Monday, June 13, 2005

The Opera - Carmen, Act I, Scene I

In the office where I worked as an undergrad at the large private university in Los Angeles, there were two women. Hell, there were a lot more than two, but we were all to greater and lesser degrees captivated by both of them.

Andi, a dead ringer for "Mallory" from Family Ties was the good natured, sweet, tall, gawky girl next door. She was smarter than the girl from the TV show she favored, but probably less coordinated. Hot, but in the way hope your little sister isn't, because she's your little sister. Exactly the kind of hot you hope your older sister is, because, well, she's bound to have hot friends that you're just certain one day will start to take you seriously.

Carmen was her diametric opposite. If Andi was the light, Carmen was definitely the darkness. Graceful, elegant, wickedly fucking smart, cultured, and undoubtably a daughter of privilege of some type. Greek/Spanish? French/Indian? Who knew? Who cared? Even though she was a "serious person" and a good student, too caught up in preparing for law school (Top 5 program, geographically diverse - looks good on a resume, law review, magna cum laude) she was capable of being funny, usually unintentionally.

"Where do you ski?"

"Me?" I answered? "Colorado is the only place I've ever been."

"Oh." Pause. "Gstaad is amazing!"

She realized how pretentious it sounded moments after the rest of us, but don't think we let her live it down.

I even got to go on a last second ski trip with her. I was hanging around the office finishing up some work and she was racing around trying to get out of the office to head out of town.

"Hey, Colton?"

"Yeah?"

"What are you doing after work?"

"I dunno."

"Want to come to Mammoth with Jill and I?"

"When?"

"We're leaving in an hour."

"Pick me up on your way out."

Nothing happened. Although she DID warm my bed up before climbing into the one she shared with Jill, her sorority (looks good on a resume) sister.

Carmen was really close to our boss, who swore she was chaste. Maybe she'd slept with her college boyfriend who ended up being slimy. But that was about it.

Then she got married to her best friend from high school.

And I'll be fucked if he wasn't even goofier than I was. Except for being a lawyer, I was, well, better than him. Smarter, more athletic, funnier - what the fuck?! Still, I was delighted to be invited to the wedding, even though I couldn't make it. My future ex-wife even wanted to go, but we had already committed to a different wedding.

So that was two guys she'd slept with.

And I think the last time I heard of her until our former boss, with whom we'd both individually remained close to dropped this on me, after my own wedding.

"Hey, Colton - had lunch with Carmen last week."

"Yeah - still sultry?"

"Fuck an A. Better. It's like now that she's divorced, she's recognized the power of her sexuality - and she's on the prowl."

"Think she's hit sleeping around yet?"

"Carmen? No chance. She told me she just likes the power."

"That about fucking figures."

"Oh, anyway - she told me that she was into you back when you both worked with me."

"Fuck you."

"No, seriously. She asked about you. I caught her up on the important developments, and then she said something about wondering why you never asked her out."

"Tony, let me be perfectly clear about this: Carmen would have gone out with me?"

"Yes."

"And you're telling me this now."

"Yes."

"If I were standing right there, instead of half a continent away, I would belt you right in the fucking mouth!"

"Why!? That's great news!"

"Shut the fuck up and listen, you prick. I'm married. And NOW, when it does me NO good, when I can do NOTHING about it, when my hands are tied, you tell me that I could have gone out with CARMEN!?"

"Oh. Uhhhhhhhhh, nevermind."

Then we laughed.

Then I got divorced.

And found myself once again in the City of Angels, with plans to meet Carmen at a hotel downtown.

No show.

Tony consoled me with this: "Don't worry. Happens to me all the time. She's busy - and you know her job pretty much runs her life. I think she said she had to fly to London at the last minute tomorrow morning, so it's not like she's blowing YOU, personally, off."

I knew that - but still. I had new information. Well, it wasn't exactly new information, but it did change things.

Or, I thought it changed things. I know now of course, that I had changed things. The kid that had been intimidated by a girl as smart as he was, with some idea of what she wanted, even if she was only pretending it was something she'd considered before choosing, was gone. At least, he'd faded to the back of the frame.

Yet again, occasion to spend an evening in the city I really grew up in.

Again, plans with Carmen.

This time at the Mondrian in Hollywood. Million dollar view of the city below. Would she show?

Yes.

With a bullet.

4 Comments:

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love your blog...very "entertaining".....and isn't timing just everything? i know the divorce 'power' carmen recognized...i too did, still am. good luck colton. ;) cheers.

 
At 7:54 PM, Blogger Jenna said...

More! More!

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Meg said...

end scene.

next!

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger Jezebelle said...

I love these stories..you're such a tease though ;)

 

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