Camille is rarely late, unless it involves a man.
I’m rather enjoying the solitude so I don’t care all that much. It’s only 1 in the afternoon, a little early to be drinking, so I’m slowly sipping a ginger ale. I rarely drink soda but for some reason had an urge for one. The taste always reminds me of my mother who would ply me with it whenever I was sick. To this day, if I get a cold or flu, I make sure there’s a six-pack in the fridge. Such a legacy to be left, alongside her legendary tomato sauce of course.
A man just walked in clearly looking for someone. He seems upset that whoever it is isn’t here. He starts to swear in French looking directly at me as if I know something I’m not telling him. I’m laughing at the absurdity of this, which has absolutely enraged him.
“You think…you think this ezz ha ha fo-nee?”
“Yes, I do, and why are you yelling at me?”
“Be-co-z, you are hea, and she ezz nut.”
“Well fuck you then…that’s not nice.” Saying fuck you isn’t nice either I realize, but I’ve had a rough week.
He looks as if I doused him with water. “Ah…you are right…what tiz wrong weeth me?”
“I haven’t a clue, but I’d like it if you just went away.”
“No, no…chedde…let me make it oop to you. What tiz that een that glozz”
Like I need this fruitcake to buy me a ginger ale. It couldn’t be when I’m drinking champagne or cosmopolitans at 22 bucks a pop.
He’s acting as if he ran over my cat insisting I allow him restitution. His name is Gerard or Ged-odd, which makes a lot of sense, and he’s here on business hoping to see a woman he met the last time he was in town. She promised to meet him three days in a row but apparently has never shown up.
I couldn’t help wondering what’s wrong with him. He looks okay, not exactly like George Clooney, but he cleans up well and is wearing a really nice suit. Of course there is the matter of his unbridled temper.
“Let me ask you something Ger. Did you by any chance yell at her the way you just yelled at me?”
He gave me a sheepish look. “Amedican wooman…you POOSH a Fronchman’s bootons (an understatement if I’ve ever heard one). I may hov…but I too gave heh a la-ge bo-tol of CHANEL NOOMBER FAVE. I ol-ways keep one een my suit-case…just een case.”
Smart, but not very personal. Then again, who would know. After all, you can buy it at all the major department stores not to mention the airport. Just then Camille, looking particularly fabulous, came waltzing in. Before I could say a word, Ged-odd went postal.
“It is you, FINOL-LEE. I have been wait-ting mach too LAANAG.”
OOPS…so the plot thickens with yours truly in the middle. Camille, who normally wouldn’t throw a man away so fast, does not look too happy to see Gerard or Ged-odd. Actually, I think she’s about to slug him.
“Why are you still here? I was supposed to arrive over an hour ago. You should be gone by now.”
I feel like I’m watching a screwball comedy but instead of Carole Lombard and William Powell we have Camille and the French Son of Sam.
“Three days you are LAA-TE…you don’t even ba-tha to CAUL…I wait like an ID-JUT.” I love that pronunciation. From now on all men will be id-juts instead of the normal garden variety asshole.
“No one told you to wait,” snapped Camille, “and I insist that you lower your voice.” She’s talking to him as if he were 12. I’m waiting for her to tell him to go wash his face and hands and be quick about it.
“Camille, can I talk to you for a second?…
“You are FRONDS? You know one A-NUTH-AH‘? Gerard said, throwing up his hands. “How can theez be?”
Camille and I conspire in the ladies room like two Soviet spies. “Who is he, and did you really stand him up three days in a row?”
“Yes…he’s a pain in the ass Susannah. We had dinner one night after meeting at the bar and he’s been like gum on my shoe ever since. He’s so boring…and nuts. I think he has Tourette’s syndrome. He just starts screaming for no reason. I mean really…how tiresome is that?”
“Yeah…I got a little a dose of that myself. It’s as if his testosterone has a short. But explain to me why you keep saying you’re showing up?”
“Strategy, why do you think.” Frankly, I was afraid to think at this point.
“Let’s go to the Mark…come on.”
“No Camille, that’s mean. Just go in there and tell him to leave you alone…then we’ll go.”
“I’ve been telling him…he doesn’t listen. I’m going to have to change my email address and cell number.”
“Why did you give him so much information?”
“How did I know he was insane? He was so well dressed. Nuts don’t normally shop at Tom Ford.”
“That’s what you think. By the way, I heard you got some pricy perfume.”
“He probably keeps it in his suitcase in the rare case he actually gets laid.”
“Hmm..interesting theory.” I just couldn’t make matters any worse for old Ger by telling Camille she was right. I’m afraid she’ll cab it home to get it to bring back to bust over his already cracked head. I’ve seen her do things like that, like the time she dumped her linguine and clam sauce in some guy’s fedora. Thank God we left before he put his hat back on.
“What if I tell him. I’ll just say that you went back to an old beau and didn’t know how to break it to him, that way he won’t feel so bad.”
“Who gives a shit how he feels. He’s a nut I tell ya.”
“I’ll meet you at the Mark…besides, I have to pay my check.”
When I went back to the bar Gerard was in a 3-D sulk. “Where EZZ she now…I doon’t see her ah- GAIN.”
“You know Gerard…Camille…well…she’s just not the girl you think she is.”
“She ezz not? Who ezz she then...be-sides…and LAA-TE.”
“She doesn’t like men as a rule (she would kill me for this.”)
“Yes…that’s exactly what I mean.”
“Ah…no won-da’ she is so…how do you say…slip-pery’.”
“Slippery works.” This news seems to have taken a load off of his well-tailored shoulders, as if he can finally rescue his ego from life support, plus it shut-up him up, thank God, since my fragile ears can’t take much more.
That’s what I get for leaving my earplugs in my other purse.
“I think it would be best if you just let her alone. She’s a very high-strung, confused girl.”
“But ov course I will leave heh –eh-loone. I did not know she…you know.”
“Yes, I know.”
When I got to the Mark, Camille was at the bar.”
“How did he take it…did he break anything?”
“How did he take it? Oh, like a man…he took it just like a man.”
“So that’s that?”
“Yup, that’s that.”
“He took it like a man you say?”
“Okay, sorry…that’s that.”
“Yes, trust me…that is definitely that.”