27 July, 2011

I bet you were wondering if this disease had a name.

So, with Lady Season being what it is here at the hostel this year, the adventures have been few and far between and the romances have been next to nonexistent and my hopes have not been raised high enough to have been dashed so, all in all, just boring boring boringness with the exception of seeing Harvey Milk about a week ago.
Then, night before last, a young woman with a thick accent interrupts my work out on the patio. She's a friendly sort and I have to tell you I don't mind the company. We wound up shooting the shit - mostly about sci-fi and horror movies (and let me tell you, brother, that never happens) and she taught me a couple key Hungarian phrases ("please", "thank you", and "bathroom" being the big three I told her I needed to know) - until about a quarter til midnight, at which point we went our separate, dry-shorted ways and, while I don't know if she had to, I furiously knocked one out of the park and went to sleep.
Yesterday went normally. Nothing happened. Georgie came in to relieve me from my shift and I went about making dinner (Swiss cheese guacamole burgers for the curious) and then I practiced for a while and said "fuck it" and hit the liquor store. It was six o'clock by then and I was going to sit on the patio and do some drinking and writing. That's my thing.
I got two beers in when she showed up again. Sunburnt and cheery and telling me all about where she had gone for the day. We made pleasant back and forth until she said she was going for a run and asked if I was still interested in joining her. We had discussed it the night before and I told her that I wasn't much of a runner but I could ride along side her on my bike. She said she wanted me to come with her.
I know that what I'm about to say is indicative of precisely the wrong move but I really would have preferred to just kick it on the patio and drink my beer and revise my manuscript. But I acquiesced: It wasn't every day that I meet a twenty five year old Hungarian personal trainer who likes science fiction and horror and laughs at my jokes (and who would be leaving tomorrow - that being today). If I had to put in my time by leaving my comfort zone, so be it.
She said she'd be ready to run at about eight o'clock and I looked at my laptop.
Twenty five minutes.
Enough time for one last beer, I'd read a little of that Dutch detective novel I'd been trying to get through since the bus ride to and from Chicago last autumn, and then I'd be out and about with the Personal Trainer and it would probably go nowhere but, hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Was it possible that I wasn't feeling this?
No. Couldn't have been.
Anyway, she came out in running attire, she stretched, and I took her on the Greenway to Lake Calhoun whereupon I told her (Since this was the slowest. Bike ride. Ever.) that we'd be separated a good distance because the pedestrian lane and the bike lane are anywhere from ten to twenty feet apart and I may as well leave her to it. She said to forget about the lake, let's keep going down the Greenway, then.
We kept going until we came to the Cedar Lake Trail; we turned off onto that and came to a beach at Cedar Lake which she wanted to see, so I said, Yeah, we can look at the beach if you want.
People were packing things up and leaving as I guess maybe the beach closes at sundown or something. She saw the last woman to come out of the water and said, "Oh! my god, she's so brave."
"She's wearing a bikini!" she whispered.
Wearing a bikini's brave?
"She is fat."
I looked back over at the woman, about ten yards away. Her?
She's not fat.
"She has a fat belly."
OK, so I looked over again, figuring maybe the woman had a case of dunlap syndrome I hadn't seen, but no. I turned back to the Personal Trainer. What are you talking about? She's got a completely normal body.
"She is old, too."
So now I'm practically staring at this poor woman (who thankfully had her back to me) and I ask the Personal Trainer, Old? She's not old.
This back and forth continued as we began leaving the beach. The Personal Trainer asked as we climbed the hill back to the bike trail, "Do you like fat girls?"
I like all kinds of girls.
There was an awkward moment when the woman in question came up behind us on her bike. She was close enough now that I could discreetly get a look at her. Average build, about my age. What was the Personal Trainer on about?
And it's as we're headed back to the hostel and the subject still isn't dropped and the Personal Trainer says that she herself had fat on her belly (no the fuck she didn't, she's five-six and a buck forty five) that it dawned on me: She has... SKINNYBITCHITIS.
And dare I also say that that's strike one.
And here's the thing: I'm the pitcher.
Women don't usually strike out with me. It's generally the other way around.
But because I'm hard up, I remind myself that this is only strike one. There are two more strikes to go. Maybe she could score. Who knows? After all it was cute when I said, If you insist, and she asked "Incest?"
"What is incest?"
No no no, don't say it like that, that's a whole other word.
That was cute, right? When am I going to come across another twenty five year old Hungarian personal trainer with a penchant for sci-fi and horror who laughs at my jokes who now has an adorable language barrier? When, goddamnit, when?
So we get back to the house and she cools off and tells me that she's going to take a shower. She goes inside while I sit with my laptop and my beer and I think to myself, Did I just miss my chance? Could I have pulled off the ol' 'mind if I join you'?
No. Nobody pulls that off. Forget that.
Fast forward a little further into the night. To keep the conversation going, I tell her that I've had the theme to You Only Live Twice stuck in my head all day. She doesn't know what that is, so I play her the Björk version.
She asks, "You like this?"
Uh, yeah.
"It's too slow."
Slow can be good.
"I do not like this."
So... she just dissed John Barry and Björk in one shot. Impressive, but I'll still call it on just one strike - bringing her to strike two for those of you keeping score at home...

On your official SD&A score cards, no doubt.
... since I can't tell if she doesn't like the song but likes the Björk or would like the song if it wasn't for Björk. But I let it go. I don't spend too much time thinking about it.
She had her iPad out and asked if I wanted to see the most beautiful woman in the world. Jokingly, I said, Milla Jovovich.
"Milla Jovovich!?" she was confused now. Somehow this lead back to what kind of women I like, particularly if I like fat women.
I said again, I like all kinds of women. I mean, her body counts for something, yeah, but I've dated all kinds of women; I'm more interested in what a woman has to say than how fit she is. (That's the truth, too. I'm not fifteen anymore, I actually have taste in women that goes beyond bra size and other juvenile shit like that.)
The Personal Trainer then went on about how she met a very very nice man that day but he was fat.
That blew my mind. Nice but fat. Somehow, his weight negated his niceness? His physical appearance detracted from his personality? Jesus Henry Christ, it really was a case of skinnybitchitis.
I had to remind myself that this was just taking us back to strike one. We'd been over this. There was no need to revisit that. Let's just go over the facts again:
  1. Foreign meaning hot accent.
  2. Personal Trainer meaning she can probably get down.
  3. Younger than me meaning... OK, that doesn't mean anything.
  4. Gone in the morning meaning I can have a bit of an indiscretion with somebody I'm not entirely sure I like anymore and not have to live with the results any longer than a cup of coffee, right?
Right? Tell me I'm right. Tell me I can do this and live with myself. All I have to do is change the subject. We both like sci-fi and horror, let's go with that.
OK OK OK, listen up, everybody. I'm going to need the following illiterati to sit down and take a deep breath: Contriubting Author Joe and Avid Reader Jake. Thank you.
I bring up the Evil Dead trilogy.
She's never seen them.
Never - ? You mean, you -
"Well, maybe it was called something else in Hungary."
Oh, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Sometimes when things get translated they get butchered. Sometimes things go awry. Look at what happens when a Yankee movie gets released in Poland. So, yeah, cool. I got this. I break out the greatest piece of cinema ever committed to celluloid: The chainsaw assembly.
You don't even know about that scene. There are days of peace on the Gaza goddamned Strip where Israelites and Palestinians get together and stop fighting to watch that scene. It's - it's - like having your eyes touched by the Virgin Mary herself.
I show it to the Personal Trainer, confident that if it doesn't spark a memory, she'll certainly dig it.
She says - and check the fuck out of this shit out - "No... I don't like that."
She had just spoke nonsense. I asked her, What? And for some unknown reason (Did I think she didn't watch it right?), I played it again.
Same response.
She was out.
For the first time ever, a woman struck out with me. She went on to elaborate that she believed that scary and funny should not and could not be put together. I tried to explain that it was totally doable. It had been done already. Not just with the Evil Deads but with a good portion of Peter Jackson's early work, particularly Dead Alive.
She was hearing none of this.
She was taking her strike and keeping it as she went to bed. She was tired and had to be up early for her bus anyhow. We hugged at the bottom of the stairs and she gave me a peck on the cheek and I thought one last time about just lowering the hell out of my standards but I said, No, let's not be stupid. I went down to my room, looked at my email, inbox, grabbed my last two beers and went outside.
As if on cue, it began to rain.


  1. A round of applause. Fantastic work all around.

    For the record, I've never seen any Evil Dead either.

  2. Put it in your Netflix cue. Or whatever the kids do nowadays.


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