GCSPrank Is Here

For people who spend the day saying and writing things that others accept, while thinking things that are infinitely more interesting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


She complained fairly often that the guys she dated were “off.” I thought they were jerks. True, Alyson would win no conventional beauty pageants. Maybe she had bad taste in men. But any guy who spent an hour with her and didn’t see how special she was was brain-dead. Of course, the argument could be made that most men are, indeed, brain-dead.

Alyson spoke with a breathy little-girl voice that contrasted with her very adult mind. She had a heart that dwarfed my entire body and a way of focusing all her attention on you that made you feel as if you were being absorbed.

We called her our “Mother Figure,” and teased her about everything. I actually pretended to be gay around her, a move that backfired badly. I invited her to dinner at Ruby’s and offered her wine. When she declined, I told her I was trying to get her drunk to take advantage of her. Her look practically snapped me in half, made up as it was of 6% “With what?,” 11% “I’d like to see you try” and 83% “You’ve gotta be kidding.”

I didn’t feel shot down, I felt annihilated.

My standard line with her was to subtly put her down for being a woman. I used “female” a lot, a word that deeply annoyed her to the point that she confessed to a co-worker “It’s not that it isn’t accurate, it’s just the way he says it.”

If not for my reflexes, she would have hurt me once. Several of us were at the office, late one winter night. While Alyson was washing her mug for the hot chocolate I’d make later, I quipped “That’s the female's true role, washing dishes.” The sink was six feet to the right of the doorway and I was leaning on the far wall, ten feet from that same doorway, the only exit. To escape, I had to get through there, open a number-pad keylock to the outside door and rush out down the stairs. The instant I saw her back stiffen, I moved. I actually got past her, punched in the “2-then-1” combination, turned the latch and doorknob and raced out ahead of her grasp. She hissed at me from atop the stairs, truly upset, so I waited a few minutes and returned. Alyson was sitting cross-legged on the floor, her usual way of sitting. She ignored me.

I said “Females are known to kill for sport.”

She didn’t look up and said: “In your case, it would be by necessity.”


The day she was leaving, I took her a gift, a book of horse diseases, defined and illustrated. Alyson was mad about horses and the gift had been the end result of a very long search. She tore the wrapping paper off and immediately cried out happily. She sat down, cross-legged, right there in the parking lot. Turning pages, Alyson pointed out details I knew nothing of, but that made her very happy.

I realized then that I had always had a crush on her.

She closed the book. I helped her up and zipped my lip about that. For a few seconds, we avoided the words. Then I held out my hand and wished her success and blessings. Alyson took my hand and said she was very pleased to have worked with me.

As I walked away, she called out to me: “Are you really gay?”

I paused and turned around. “Can’t a female tell?” She laughed merrily and waved goodbye.


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