had our first meeting for the second time.