I can’t believe Avery and I are having this argument again. It all started because I wanted to go on a date with Bryan. Just a date — nothing more, nothing less. I never go on dates. Avery says we’re not monogamous, but she won’t agree to sit down to define the terms.
Mattilda, I just don’t want you to go on dates.
But it’s okay if I go to the Fens?
Yes, it’s okay if you go to the Fens. I’ve already said that. I like the Fens. I go there all the time. During the day. There are pretty flowers there.
There are no flowers in the Fens.
There are, there are — in the gardens, the little gardens.
Oh, right — the gardens. I never notice the gardens.
That’s because you don’t go there during the day.
Anyway, why is it so threatening for me to go on a date?
Because I love you.
Avery, I know. I love you. But why does that mean you don’t want me to see anyone else? I don’t even have any friends — there’s just you, and my sugar daddy.
Why do you need friends?
Avery, I can’t believe you just said that.
No, no, that’s not what I meant to say — I meant to say that friends are fine, I like friends, but you already called this a date.
I called it a date, because that’s what he called it. We don’t have to call it a date.
That’s not the point. I don’t want you to go out with Bryan.
What are you afraid of? This is ridiculous. I’m sick of having this conversation.
You started it. I already said you can just go on the date, and not tell me about it.
But I don’t want to do that.
So now here I am, wired to all hell, at the Fens. I’m not even horny, or I don’t think I’m horny, but when I was reading Memories That Smell Like Gasoline I kept thinking oh, I miss the Fens, why don’t I go there anymore? But now I’m thinking I don’t have any friends, and I’m not going to meet any friends in the Fens. So I’m over on the druggie picnic bench where usually people talk a little, except it’s just me. I guess I can talk to myself.
And then some guy comes up and sits down across from me, I figure he just wants some pot so I hand it to him and he says oh, oh, manners, remember manners, don’t we? Don’t we?
I can’t tell if he’s throwing me shade or if he’s excited, so I hold out my lighter and then he takes a big hit from the zeppelin.
Ooh, ooh, that’s a good one, he says, and smiles at me. His eyes are huge. I can’t tell whether I think he’s hot. What’s your name, he says, and holds out his hand.
Mattilda? And I’m Broomhilda. Do you waltz? Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda…
The usual. I start to stand up, but he stops me and says ooh, ooh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry Miss-ter Mattilda, I didn’t mean to offend you. That’s the last thing I wanted to do. You know you’re an awfully attractive boy. Boy-girl. Girl-boy. What will it be?
I’ll take everything.
Ooh, ooh, I like it. I like a girl boy boy-girl, girl-boy, girly girly cutie pie hot-tot hottie tottie hottie, yeah! Yeah! Do you like to party?
So then I’m on the way to this nutcase’s house, wondering if this counts as a date. I mean we’re not in the Fens anymore.
We get to one of those gorgeous old apartment buildings down the street that I’ve always fantasized about because they’re so convenient, go around back and this guy makes a big show about saying welcome, welcome to Pee-wee’s Playhouse. When he opens the door it’s pitch dark and he says don’t worry, don’t worry ‘bout a thing.
He turns the light on, a red bulb in the ceiling and Christmas lights all over the walls. The stairs are carpeted, and we’re going down. Watch your head, he says, and I duck down into the most hilarious room I’ve ever seen. All the walls are covered in splatter paint and the sofas too, almost like it poured down from the walls except they don’t quite match and then there’s a huge brass four-poster bed against the wall, plush white comforter and sheets. White carpet too — how does he keep it so white? He flicks another switch, and it turns out there’s a disco ball in the ceiling, here we go.
There’s a big mirror table in front of the sofas, and he takes out a vial and pours it on the table like in some movie, what movie is this?
Special K, he says, just like the cereal, do you know about Special K?
I’m feeling special already.