My Near Misses With Phissy

Today is Phissy’s birthday. No, I’m not going to call her. She’s blown me off the last three times I’ve tried to make plans with her. I think she’s shelved me like an old toy. What sucks is that she lives in my building. I can tell if she’s home (or if she’s left her lights on) by poking my head out the window and looking up. She’s found a new toy (boy) to play with. Or to play her. Every woman secretly considers herself a Stradivarius; and every Stradivarius longs to be played by a Julliard-trained violinist. Or maybe just Phissy does. I think I saw her with her new chew toy at the Sav-Yeh down the street. No, Phissy isn’t a dog. Not in the least. She’s perfect, actually. Very nearly perfect. But as she’ll often remind you (or anyone who’ll listen), she’s a descendant of King Naa Gbewaa. I’m completely serious. And, frankly, I’d love to believe that I’ve sampled royal bosoms. 

So silly: I affectionately called her, “baby.” She hated that. She also hates to be tickled. She’ll claim that tickling was once considered a form of torture. (In the Kingdom of Dagbon, perhaps.) Thing is, that night, when we fooled around, I couldn’t stop calling her, “baby.” I couldn’t tell you why. It just kept slipping out. I’ve never called anyone, “baby.” I should’ve called her, “Your highness.” She would’ve liked that. Also, I asked if she had an orgasm. Guess that was stupid, too. 

She doesn’t know she’s the first girl I’ve ever fooled around with, but it wouldn’t have come as a surprise. I mean, she even asked if I was a virgin. I told her I was “rusty.” If she’d let me kiss her on the lips I would’ve gone all the way with her. Still, as little as it was, it’s probably cost me a good friend (her ex). Here’s the thing: She’s the first girl who’s ever been crystal clear about her attraction to me. With my good friend sitting right beside her in an Applebee’s booth, and I across from them, she all but said that she wished she’d met me first.*
2 February 2000 

Like an hour ago, Phissy called—to bawl me out. I thought she was through with me, and I told her so; but she insisted she was just busy. She told me about her birthday gifts. She buys herself gifts and her parents send her a check. Sometimes, they send her a signed check without filling in the amount. In that way, she tells me what her parents got her when she actually bought the gifts herself. She mentioned the boots she’s had her eye on, but they’re too expensive, or not the right size, or the heels are too high. And then there’s the leather jacket she wants, but it’s got to be custom made, with the right inside lining, and with enough room in the arms for her to wear it with a sweater; also, it needs a zipper (not buttons) down the front. While Phissy is very easy on the eyes, she’s very hard on the ears. That’s not to say she has an irritating voice. The trouble has more to do with how she uses it. 
3 February 2000 

I wasn’t planning on calling Phissy ever again; and, quite frankly, I never again expected to hear from her. Especially since she said she’d come to see my show last Friday, but missed it, and didn’t call to explain why. So last night I came home from work and there’s a message on my machine. Guess who? Yup. Princess Phissy had called to bitch about her noisy neighbors. So I rang her back. She answered right away. She told me she couldn’t sleep. Her walls were vibrating thanks to her neighbor’s cranked up stereo. She banged on the offender’s door and someone looked through the peephole, but he (or she) didn’t open up or say anything. So, from me, she wants numbers to complain. Phone numbers. To complain to someone. (Other than me.) I could’ve—I SHOULD’VE—invited her down to my place. (Oh, the countless conflicting regrets of my life!) But I didn’t. I just didn’t think of it. I was tired from a night of steaming milk and pulling shots of espresso nonstop. And for the length of the hot shower I really wanted, Phissy went on and on about the noise; and then she told me that she couldn’t find the theater last Friday, got hungry, and gave up. So I gave her better directions. She says she’ll come to Saturday’s show. We’ll see.
8 February 2000 

*[Trust me, that old buddy of mine was, in every respect, a much better catch.]

[She never saw the show. And yet, twenty-three years later, I’ve still got the hots for her.]

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