Leaning forward on the counter, I listen intently to a friend of mine in the midst of a party. Her name is Ashley. We’d fooled around a few times and would often talk about having sex, but she’d always play a bit too hard to get or I’d get bored and move on to other bitties. We also shared a seductive annoyance at each other’s cockiness and respective bitchiness.
We discuss the recurring topic of our attraction for each other and the games we play to express it. I then joke about the absurdity of every social situation and how most people just act out the version of reality they tell themselves must be true (see, I talk to girls about more than just sex... sometimes).
She lightly teases me, “It always seems like you’re so calculating...”
“Is that right?”
“Yeah, I can see the gears turning in your head.”
“Am I that obvious?”
“Well no, but most people aren’t as perceptive as me.”
See? Cocky. She was also very direct, either blatantly spilling her mind or feeding you lies draped in sardonicism. So, I definitely crushed on her. I mean, we had so much in common.
We continue sharing ideas about all the charades people put on in social situations. As we talk, a girl passes by us to get some beer from the fridge. Ashley scans the girl up and down, then looks at me, pointing to the girl, squints, then mouths to me, “Who is that?”
I shake my head and shrug. Seeing that I don’t know, she looks back at the girl. Then she plops down from her perch on the counter and pours herself a drink near the fridge. The girl’s eyes and body are turned from my friend, so Ashley takes the opportunity to scan the girl closely. Though she stares harder than your average creep at a club, there’s a calmness and curiosity to it that makes it natural.
Then, as the girl turns towards her, Ashley widens her eyes and subdues her body language by shrinking her shoulders and nodding down slightly so that she has to look up to make eye contact. An instant transition from “shameless staring” to “politely submissive”.
“Hey, I’ve never seen you before. I’m Ashley,” she says to the girl, extending her hand.
The girl turns towards my friend and they shake hands. A few brief exchanges later and Ashley comes back.
I chide her, “I saw the gears turning in your eyes, too. Everything about that was so... mechanical.”
She laughs and gives an impish smile of guilt.