Benefits

Nothing much happens to a guy who just sits around all day typing stories into his computer on the third floor of a nondescript building. Most days, hours can and will pass by without event.

Today wasn’t most days.

Today, I got a phone call from my friend F., who I usually hang out with whenever I get the urge to have a life. Although F. is nubile, young, and female, and I just happen to be a guy, nothing has ever existed between me and F. In fact, nothing can ever happen between me and F.

You see, F. and I are “friends”.

Once you are “friends” with a single girl in this new age of dating, nothing can happen between the two of you. You are “friends”, nothing more and nothing less. To have sex or anything close to sex would just destroy the “friendship” that the two of you have. It doesn’t matter if she has sex with every other guy in your group, as long as you are tagged as the friend, there’s no sex for you.

It’s not just sex, it’s anything intimate or romantic that’s off limits to “friends”. If you ever become “friends” with a woman, you might as well turn gay or she might as well turn lesbian. Either way, you have the same chance of ending up together naked on the same bed, sharing bodily fluids: ZERO.

So to keep things the way they are, sex just disappears from the landscape whenever F. and I are together. Any attempt to joke my way into F’s panties are immediately met with a flying finger and two months of silence.

Actually, there was only one lousy joke and I had the lousy timing to crack it days before F’s period began. At any rate, the hassle that immediately followed became a clear sign to never attempt such tomfoolery again, no matter how funny it may be.

I don’t get it. The rules of courtship today demand a man that’s open and caring and sensitive and capable of sharing his innermost feelings. Yet the moment you do that, you get labeled as a “friend”, and that’s that. It might as well be the death knell of dating in the 21st century. As soon as the girl you’re after has decided you’re nothing but a “friend”, that’s it. Throw romance and any other similar foolish notions out the window, because it’s just not going to happen.

The thing is, as “friends”, you get to share anything and everything that happens to you. It’s expected behavior under today’s societal standards, really. Not only is each emotion shared, it is dissected and empathized with other “friends”. It is a right that extends both ways, such that “friends” may call each other whenever the other is needed to relieve any problems, which are supposed to be resolved in the most straightforward manner.

This is being a “friend”. And since F. was a “friend”, she felt it was her right to be able to call me at the most unholy hour last night.

“Hello, Francis? Are you there?” came a weary voice over the telephone. “It’s me, F. Can we talk?”

Of course I’m here. Where else would someone who spends all day making up stories be?

“Yeah, hi. What’s up? Is everything okay? It’s 3AM for ‘s sake,” was the voice of an awfully pissed off man trying to disguise his disgust behind concern that can only be described as fake.

“Are you sure it’s okay for us to talk, I mean… you didn’t wake up or anything, right?” God. She was almost in tears.

I could care less, but I was just too tired to tell her. I wouldn’t sound grumpy and pissed off unless someone woke me up from a really good night’s sleep. Wouldn’t you be pissed off to if someone woke you up just when you were about to dig into a bowl of really good-looking Chicken Caesar? I swear I can still smell the dressing.

“What’s the problem? Did anybody hurt you? What’s happening, you can tell me,” I replied, surprised at how the fake concern came through like the real thing. Perhaps she just didn’t detect the sarcasm.

“Sorry, Kiko. It’s just that I’ve got a problem. I’m horny. I don’t know what to do. There isn’t any man around. All the men I seem to be getting are flawed in some way. Isn’t there any decent man around? I’m not even asking for… yadayadayada”

So this was the problem. Well, then. The dictates of “friendship” told me it was time for the straightforward response.

“Right. Err. Horny, eh. Well, fuck you too, F. Good luck with your finger. I’m going back to bed. Good fucking night.”

CLICK.

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