Monday, June 20, 2005

....and a digital camera wouldn't hurt, either...

Monday, June 6 (continued)

"Amanda, by any chance is there anyone with you?"


"Have you.... have you seen my brother Chris? Lately?"

Another long pause. She's going through the same thought process I did when Janet called me. I never call Amanda, didn't even have her number, in fact. She knows that if I've gone through all the hassle of finding her, and then asked for Chris, I must know that he's with her.

"Hello?" It's Chris's voice. What a relief.

"What the FUCK are you doing, man?!"

"Can we do this later, Steve?"

"NO! Janet's looking for you!"

"Shit! Did you.... what did you tell her? What did you say?"

"I covered for you. You're fine. Don't worry about it. She's looking for her migraine medicine."

"It's, uh, in the over-the-john cabinet, behind the-"

"I'M not calling her back!!"

"My cell phone is dead, Steve! What am I supposed to do, use Amanda's phone? We have caller ID!"

"I suppose Amanda's charger doesn't work with your phone."

His voice gets a little softer. "Can you try your charger on my phone?" I hear him say.

He exhales deeply. "How the hell am I gonna face her, Steve?"

"Did you and Amanda...."

"I'd rather not discuss it."

Holy shit. He fucked her!

"Chris, that's not you. That's not you AT ALL. Did something happen? With Janet?"

"A lot happened. How am I gonna go home? I'm afraid I won't even be able to look her in the eye."

"Is Amanda in the room with you?"

"No, she went to go get the charger."

"Chris, you can do this. Trust me."

"What do I say?"

"First of all, if you're gonna make up a story involving me, it would be nice if you TOLD me about it!"

"I thought about it, but she never calls me when I'm out. And if I told you, I'd have to tell you-"

"Who you were really gonna be with."


"You can trust me. Next time, TELL me."


"Now, you told her you were coming to my house. Right?"



"I told her you were... feeling bad about your breakup and you needed some company."

"Alright. Now, when she called, I had no idea what your story was. And she was asking to speak to you, so I gave her the excuse that you stepped out for five minutes. Where should we say you were going?"

I really hate making up lies. It means everyone involved has to remember complicated details, and one slip-up will expose everything. I'm petrified that Chris is going to forget something. The best way to handle it is to let HIM come up with the story; if it's his idea, he'll remember it better.

"Say I was going to the store to get some Mountain Dew. I always drink that, and you never have soda in your house."

"That is fucking PERFECT, man."

"OK," he says weakly.

"Say you had dinner here, too. What did we have," I ask.

"Lasagna, your favorite. To make you feel better."

Boy, this guy is good. Better than I thought he would be.

"Now listen. Don't volunteer ANYTHING. It's 'Hi, honey, how are you?' Whatever you do, do NOT give her ANY information unless she asks. There's an old expression: 'Words are silver, silence is gold'. You got it?"


"The less you say, the better."

"I GOT it, Steve."

"Do me a favor: Call me when you're leaving. This way, if she calls back, I can tell her you're on the way, and I'll know when you left."

"Bad news. The charger doesn't work."

"Fine, I'll call Janet back and patch you in so you can talk to her. And one more thing, Chris."


"How was she?"

"Fuck you, man."