One of my few, few flaws is my laziness. And therefore the question of whether to call JavaGuy i.e. chase him instead of vice versa wore tiresomely upon every fibre of my lethargic and slightly feminist being. I mean, why didn’t he just come over and get my number? Was he a secret agent who couldn’t get up lest the enemy agent in the far booth noticed his presence?
When can a girl chase? Usually the answers are
b. Refer to the above.
c. What are you, desperate?
d. Stop going into public places. You are scary.
But surely times have changed and these answers are not always necessarily applicable? The hunting ground is now fair game, as far as I’m concerned. Granted, you can’t lay it on too thick. But surely the archaic mannerisms of patriarchal ‘courtship’, so to speak, are just that – archaic?...
But he did pay the bill. I had been out of the dating game so long (usually I skipped the initial steps before that last glorious lap called Gratification), I didn’t know what the rules were anymore. Was I supposed to show appreciation for his chivalry? (Regardless of whether or not we were damsels in distress. Would he require redress? So many questions…) Or contempt that he was presumptuous enough to assume that we would pay him any attention after he took care of our tab? Intrigued by his alpha-male beating-my-chest provider side, or awed at his brute cowardliness for not just coming over?
This called for another Java session with one of the girls who had been away during the previous tête-à-tête, and thus was not a witness to The Incident. I told KK to meet me at our usual. Running late after work and deplorable Nairobi traffic made me show up an hour and half late to an infuriated KK who had just decided to leave. A thousand apologies were profusely showered on the victim of bad urban planning, then finally accepted after the peace offering of drinks on me. ‘Come on,’ I coaxed. ‘It’s not like you have to get home…’
Which is how we ended up at a bar on a Wednesday night, looking like the lesbians everyone assumes two girls out alone in Nairobi are. But that’s another post. After KK’s 3rd Long Island, she was claiming she was the one who was late and in fact, punctuality was unAfrican anyway. ‘I haven’t told you about dude,’ she said, suddenly interrupting her speech about the evils of privatization.
‘Huh?’ I said, thinking I should maybe start buying her water, although her tolerance was usually much better –
‘Random dude. At Java. While you were waiting for me-’ I made a valiant effort to hold in my mirth ‘-some dude paid for my milkshake. That was an awesome milkshake. It had the perfect amount of cream, and chocolate chips…’ But at this point my mirth had degenerated into ashy foreboding (like in the cartoons, where Wile E. Coyote becomes cinders after detonating a bomb on his foot, and is then blown away by wind. Then is good to go in the next scene.) ‘Look. He left his card with the waitress.’ The card looked familiar.
Mostly because I had one just like it.
p.s. Don’t drink and drive. They don’t write it on the crates, but I hear it’s harmful to your health too. Jitolee something something.