A Woman Is Only A Woman

1 Conversation

Clinking beer glasses

John looked at Michael quizzically over his beer glass. 'So you've decided women are a lost cause?'

John was not too troubled. He and Michael had this conversation about once a month, usually. At six weeks, it was overdue, but the most recent girlfriend had lasted longer than predicted.

Michael nodded gloomily. 'It wasn't just what she said,' he ruminated, moving the glass around to study the foam in a different light. 'It was the way she gloated when she said it.' He gave up visual appreciation for a more sensual pleasure, and took a long draught of the beverage in question, an accidental libation to the gods of disappointed affection running down his chin. John chuckled as he got up to get the next round, and fetched meat pies (with mushy peas) while he was at it.

'Here,' he said to his friend, 'Mushy peas and more lager. The best cure for a heartache I know.' Michael started to object, but when the aroma hit his nostrils, he succumbed, and stopped whingeing long enough to imbibe and partake.

Michael squinted at the last pea on his fork. 'You know,' he opined, 'Life is a lot like a meat pie...' John groaned inwardly, but nodded, as Michael went to get the next round, leaving John to mull this one over.

When he returned with the beer and pretzels, Michael continued as if he had not been away. '...hotter inside than you thought it would be.' John downed half his drink before nodding sagely, pretending that had made sense. The evening was taking the turn he had expected, so they were about two more rounds from Confession Time. Michael ploughed on regardless.

'I went to her blasted support group,' he said, glowering at an innocent bead of foam as it lay on the wooden table. 'All they did was bash on at Men in general. When I ventured to suggest that it might be a two-way street, I got hit with Labels.' John winced in recognition, took the glasses, and got the next round. When he returned, Michael was stacking beer mats into a pyramid.

John decided it was about time he said something cogent, while he still could. 'Er, I thought Donna was a bit of a looker, anyway, ' he ventured, only to be rewarded with a reproachful look.

'We're not talking about Donna. This was Melanie.' Oops, thought John. That's right, Donna was Girlfriend Number 4, or was it 5? He spread his hands in apology. 'Sorry. Melanie's the university student, isn't she? Philosophy?'

Michael snorted. 'Women's Studies. If we had Men's Studies, there'd be the devil to pay, now, wouldn't there?" He pushed himself away from the table, managing not to topple the chair, and went over to the bar, a bit unsteadily.

He returned with a pitcher and two glasses. 'Thought I'd save us time,' he remarked. John agreed complacently, holding up his glass.

They managed it without spilling, and toasted each other in congratulation, then sat, not talking for awhile, while they drank more beer.

John broke the companionable silence. 'Well, the good thing is, you take a moment for reflection, look back on it all...' he began. Michael shook his head.

'No. That's the problem. You don't. You aren't thinking. You just get wrapped up in somebody like Donna...'

'Melanie,' John corrected.

Michael waved this away. 'Sure, Melanie, whoever. And your common sense flies out the...out the...' He looked around in the dim pub light.

'Window,' John supplied.

'Yeah, window.' Michael yawned. 'Speaking of which, I'd like some fresh air.'

John agreed. 'This might be a good time to take a stroll over to the park. Feed the ducks, you know?' Michael brightened at this.

'Good ol' duckies, yeah.' As the two headed out the door, Michael, leaning a bit on his friend's shoulder, looked at him with tipsy affection.

'You always know what to do to cheer a fellow up, John.'

John shrugged as he managed both door and Michael, looked down at his wobbly friend, noticing just exactly how beautiful his eyelashes looked in the late-afternoon sunlight.

'Thank you, kind sir, ' he laughed. 'Now let's go feed those ducks. I've got some breadcrumbs here...'

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