Monday, November 29, 2004

Story of Kim 6: Revenge of Kim

Come to think of it, I don't recall Wayne being around for this event. He's pretty happy about that, most likely.

Anyway, the day of the show came, and people began collecting at my house. Tiffany showed first, and we sat out on the patio talking with my next door neighbor, Janiece, who was beautiful and neurotic in equal measure. Thankfully, her boyfriend Brian was not in evidence, and it looked like I was going to have the company of both of these lovelies for the evening. A few of my other friends began to trickle in, and things were shaping up to be pretty fucking right on. Then Kim showed up.

Now, I don't remember inviting her to this, but that doesn't mean much. I don't remember fucking her, either. But I knew there was going to be trouble, because Edward was on his way as well.

I could have disinvited her, and that would have been the smartest thing to have done. But she looked desperate for company, and I figured, well, it wasn't like we were going to hang around some coffee shop somewhere--there would be a loud ass rock and roll band playing, after all. I did the smart thing and tried to keep Tiffany away from Kim as much as possible, and while I didn't exactly lie to Tiff about my, uh, relationship with Kim, I didn't really go out of my way to talk about it, either. Tiffany seemed to get on well with Janiece, because they were both big potheads, and she remembered Edward from the other night.

Edward was plainly not happy that Kim was there, and Kim did what I HATE: she kept her distance and made with the trembly lip and soulful eyes. Turns out it bugs ol' Edward as well, because I could sense his growing tension, even as he very obviously ignored her, as we waited for the clock to tick over to showtime.

I'll also admit that I was a little hacked off at Edward. It seemed a little ridiculous for him to not even acknowledge her existence--I mean, I was the one who got used as a pawn in some sort of weird sex-power-game, right? And if I could be civil to her, well, shit.

I also confess I had no idea how stubborn Edward could be. This stands him in good stead in a lot of ways, just in case you think I'm hackin' on him, but at this time in our relationship I thought I'd pull a fast one and leave him and Kim alone together. I loaded up the crew, and we all headed out to get some beer.

This was clever of me, because a) I got some beer, b) it forced them to talk to each other, and c) I didn't have to be there when it happened. With any luck, I thought, she'd be gone when I got back.

She wasn't. As I returned from the convenience store, I heard the unmistakable strains of Cevin Cey and the boys melting people's minds with "Harsh Stone White," or maybe "VX Gas Attack." Skinny Puppy, in other words, and Skinny Puppy isn't exactly the type of music they play in marriage counseling sessions. Especially at volumes loud enough to be heard down at the end of the block.

I entered the house, and headed straight for the bedroom, where my little stereo was playing at 11. I found Kim sitting on my bed, almost in tears, looking at the back of Edward's head. For his part, Edward was facing away from Kim, with his nose about six inches from the nearest speaker. With his eyes closed. Dude did NOT want to talk to her. I got his attention, turned down the stereo, and tossed him a beer. It was nearly time to go, and car arrangements had to be made.

During this time I was very concerned about Tiffany's impression of all this--it was unavoidable that she could tell my friends were weird, but I didn't want her to get the impression they were violent and/or neurotic. In fact, I tried to disassociate myself from Kim completely, while carefully steering away from my previous liason with her.

Time to go: Kim rode with me, along with Tiffany, and Edward piled in with Janiece. We weren't even out of the driveway when Kim started whining about Edward. And I do mean whining. The girl had a huge capacity for self pity, and a sort of reedy voice that was always 2 steps away from a whine. I was hatin' life--and decided that enough was enough: "Kim, shut the fuck up about Edward. He's my best fucking friend, and I will not listen to your kvetching about him all the way down to this show. If you want to go to this thing, shut up and deal with him."

(I really should start doing this at the beginning of things, I know, but I'm too nice)

She shut up and dealt with him. Tiffany didn't seem put off by this development at all, so we had a pretty non-awkward trip down to the show. At the show, I planned to avoid Kim, then meet her back at the car afterwards (after all, I couldn't strand the girl, could I?).

Unfortunately, the show was canceled. I saw a dozen people I knew wandering around down there, but nobody seemed to know what the fuck was up, so we all sat around until well after showtime, then headed back to the city in despair. At least I had beer, right?

Back at the house, it was more of the same. Several of us sat around my bedroom and smoked pot, listened to music, and talked. Actually, everyone but Kim sat around in a circle--Kim sat on my bed, outside the circle, and just looked at everyone. Interestingly, nobody seemed in the least inclined to invite her into the circle. I remember thinking, after an hour of this, "how far will ol' girl push this?" Pretty fucking far, apparently, because she actually outwaited everyone at what was now a decent small party, then grabbed Edward and dragged him out into the living room. Tiffany and I were alone together, for the first time all night.

We picked up right where we left off--she seemed to really want this to be normal and pleasant, and I was very, very thankful for that. She turned out to be a Doors fan, and we discussed the John Densmore biography I'd just finished, which she'd picked up and skimmed whenever I was off dealing with someone's party needs.

I had almost forgotten about the storm brewing in the living room, as a matter of fact, which is a testament to Tiffany's personality because there was a lot of breakable stuff in there, and Edward seemed...demonstrative. He's never broken anything of mine, so my fear back then is probably unfounded, but at the time it seemed pretty real.

But eventually we got to a lull. I wasn't sure what time it was, but I was suffering a little from the tunnel vision pot and beer always seems to give me, and I was just beginning to wonder if I look like some kind of stoner jackass (SHUT IT, peanut gallery), when Edward slammed open my bedroom door, and marched inside. He slammed it behind him, as hard as he could, and shouted (as loud as he could) "YOU CAN CRAM THAT FIGURE OF SPEECH RIGHT UP YOUR ASS!" Then he looked over at us, as if seeing us for the first time, and realized the situation I was being put in. To his credit, he apologized and headed back out into the living room.

I knew at this point there was no way I could get out of telling Tiffany the whole sordid story without edging over into dishonesty territory, and I'm just not very good at that. Plus, she'd been nothing but open and accepting of my weird lifestyle, so I owed her the chance to see just how fucking sordid it could get.

She took it very well, I think, but just as I was finishing up we were interrupted by Kim. Kim was crying.

Now, boys and girls, there are two types of women in this world. There are the women that, when they cry, I want to comfort them and, you know, go slay dragons for. I've been fortunate in my life to have run across a good number of these women, because the other type piss me the fuck off.

The other type, of course, are the kind that make me want to smack them and tell them to get over it. I know you can't do that, and I never have, but at times it's scary how...right...that sounds.

You know by now which type Kim was. So when she came to the door, bawling, snot bubbling in her nose and with her eyes red and puffy, the first thing I thought of was how she'd put herself in this predicament. I mean, it was plain to everyone that not only did I not want her around, but Edward was really having a hard time controlling his anger at what he considered a low blow from her. Whether she actually slept with me to get back at him, I have no idea, although the type of woman who'll stand around, meek and passive, hoping for someone to notice her is exactly the type of girl who'd do some passive aggressive bullshit like fuck yer friends to make you jealous. What she hadn't counted on was just how scary Edward can be when he's pissed off.

So she wanted to talk to me, about "us." This is irritating, but since I'd managed to get the story out a few seconds before Tiffany found out on her own, I wasn't that irate. At this point, I was more concerned with finding a useful pretext to kick her the fuck out of my house. Further complicating things was that I had gone to get Edward, so I was going to have to do some pretty fancy footwork to get him home and still have Tiffany around later on.

But back to the wailin' bitch in front of me. She grabbed me by the arm and dragged me out into the dining room. I wasn't in the mood, as you can imagine, but I still felt a little bad because, well, I just do. I suppose I was to blame for a portion of what was going on, right? But after she sniffled out her questions and accusations ("I thought you were my friend," high among them), my mind was momentarily distracted by a very, very angry Edward pacing the living room. This resulted in me picking up the nearest beer, which happened to be hers. We both realized this at the same time, but I needed a drink and was also trying to provoke her into doing something I'd feel good about kicking her out over.

She did. She smacked me full in the face. I'm pretty sure that if I had put down that quart of beer, she would have dumped it on me, but it's pretty hard to get a bottle of beer away from me once I've got hold of it, so I just got a big red handprint and a little bit of overspray from her hissing something melodromatic at me.

I'd been slapped a couple of times before, and it always seemed to me to be just that--a melodramatic act that wasn't terribly effective. I mean, a kick in the nuts is a lot more effective, right? Maybe she couldn't reach that high.

Anyway, that was the excuse I needed. "OK, Kim, you can now get the fuck out of my house. Now." She started bawling again, and I slammed the door on my way back into the bedroom, while winking at Tiffany to show that I wasn't taking any of this too seriously.

Because really, I wasn't. It was an ugly scene, but a scene I knew had been destined to happen at some point, and Tiffany didn't appear bothered by it at all--whenever things got odd, she just picked up her book and ignored us. I like that.

A few minutes after that, Edward came in and made a grand apology. He'd even done me a solid--Kim was going to give him a ride home, and they were going to "talk it out" on the drive back. This was the best news I've heard all night, as you can imagine. They left, and Tiffany and I started making out.

But it was not meant to be (this whole story is the story of me not getting what I want, come to think of it). A couple of my other friends, thinking the show must be over, dropped by with a bunch of pot. Now, Tiffany wasn't one to let pot go unsmoked, so they began to do the social things potheads do, while I nipped outside to grab Janiece.

As I was crossing my yard, I was nearly broadsided by a car pulling up into the grass. It was, of course, Kim, with snot rollin' out of her nose, bright red skin, and absolutely no self control whatsoever. She got out, walked around to the passenger side of her car, and started opening and closing the door.

Now, this is the girl that just finished slapping me inna face, dig? I thought I was pretty cool, but I was in no mood to fuck with her again. "Kim," I said, "you're drunk. Go home."

She came over and gave me one of those hugs (for some reason, touching her always reminded me of touching a toadstool--kind of sickly soft, like rotting things), whimpering about being my friend and being sorry she hit me. I wasn't having any of it, of course, and I had her most of the way back to her car when it struck me: there was no way she had time to drop Edward off and make it back here. That meant, Jesus Christ Almighty, that Edward was wandering around, drunk, pissed off, and rideless. At something approaching 2am, in a city not known for its leniency on drunkards, especially (I realized later) underage drunkards. Hmmm...

I was probably a little rude to her at that point, demanding to know where Edward had got off to. She was not really in the condition to tell me, but between kleenex honkings and snufflings, I gathered that they had actually gone to a Denny's (her favorite hangout) to "talk it out," but they'd started fighting in the car and Edward had bailed out of the car somewhere around 63rd and May. Apparently unhurt, he got away from her, and was now wandering, alone, through the city. Presumably back towards my house.

I was pretty irritated by this. Here he'd been offered a ride home, and he couldn't even keep his act together enough to make it home. In fact, had I felt like I had any chance of finding him, he'd be putting me in danger of a) a DUI, and b) whatever sort of felony you get for providing beer to someone who's not 21. After a long few minutes of thought, I grabbed Janiece and started smoking pot again. The guy has got to learn his lesson, I thought to myself, and I've got a warm girl in my bed.


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