A few close friends of mine ran into the Wasband. My friends weren’t together on these occasions, as they’ve happened sporadically over the years. A night club, a sporting event, the back waxer. Each time, the friend has texted me, sometimes along with a photo taken on the sly. “Has not aged well.” Then a bird’s eye photo of his thinning hair, the bald spot their target.
Once a friend sat beside the Wasband’s father on an airplane. That must’ve been fun. Next, I’m phoned with a play-by-play, followed thoughtfully with this question, “What would you ever do if you ran into any of them?”
Would you even acknowledge them? What if you meant to ignore them, but they come up to you and say something nasty?
This would be a lot more fun to answer if I were drunk. I’d be way more creative and biting.
They say that what creates the best characters is to put them in a situation and see how they’ll react. The most unexpected response is the richest. On film, the character would behave outrageously, only to cut to their real reaction, not the one they’ve just imagined.
I spend zero time imagining these scenarios, really not caring to plot a witty revenge fantasy. Though, I’ll admit to wishing that someone else would make the outrageous scene on my behalf. Be that person to all slick-like call someone out, bad-ass style. But this never happens. Instead, I just receive the texts. “Just saw him walk into Marshall’s in Delray. Not going in now!”
I’ve received emails from their friends, people I have and haven’t met, who identify themselves as frenemies of the Wasband, or of his new wife, or of his family. “I read your book and can’t believe she’s married to him now, especially after having read it herself.” Why would anyone identify themselves as a frenemy? Are they hoping to gain a swift reply from me, as if we share some common spite which immediately links us?
Recently, Abigail wanted to chop off most of her hair. I took her to a salon, since it wasn’t just an easy trim, but an angled bob, stacked in the back, longer in the front. I locked eyes with another client a few chairs over. At first I couldn’t place her, but then I recognized her as a close friend of my ex-mother-in-law. I couldn’t think of her name until days later, not that I would’ve used it. We exchanged that polite smile, the one you make when you’re trying to place someone. I was thankful that I was with Abigail, an anchor to my current life. I lifted my feet and let the assistant sweep all the clippings away.
You know what all of this made me think? Man, was it nice living in Texas.