But then as I lay there staring up at the pop-corn ceiling, I began to think: Why did she do that? Why the meat lovers skillet? Dang it, super hot Louisiana girl, why did you have to eat the whole skillet when you knew you had IBS? What a selfish thing to do. The more I thought, the more it occurred to me how selfish she was. After deeper reflection it seemed she had used me for a free meal. And in that moment, the yellow/greying walls seemed to be more aged. The flaking lead paint seemed to make the air thick and difficult to breathe. And that single, old, 1970’s incandescent light bulb, hanging there like a single bull’s testicle, out-of-place and missing its partner in crime, casting more shadows than light in this ghetto, 1950’s built apartment unit. I contemplated what had gone wrong in my life to be on a date with a smoking hot girl, with a super kind disposition, but who was also batshit-insane and had robbed me of my Friday night with all her stupid IBS crap.
And then, just then, when it all seemed pointless, somehow, I realized how truly filthy and utterly disgusting her room was and how sad the situation really was and I fell in love with her all over again. The anger disassociated in a solution with the powerful buffers of empathy, love, compassion, and righteousness. I knew what I had to do: I had to fix it for her. Had to make it better. Had to give her something positive and beautiful in her mess of a life. Had to be her knight in shining armor. But what? How could I, a mere mortal, show her my pure, unadulterated love and prove myself to her?
My mother. My sweet mother was the answer. My mother gracefully came to my mind in the form of a sweet memory. Yep, that was the answer and the only answer: When I was a kid, and got a bad grade on a test, or was bullied, and didn’t feel like living life and let my room go my sweet mother would quietly clean it for me. She would swear like a sailor and throw hard plastic objects at me and beat me for other things but in these situations she would also clean my room lovingly. And I knew I had to do the same thing for my date, for this girl that I had known for less than two weeks, and had spent a total of maybe 6 hours with- I would sanitize and organize and make her happy by cleaning.
All of a sudden, this possible government housing apartment, this worse-than-south-central LA-projects apartment seemed to naturally brighten up. I sprang from the bed and started cleaning. Started with the trash. And threw it in the bin. Then organized things into piles. Then pushed her bookcase back to parallel to the wall (it was perpendicular and just sticking out in the middle of the room when I entered.) I organized her books, and made all the knick knacks organized and a safe distance from the edge of their shelves where they had previously been dangling. I remade the bed, taking great care with the corners and eliminating wrinkles.
Then…there was the laundry. There were two piles: One obviously dirty, and one possibly clean. I put the dirty in a pile in the corner of her room (there was no laundry basket, no hamper). Then I had to make sure the clean pile was actually clean, and I had to make sure there were no “unmentionables” as Hank Hill called them. So I got down on my hands and knees and looked really closely for any stains. I started sniffing the air, motioning my hand in a circular motion towards my nose to see if her clothes would rile up my olfactory system at all. So far so good, but I had to be sure. So I gingerly teased out a pair of jeans from web/pile, and held them close to my nose. Good gosh: Southern sunshine, laundry detergent, and womanly goodness was all that smelled. I needed a greater sample size, so I went for an innocuous white tank top. Same great clean smell. I fist pumped the air, so happy. Then I separated out the pile, cautiously looking for bras and panties all good. I then started folding like a madman, as time was running down. I finished and gently laid her folded, clean clothes at the foot of her mattress.
I sat on the floor again. And waited. 10…5…1…0…-25…-45…-1 hour. I was tired and knocked on the bathroom door. “Hey are you ok? Do you want me to go to the store and get you some IBS medicine? Can I do anything for you?” She responded, “No no, that’s ok, I’m done.” All of a sudden the toilet flushed and she hopped up and opened the door even though she hadn’t even finished buttoning up her daisy dukes.
As she was finishing fiddling with her jean shorts, she looked beyond me, peering into the bedroom and started SCREAMING: “WHAT THE HELL MAN? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? MY ROOM IS CLEAN NOW!!??” She was pissed. I once again was incredulous and said, “Dude, you can barely function. You just quit/got fired from your Discovery card job, your apartment is a mess, unsanitary and unfit to live in really, you are in massive pain from IBS, can’t afford to see a doctor and don’t have health insurance. So the one way I thought I could brighten your day was to clean your room, a loving act, nothing more, nothing less.” She looked at me quizzically, as if I were some quixotic idiot trying to administer leafs of stimulating BS. She then said, “WELL YEA THEY’RE CLEAN CLOTHES BUT WHAT IF I HAD UNDERWEAR IN THERE, HUH??!!”. I said, “Yea exactly, I thought of that already, and that’s why I checked to make sure they were clean and that there wasn’t any underwear in there.” She was confused and said “You checked? What do you mean you checked?” I logically answered “I inspected the pile, I looked closely and then sniffed it, and just kind of peeked around to make sure I didn’t see any before I started folding. if I would have seen any I would have stopped and left the pile on the ground.” She then just kind of grunted and yelled “You shouldn’t clean my room and touch my stuff.” Fair enough I conceded.
I said I was done then, and that she needed to think about the night, her behavior and listed everything that she had done that was inconsiderate and understand that everything I did was with a pure heart and nothing but her best interest and trying to actively show her love. I apologized and walked out. We then went on a second date.
Actually we did! We talked on the phone, she apologized for the first date. We kept talking for a week and she invited me to her place.
We went for a walk, and she was super flirty and fun to be with, and then went up to her apartment. We were up there and she sat down on her infamous couch, and slinked her legs over my lap, laydown, pulled my head in and started kissing me. As we were kissing, her phone started buzzing. She checked her phone, said her friend was at the hospital and that she had to go. She sounded way different from she had the entire night, and seemed really nervous. I asked her questions about her friend and the text which she evaded. We hugged and said goodbye, and then stopped talking after that.
Four years later I went to my friend’s house and was walking up the stairs when Miss Louisiana popped out of a room. We both were surprised to see each other. A guy came shortly to their home and picked her up. We talked before he got there. She said she “contracted fibromyalgia” and that she was sick. She looked depressed. She was engaged to the guy. They left for that night for a date, and I never heard from her again. She got married 3 weeks later, they had been engaged for 3 months. All I could think when meeting that guy was, “you poor, poor man. I feel so sorry you’re marrying her.” I know that might sound cold but she really had some difficult issues and basically seemed to be just as much a mess as 4 years before.
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