Rubi and the Flip-Flopping Fish of a Love Interest (another excerpt from a non-existent book)
Rubi sighs, "I don't know Phil."
I reply, "What don't you now, Rubi?"
"Phiiil. I have boy troubles."
"What are your boy troubles?" There's this technique in couch-therapy where, in order to keep the conversation flowing, u repeat the last part of your patient's statement, but in the tone of a question. I'm not doing this on purpose, but I'm bored, so it rolls out that way.
"I don't know if Danny likes me."
"Why don't you know if Danny likes you?"
Then there is a tapping on the window behind the curtain. Rubi jumps off the bed, unwraps the curtain, unwinds the window door, and in unfurls Danny. It reminds me of a fisherman releasing his catch from his net onto the boat deck.
And, just like the fish, he remains plopped on the floor, lying on his back, staring at the ceiling. He places his right hand on his heart and his left hand behind his head as a headstand. And then describes his day. His drone appears as if he is reading off a teleprompter on his foggy eye glasses. The content of his description includes what he had for dinner and why his TA is soo uncool.
Rubi forgets I exist and engages with Danny like this is something they do every day. I pause for a minute, deciding whether to display my surprise or not. But I give in and mimic Rubi by humoring the fella with interested nods. "Wow, I had a TA once who was so uncool"
"Yeah, and Rubi, you remember the kid that keeps staring. He kept staring at me again. I swear, I'm going to shoot him."
And on it goes until Danny rewinds himself back out of the window and into the night.
Initially I feel sorry for Rubi, sorry that she has fallen in love with a confused lout. But then Rubi tells me things that make me feel even more sorry, but in a different way. Apparently, this Danny's behavior is a microcosm of a more general pattern. Danny came by the week before, and he and Rubi hooked up and it was great. The next day, he came over for lunch, but he was listless and despondent. So, initially I felt sorry for Rubi because she has low standards. But now I feel sorry for her because she inconveniently got wrapped up in The Game.