The Cheat handed me a CD-R. No case, nothing. Just a cheap, semi-translucent CD with something scrawled on it in black magic marker. He said, “This CD really sucks. You can have it.”
“What is it?” I asked. I thought, considering his taste in music, that I’d probably like it.
“It’s some Indian music,” he responded. “It’s really bad.”
“Indian music? Like Ravi Shankar?”
“No,” he said. “This is much worse.”
Man, The Cheat is pissing me off. After class, he said to me, “Hey, maybe we can hang this weekend.”
“NEVER!” I thought. Instead, I said, “Oh, gee, my sister’s coming into town this weekend.” This is actually true; my sister is coming to town tomorrow, and even though she’s leaving Friday evening to go to Galena or something, it’s a good excuse to use.
“Oh,” The Cheat responded, clearly disappointed. “Well, then, we have to next weekend.”
“We’ll see,” I said noncommittally.
“Yeah, it’ll be fun,” he explained with disturbing enthusiasm. “I’ll hook you up, and you can…you know…” He glanced at The Girlfriend and then smiled at me.
“I have to go now,” I said calmly and left the room.
“See you on Monday!” he called after me. I didn’t respond.
Instead of going to politics (which The Cheat was going to miss, too), I went with The Crush and The Workhorse to one of the residence halls. She needed to register for the fall, I needed to straighten out a minor problem, and The Workhorse was bored so he decided he’d go with us and wait around until we were done.
We had lunch afterward, and The Crush and I discussed nightmares that mostly involved sex and violence (or sexual violence). The Workhorse, meanwhile, ate uncomfortably. The Crush’s flirting has increased substantially, and I really wish I could properly read her. She flirts with me like I’m the last man on Earth (and, trust me, I’d have to be), but then she’ll suddenly start talking about her boyfriend and how wonderful he is, or she’ll talk about The Cheat and what a piece of shit he is.
When she started talking about The Cheat today, she devised what was actually a viable solution to our mutual guilt over the Things We Know. See, as I’ve mentioned on several occasions, We Know Things. I hate Knowing Things, so I immediately spread them around so I am not alone in my Knowing Things. But, because of this whole almost-cheating thing, we all feel guilty but don’t really know how to solve our problems satisfactorily.
And then The Crush hit on the perfect plan.
“I should write an anonymous letter,” she suggested. “To The Girlfriend. I could say something like, ‘Hey, I’ve seen you around with The Cheat, and I don’t know if you guys are dating or how serious you are or anything, but I just wanted you to know that I’ve seen him at a lot of parties, hitting on girls. He even hit on me and tried to get my number. I thought you should know.'”
“Holy shit,” I said, “that’s a good idea.” And then we hit on our fundamental logistical problem: it’d be far too obvious if we slipped it into her bag during class, but none of us knew The Girlfriend’s address or had any other contact information. During the project, The Workhorse mainly worked through The Cheat, who passed along all the information to The Girlfriend.
“Well, we could always find out,” The Crush said. “Plus, there are other ways.” This was true. It wasn’t like we were the only people going to the school. We might be able to use our resources, limited though they may be, to find The Girlfriend in a more isolated capacity and then slip her the note.
“I think we should do it,” I said. I didn’t think we should do it, but The Crush was obsessed with the idea that The Girlfriend should know all. While I sort of agreed, I didn’t really give a shit. Plus, based on what I knew of them and their relationship, I was of the opinion that she already knew and didn’t give a shit. Moreover, I don’t particularly like either of them enough to separate them; they sort of deserve each other.
“Yeah,” The Crush said. She smiled at me awkwardly. I have no idea what the awkward smile meant.
Afterward, The Workhorse departed to make his trek to Union Station. I made up an excuse of something I had to do at the film building, so I could walk The Crush to her class. On the way, we talked about England for some reason. Then, she told me about a girl she saw pulled over yesterday who was apparently so attractive that The Crush herself wanted to get this person’s number.
It’s official: women exist to befuddle me and ruin my life.