Saturday, December 27, 2003

At work, I've just hung up the phone. Toby called to ask me how many men I've slept with.
"Uh, hi Tobes, and how was your Christmas?"
"Peachy, but this is important. How many?"
I'm sort of confused, wondering how my sexual history can be this important to my friend, but I'm a good sport so I answer "Six. Why?"
"That's it?"
"That's not enough?"
"I just...I thought it would be more. You always seem so wise and experienced."
"Well, buddy, I'm picky about what I put in my body, and that includes men. Experience can come from a lot of things besides sex. Now please, what is this about?"
"I'm going to be thirty soon..."
"In two years."
"And I'm worried that I haven't slept with enough people."

The conversation has me confused and I'm staring at the desk in front of me, at the base of the myrtle tree, and I realize that the leaves in the pot are moving. I lean in closer, nose almost in the dirt, and realize to my complete surprise that there's a slug crawling about right in front of me. I find a bit of paper and lift it out of the pot, watching it move along the leaf it brought with it. It extends one feeler until it touches the paper and then the feeler retracts, violently, as though stung. This motion repeats on the other side and it moves forewards at the same time, crawls, and I'm fixated because I've never seen a slug this close before. Customers come in and I greet them. They respond and I wave the paper with the slug on it at them, explaining that I've made a friend, but the slug is too small for them to see from so far away so they nod and pretend to look at dishes or something, instead.

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