Do you even know me?
“Top up or top down?” I asked.
Farrah looked at me like I was nuts and said, “It’s beautiful and sunny. Put the top down.”
I responded, “I didn’t know if you wanted it down because the wind might mess up your hair and start bothering you.”
She motioned for me to come closer to her. I thought she was going to kiss me but instead she stole my hat. She pulled her hair back and put the Polo hat on backwards holding her hair in place. She smile, looking in the visor mirror and said, “How long have we been going out? Do you even know me?”
I shook my head and started taking the top down on the Jeep. I should’ve known because this wasn’t our first weekend road trip. Also, Farrah was not shy in letting people know what she wanted or didn’t want. I guess my experiences with other women riding in the jeep biased me.
Once the top was down and the doors were off, we began the drive to Pennsylvania from Baltimore. We were headed to Farrah’s friend’s house near Wayne which was about a two to three-hour ride depending on traffic.
I met Farrah’s friend Lisa once before. I am not sure that she really cared much for me. It was nothing she said or did, I just got that negative feeling from Lisa. I think it was the fact that I was a mover. People really look down on that job. I believe Lisa thought Farrah could do better. She was probably right, but I still thought she was a bitch for thinking it. My musings were suddenly interrupted by Farrah’s exclamation, “I got it. This is the perfect mixed tape.”
I answered into the wind blowing through the jeep, “It’s a CD. They don’t make mixed tapes anymore.”
“Same thing,” she yelled back pushing the CD into the deck.
“What is it?” I asked.
Farrah answered, “Little bit of everything from the 80s.”
The disk started playing and over the next 60 minutes there was a mix of the Bangles, Duran Duran, Prince, and other artists. Farrah held the roll bar and sang along with her mixed CD.
As she sang along to the music, I tried to imagine her in high school. I wondered what would’ve happened had we met in high school. She would’ve been in 9th when I was in the 11th grade. Would my life have been different? How different was she compared with today?
I called out across the wind, “Hey, were you a bitch in high school?”
She frowned at me and I clarified, “You know, were you like one of those popular kids that turned your nose up at everyone?”
Farrah laughed, “Not at all. I was quiet, got good grades, and hung around Lisa and a few other people. I did date a few douchebags though. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know. I guess I was just wondering what meeting you back then would have been like,” I answered.
She laughed lightly,
I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have been dating. I was going through my asshole phase in high school. So, if we had met then, you would’ve needed to be an asshole for us to date. But then we wouldn’t be dating now since you would have been classified as an asshole.
“I’m not sure I understand. If we had met in high school and I was an asshole, that doesn’t mean I would be an asshole later,” I answered in confusion.
True, but you would already be categorized as an asshole. Think about it, you wouldn’t hire someone who you had fired in the past, right? Why would I date again someone who I thought was an asshole, the first time around?
I couldn’t argue with her logic so I asked, “I’m not sure that people consider me a nice guy. In fact, I’m willing to bet that a lot of people would say I’m an asshole, even your friend Lisa.”
“You’d be wrong,” Farrah answered, adjusting her hat looking in the visor mirror.
“Really? I get the feeling she hates me,” I laughed, “I thought it’s because I’m a mover.”
Farrah pointed to the upcoming exit ramp signaling me to take it. She said,
She actually thinks you’re cool. Remember that guy Mike who was at my old apartment when we were moving my stuff? Lisa was still living over there at that time. You know how people talk. When Lisa came home from school that Monday, she caught an earful. She told me that you forced Mike to quit his job. Mike didn’t tell her why you did it, but I knew you did it for me.
I said, “He’s a dick.”
Farrah laughed, “Yes he is…and getting rid of him got you a lot of points with Lisa and my other friends. Why do you think she hates you?”
“You know, I’m not sure, now that I think about it. Hmmm…I guess I was wrong,” I returned.
Farrah laughed like she was talking to a little kid, “You’re sooo sensitive.”
The mixed CD ended, and a random radio station began playing. The Eagles sang Take it Easy. We drove into the residential neighborhood winding our way to Lisa’s house. I thought about Lisa and my assumptions concerning her.
As innocuous as the conversation appeared, it was a significant moment in my relationship with Farrah. I realized that prior to Farrah, relationships were fraught with distrust because of my past experiences with family, friends, and girlfriends. I thought about what Farrah had said about Mike and Lisa and realized that if it were any other person telling me the same words, I would not have believed them. It’s more likely that same conversation would have devolved into an argument. But with Farrah, we might disagree about something but never in a way that incited distrust. I knew then that there were no hidden motives and no deceit. I trusted her naturally and completely. I knew this as certain as the day would turn to night. I knew this as certain as the change of seasons.
I also knew for certain that I adored her. I thought, “Perhaps I am “no unfitting husband among the” assholes of the earth.*