Over the next few weeks, F approached me maybe two times – and I declined his advances politely. Not only had it not been a pleasurable experience, he was also in my tight circle of friends, and, to put it bluntly, he had begun to treat me in some sort of way that I can’t really put into words. He acted towards me in a manner that was sort of standoffish around our friends, almost like he thought less of me, but then if we found ourselves alone together for any length of time, he seemed to feel entitled to have what he wanted from me. I know that’s a run-on sentence but it’s sort of an abstract feeling for me, and I don’t know how to express it any less verbosely – sorry.
One Saturday night the six of us decided to go to this beer and wine bar that served pitchers in a less touristy part of the City. The interior was different than any place I had ever been outside of the States – instead of tables there were these sort of wooden picnic tables with benches, and the local was void of any flashy decor; it was sort of like the Italian equivalent of a dive bar with pitcher specials. We ordered a pitcher of beer and a pitcher of red wine.
But when the pitchers got there, another friend of mine A** (the one I actually was attracted to) and I realized that we were the only two that wanted wine while the other four had chosen beer. After giving the appropriate protest (we really would have made do with beer with the others rather than attempting to consume what looked like a milk jug of red wine alone), we looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and resigned ourselves, “Guess it’s just going to be that kind of night!”
As the evening progressed, we talked, laughed, and drank merrily, happy to be in good company. On the walk home, we smoked a few joints between the group, and skipped jovially like school children over the ancient cobblestone streets. At each water fountain (they look sort of like fire-hydrants for a US perspective), A would leapfrog over it; at some point we had to stop him forcefully from jumping into a real fountain and convince him of why it was not a good idea.
Let me take a moment, though, to express something that I had always felt about F – even before our contact. There was something very strange about him. He had these clear blue eyes, and it seemed like, behind them, he was always plotting away maliciously. I could never put my finger on it, but there was just something that made me not like him. I never did.