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Occasionally I like to write short stories about things that have happend to me, others or just stuff I made up. Here is the newest installment. It's called "Headphones." I hope you enjoy it, please excuse any spelling or grammer errors as it was written at 2 am. At my friend Gwen's Christmas party I was mingling, drinking, eating. Late into the party a small group was left and we sat together talking. There are only three topics people like to talk to me about, computers, if they need help, cycling, because they heard about that "cancer bike rider" and vegetarianism, because they eat meat. On this occasion we discuss my vegetarianism and how most of them tried it but couldn't continue for one reason or another. One of the girls in attendance mentions she, Molly, is in the nutrition and culinary department and offers to cook me dinner. I don't think much of it and leave the party soon after. A week or two after the party, for some reason I thought of having dinner Molly. I gave Gwen a call and got her phone number, called her and arranged a date. We get dinner in The Loop and it goes well as any first date can be expected to go. Nothing great, but good enough for a second. So as a result, we begin to hang out on a semi-regular basis. This is when things get a little strange. When I go to her apartment it takes her minutes to answer the door. Not, "I'm coming" and she shows up 45 seconds later, this is full minutes, usually 5-10. Yes, on average longer than 5 minutes of waiting and knocking before she answers the door, even if she knows I am coming because I called minutes before I walked across campus. Once inside we watched TV and had good conversations, I would go far enough to say we enjoyed each others company. I over look the door answering issue, although it continues. We go on another date, this time her cooking dinner and then heading to the SLU soccer game. The dinner was good and the game was enjoyable until about 15 minutes in. Not because the home team was loosing but because she had brought her AM/FM radio and headphones. She proceeded to block out the rest of the world including me listening to the Cardinals playoff game. For the rest of the game I sit in silence. At the end of the game she puts the radio away acts as if nothing happened and I walk her home. Then I walk home, completely confused. The following week, we do a similar date. I walk over wait for 8 minutes at the door, she cooks dinner, I eat it, we hang out for a bit, then head to the game. The difference this time I explain the situation and in hopes of subtly curing the issue invite my friend Gwen and her boyfriend Riley (also a good friend). This doesn't stop her, shortly after the Star Spangled Banner she places the headphones on her head and zones out. The three of us look at each other and scratch our heads and try to make the best of this uncomfortable situation. Just before half time she removes the headphones and complains of being tired. Trying to be considerate she suggests I walk her home during the break, so I don't have to miss a minute. I do this and say goodnight, we kiss and I walk back. Upon my return we can't help but to query each other, coming to no conclusions. We laugh and enjoy the rest of the evening. Even after all this I still attempt to hang out with her once or twice a week, more of like friends than anything else. But unbeknownst to her I initiate a policy, three knocks and I'm out. It works great, I don't have to stand outside for longer than a couple minutes before I use up my three knocks. Interestingly enough most of the time she never calls to see where I'm at or if I am going to show up. Great, this is easy! A few weeks pass and Riley invites me to go to the City Museum. My first notion is to ask the girl I am "dating" to join us. She is reluctant. Before leaving I get a call from Mike a friend in town from Mizzou. He wants to go out too, "No problem, come on over." On the way to Riley's apartment we stop by Molly's. Having an impartial observer present I decide to suspend my three knock policy and for the first time someone else observed possibly the longest duration of waiting the door be answered on record. It must have been at least 10 minutes. In the end she does indeed answer, we walk inside and ask if she wants to go. She's "tired", so Mike and I try to convince her to go, to no avail. We meet the others and have an awesome night. Later that week I decide to confront her about my issues, the waiting, the headphones and seeming uninterested when around other people. I begin my questioning and she immediately tries to hamstring me with the normal girlfriend guilt trip. You know the one, it feels similar to the one your mom used to use when she thought you weren't giving 100%. "I thought I raised you better..." sort of thing, but only with a girlfriend. Once I explained my side and she laid it on thick, she told me "I need to take a shower, Goodbye!" So, I left. At this point I didn't care, with good reason. Two weeks pass I don't call, she doesn't call, we don't see each other on campus, nothing. Then on a random weeknight, my phone rings. She is on the other end acting as if nothing had happened. She complained that I hadn't called or came by. I responded, stating the obvious, the earlier issues, the guilt trip seemed like good reasons not to continue. She thought they "weren't anything to get in a fuss about." I didn't respond. She asks "So where are we at?" I tell her "I'm ready to deal with your issues." She explains that this is not the first time someone has told her that. I was thinking "No shit?!" Once finished with her soliloquy I tell her I will see her around and hang up. I haven't talked with her for longer than 5 minutes since, thank God.
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