Tuesday, December 12, 2006

One Never Knows

Charlie is one of my building's doormen. He is affable and it is very easy to spend an hour chatting with him. One morning he had stopped me and we had a long talk about...life, love, the pursuit of happiness. You know, the usual.

Charlie has been divorced for two years and was telling me about the new woman in his life. She is very special to him, he said, but if it came to choosing to keep a date with her or rushing to his ex-wife's house to take care of his two children, he wouldn't hesitate to do the daddy thing. His girlfriend is seemingly understanding. So far.

CHARLIE: After all, what woman wants to be number two, or three, or whatever in a guy's life?
ALICE: Well, she knows that you are a good father and if the kids need you to drop everything, she probably is happy that you are such a hands-on parent.
CHARLIE: Yeah, she's cool that way. And very secure. I really like her.

Charlie then told me a story about a long-ago tenant who was socially awkward and finally--at 42 years of age--spent a night with a woman.

No comment.

CHARLIE: Yeah, check this out! He met her one week. The next week he slept with her...
ALICE: How do you know this?
CHARLIE: He told me. He used to tell me everything. You know, doormen are like bartenders or therapists. Without the booze or the couch, of course.
ALICE: Yeah, I figured...
CHARLIE: Anyhoo, a few months later, he told me that she was pregnant and was taking him to court for child support. She didn't want to get married. She actually hated his guts! But he was very rich and she just wanted a piece of the money.
ALICE: Well. She slept with him just to get pregnant and get him to support her and the kid?
CHARLIE: Don't look so surprised! Don't be so naive! A lot of women would do that.
ALICE: I don't think that I could just...sleep with someone I loathed for money. I mean...
CHARLIE: Yeah, you probably are the type that believes in passion, romance, and
ALICE: Well, some sort of love!
CHARLIE: Good luck, baby. You could probably do a lot of things if you had to.
ALICE: No. For example, I could never eat those revolting wormy things that those people swallow for money on that television show.
CHARLIE: You wouldn't eat crap for lots of money?
CHARLIE: Well, I guess then that you really wouldn't sleep with someone that you didn't care about. It would be...
ALICE: Like eating worms! Yeah, just like that.
CHARLIE: You're weird!
ALICE: No kidding!

Then, for some curious reason, as I rode the elevator to the apartment, I kept on hearing this little refrain in my head: Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms...

Well, I do remember that I tasted a deep-fried cicada once. But I did have a feeling of affection for it. Yeah, I did.