by Joe Carvalho

After all, things could always get worse. People can mistake me for a friend.

It’s a dreaded term, especially when it’s bestowed upon me so abruptly. I dont’ know where it came from, but it landed late in the afternoon Friday – haunting me ever since. “Hello, friend.” I’m probably – I know – I’m over thinking this; he probably didn’t mean anything by it. It’s just a term like “bro” or “ese.” Even “homie” would’ve been more welcomed, but friend?! I’m sorry, you’ve mistaken me for somebody else. Somebody who gives a damn. Somebody more like yourself. (Wait. Did I just paraphrase Jewel?)

And the awkwardness continues – “You gotta give me some hits, man.”

“Hits?” I’m sorry, am I smoking something that I’m not aware of?

“Yeah. Like a clue.”

“Oh! Hints. About what?”

“How to conquer a woman.”

Yeah, first off, never use the word conquer when referring to a woman. Wait. I actually said that part. Then, “Unless she’s into that sort of stuff. Then you’re on your own on that.” Only, not really. “Besides, what makes you think I know how to “conquer” a woman?”

“You have more experience.”

“How so?”

“If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be with someone. You’d be alone.”

That is a common misconception. People – like children – are drawn to me. It seems the more you hate something – i.e. dogs – the more that something will be humping your leg. Or, in this case, the more you want to withdraw from someone hounding you for advice on women, the more that someone resembles a piece of chewing gum – humorously enough, he keeps offering me gum.

Later on, the awkwardness gets deeper. “So do you like to go to parties.”

“No. Large groups of people freak me out.”

“Not even for birthdays?”

“Nope.”

“Christmas?”

“Nope.”

“No parties?”

“Nope.”

Now this is a bold-faced lie as I do attend JoDi’s Halloween parties and have done so for a few years now, but I’m not about to admit this in front of someone who is clearly attempting to hang out with me after work.

And I know I should feel bad about this whole situation, but the moment he started opening up to me, the moment we couldn’t be friends. It’s as simple as that. My friends can tell me things, it’s all cool. But it’s something that takes time. I’m not the sort of person who befriends someone who spills his life story within the first five minutes. It’s insane. It’s unheard of.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got to say about this. I’ll talk about girls tomorrow.

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