The following story is part a new feature, the serialization of our columnist Wayne Weedon’s fictional work, Vectors.Wayne is a brilliant writer whose style consists of simple declarative statements that stick in your mind as he leads youthrough an intricate web of circumstances to reach the lesson he set out to teach.
I went to get dressed but I couldn’t find my jeans. I asked Mr. Graham what he had done with them. He brought me a brand-new pair of jeans and asked me to try them on. I mean these jeans LOOKED NEW, they were like, DARK BLUE, and they didn’t even appear to have ever been washed.
I told him I could never wear these pants in public and I asked him where my jeans were. He told me, since they were worn-out and full of holes, he had cut them up for rags. I screamed at him, those were expensive jeans which were supposed to have holes; they were designer, distressed jeans. I called him an idiot. Boy-oh-boy, was I mad. He, however, calmly replied I had been cheated, explaining the jeans he gave me had only cost him $12.97 at Costco.
His friend who works at Costco had told him these were designer jeans with a Kirkland label. I had a conniption. He then told me the holes in my jeans were a code telling the world I was stupid enough to pay good money for jeans which any second-hand store would discard. He asked why I would buy jeans with holes when I could get brand new ones for thirteen dollars. He suggested, rather than being a thinking individual who would take charge of their mind, body, and soul, I was just following the crowd, being more of a sheeple than a human being.
“Sheeple?” I asked him, “what the hell’s a sheeple?” Then, I understood what he meant. I became so angry I could feel my face glowing and my blood pressure rising. I stormed into the bedroom, slamming the door behind me.
As I cooled down, I realised I had no choice, since, other than shorts, I had nothing else to wear. I tried the jeans on and then stepped into the kitchen to show them to Mr. Graham. They were a bit loose, but he told me they would shrink in the wash. He told me to take them off and he would wash them for me. I did as I was told, returning to the kitchen in my housecoat.
After lunch I found Mr. Graham was right; after being washed, the jeans had shrunk enough to fit me nicely. Surprisingly, rather than one pair, he handed me two pairs of freshly washed and pressed jeans, telling me, since they were such a good deal, he had bought an extra pair.
After getting dressed, I came back into the sitting room. Mr. Graham silently ignored me, but I wanted to talk. I told him about my boyfriend and how I had wasted many months on him.
He gave me no sympathy, insinuating I only got what I had asked for. He advised me to do a little research before choosing my next boyfriend. I asked him what he was talking about. He simply stated, the average person spends more time and effort in buying a new car than they do picking out a lover. He brought up Tempest Tost, reminding me about Hector, a church minister’s son who abandoned prayer and, through planning and common sense, got what he wanted in life. He also mentioned Roger Tasset, another character in the book who, unlike Hector, was devious. Like Hector though, Roger, through planning and common sense also got what he wanted, but mostly by taking advantage of others who would not take charge of their own lives. If you don’t run your own life, Mr. Graham explained, someone else will run it for you. He described how most people are like ships with no rudders, being shoved around by people and circumstances. Roger could get what he wanted from people because they had no sense of direction and readily submitted to what Roger suggested.
By Saturday I was feeling much better, and I started getting that horny feeling when I’ve not had it for a while. Strange, even after Mr. Graham’s lecture, I still missed my boyfriend, despite my admitting he is a cad. I wanted him back in my bed. I had learned to love the physical closeness of a warm body next to mine. He is a very cute boy. Deep down inside, I realised I had known all along he was seeing other girls, but I just didn’t want to admit it to myself. When I had found him in bed with my roommate, I could no longer deny his cheating. If I hadn’t seen it for myself, if I only went by gossip, I know I would have just sloughed it off and pretended it wasn’t happening. I deliberated about phoning him and apologizing even though I knew I’d be sorry in the end. I knew he should be the one to apologize, but somehow, I blamed myself. Maybe, I thought, I hadn’t been satisfying his needs.
Was my desire to make-up because my ex and I had a satisfying sex life and I managed to develop an appetite for that sort of thing? Maybe it was because I could not allow my roommate to get the best of me and I wanted to get the last word in? Maybe it was because my ex is a jock on the wrestling team and all my girlfriends wanted him, and my having him proved I won the competition? I don’t know. At that moment all I knew was I had a very strong urge to have sex and to wake up in the morning with a warm body next to me.
Leigh Graham, I believe, is good looking and one couldn’t ask for a kinder, more considerate man. He would never cheat on anyone, I knew that. After we ate supper, I had a shower, put on my sexy lingerie, and a little perfume. I made the excuse I would be giving Mr. Graham a treat. Deep down inside, I admitted I wanted sex for myself. I was hot and I wanted satisfaction. Maybe, in a way, I was seeking revenge by using Mr. Graham to get back at my boyfriend?
I removed my lingerie, and I was only wearing my housecoat when I entered the kitchen. I asked Mr. Graham if he would mind reading to me. He told me to sit on the couch and he would get the book. I protested and stated I preferred to lie on the bed. He left and came back with the book along with a pillow and quilt. He told me to lie down on the couch. He wasn’t being very co-operative. I wondered if he wasn’t a bit slow in the head. I became very impatient with him and finally I just blurted out I wanted to sleep with him. He told me he was happy sleeping by himself, but, he stated, if by sleeping, I meant sex, the answer would still be no. I asked him if he didn’t like me and if he didn’t find me attractive. This led to a confrontation, and I accused him of being queer. He didn’t get upset. He calmly stated the price was too high for us to have sex. I felt insulted. I told him I didn’t charge for my services, and I wasn’t a prostitute. I stormed into the bedroom and slammed the door.
As I sat on the bed, I was sick with anger. I had embarrassed myself. I wondered if I could ever face him again. At that moment, I hated him with a passion. There was only one thing to do, I had to get away from that apartment so I could think. I needed some fresh air. Maybe then, I would be able to contemplate and come up a game plan? Could I quickly find another place to live?
(Continued next month: Chapter 5, The Runaway)