Something Someone Said...
By Steve Griffen
It wasn’t anything he said. It could have been my particular mood, influenced by any number of seemingly insignificant happenings throughout the day. I only know I thoroughly disliked him, everything about him: his looks (too pretty), his movements (too apparently choreographed), his attire (too flamboyant), his voice (too smooth), his accent (phony English), but I especially disliked the way he looked at my date, a too familiar glance one gives one with whom there is a past. His smug, half smile lingered, his ensuing hug, too tight and too lengthy. His kiss touched the corner of her mouth.
I am not the jealous type, and I hardly knew the woman who had accompanied me to the party, nor had I felt any attraction for her. I had no plans to ever see her again. We had only come to the party together for convenience. Nevertheless, I resented what I took on his part to be a deliberate slight. In a childish pique I resented the woman I’d come with. For what, I could not have articulated, would have been ashamed to try, perhaps for not pushing him away more forcefully, for smiling, as if she had enjoyed his touch. I knew my reaction was absurd, totally illogical, but I could not stop my resentment toward a man I’d never met, nor my jealousy for a woman I hardly knew and had no interest in.
She of course could not help but notice. “Is it something I said?” she asked.
“No, of course not,” I answered.
“Something I did, or didn’t do?” she insisted. “I know something’s bothering you.”
“Nothing’s bothering me. It’s just that everyone I’ve met at this party is trying too hard to be original, to be so profound in everything they say, it all seems contrived. Frankly, I’m bored stiff.” I hadn’t really thought that before I said it. I couldn’t tell her the truth that I was seething with jealousy.
“I think I know what you’re saying,” she said. “I’m not really enjoying these people that much either, especially that pompous ass in that ridiculous purple jacket. Stanley, I think his name is. If you like, let’s go back to my place. I bought some of that wine you said you liked, the Chilean Carmenere.”
She remembered my favorite wine! Suddenly, this woman appeared far more attractive than I had noticed before, far more interesting.
“I can’t think of anything I’d rather do, or any place I’d rather be, or anyone I’d rather be with,” I said, and meant every word.