It even started strange.
Suzie met me at a coffee shop late one Friday evening during the summer. I was drinking some frapa-something caffeine based beverage on the cafe street patio, and she was with several of her friends in the backseat of a taxi that was stopped at a red light. She smiled at me. I smiled back. She flashed her tits, and I… kinda just sat there, suddenly more wide eyed than usual. She laughed and waved me over to the cab.
“Hey, we’re gonna go party, wanna come?” she asked.
“Alright,” I said, trying to play it cool.
I ditched my original caffeinated friends and jumped into the taxi. We went to some club not very far from there, which I’d never been to before. Suzie obviously had, since she seemed to know everyone. She introduced me to about 40 different people within the first fifteen minutes, from which I remember none.
See, Suzie was a social butterfly… or perhaps, a social bowling ball. She had an ability to make a group of complete strangers feel like they’d just survived an airplane crash together. It has often been said that it would take an ultimate and terrifying threat from above to make all the people of the world unite.
Suzie was that terrifying threat.
Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself already. Let me tell you about Suzie…
Suzie was beautiful. Looking at her was like looking up at the night sky and seeing five shooting stars all at the same time. She had short blond hair, a flat nose and cheeks etched with a constant grin. And she always smelt like hot chocolate.
As you talked to Suzie, she would look at you with a constant, non-blinking, wide-eyed stare that had the unnerving effect of making you feel like you were holding a conversation with the headlights of an oncoming car.
And she was dating me. I’m not sure how that happened. One day I’m sitting in a coffee shop talking to other university kids and pretending I know what post-modernism is, and next thing I know I’m in some pub having my bum grabbed by a cute blond chick and pretending to know how much vodka I can ingest before I die.
Suzie was dating me, and I was ecstatic.
But this didn’t last for long. You see, Suzie was also quite insane.
It started with the 3 am phone calls.
Me: (sleepy) hello?
Suzie: (wide awake) Hey, who do you think would win a fight, Ronald McDonald or the Burger King?
Suzie: Who do you think would win in a fight between Ronald McDonald and the Burger King? I need to know.
Me: Well, there is no Burger King, so I doubt he’d win.
Suzie: No, no. Imagine if there was a Burger King. Who’d win?
Me: I dunno…
Suzie: Tell me!
Me: Um (pause) the Burger King?
Suzie: (Long pause followed by rustling sounds) No, that’s not right. Thanks anyway (click).
It was like this every night. Our conversations would range from such things as whether or not fake erect nipples would be a good product idea, to whether that cat in the “Bad hair day” posters was alive or dead at the time it was made. Late night phone conversations with Suzie left me feeling dazed.
Suzie also had an alternate, yet confusing view of table manners. While she wasn’t opposed to using her fingers to separate food on her plate at restaurants (neither am I), she was outraged that I’d use that hot towel that the waiter gives you after your dinner to actually wipe my hands afterwards.
“Don’t do that! That’s rude,” she’d hiss at me as she snuck her own towel into her purse. She’d then walk out past reception, pocketing all the toothpicks and mints from the front desk as she went. At home, in her kitchen, she had drawers filled with toothpicks, fortune cookies, cloth napkins, and ketchup sachets. This was her hobby.
And finally, there was her dog, Rufus. Rufus was about half size of me and had the biggest, droopiest, saddest, most wet face I’ve ever seen. And naturally, Rufus was insane too.
He wouldn’t move at all during the day, except for when I came into the room, at which point he’d go crazy and run around in circles around the walls of the room, barking and jumping on and off the furniture. And when this dog jumped, the room shook.
I grew terrified at the prospect of going to her apartment, lest the dog lose his footing, smash into a load-bearing wall, and topple the building.
* * *
Later that summer Suzie moved to New York, and we saw a lot less of each other.
She still writes to me occasionally and tells me about the famous people she’s seen in the street and followed around (until they notice her following them and start to get nervous, at which point she pretends she doesn’t recognize who they are now and walks away).
And even though much of the time we spent together was confusing and a little scary, I still miss her. Spontaneous and unpredictable people can have a tendency to be almost a little addicting…
But in the mean time I have to go; it’s almost 3 am, and I need to phone my new girlfriend to ask her who she thinks would win in a fight: Colonel Sanders or Uncle Ben…