Janet is having a bad day, but it becomes better.
But don't think you're going to offend me, I'm a big girl and aware of the world...Get my drift?" She said, squeezing my hand slightly harder, still smiling.
I nodded, smiled back and, with some difficulty, began to speak,
"Jody...The truth is I write...Ah hell, Jody, I write erotica for a living." I finally blurted out. The words died out and a long silence followed, making, what little bravado I had, fade away fast.
Jody's expression never changed, but she sat in silence, as I tried to pull my hand away, ready to apologize and make a quick exit. Her grip tightened slightly on my hand as she replied,
"Porn? You write porn and you have writers block!" She roared out, rearing her head back, laughing out loud. Embarrassed I quickly looked around as other patrons started to look our way, obviously wondering.
Oh God...Oh my God, you are a riot! So tell me what is it that you really write about? She went on, after calming down.
"I'm not joking Jody, I write erotica...Not porn, although some might call it that." I responded, slightly exacerbated.
Slowly, Jody realized I was serious and she changed expressions - from hilarity to dead pan serious.
"You're serious...You do write, what was it, erotica? What kind? I mean if I'm not being too nosy again?"
In a weak sort of voice, I leaned in and replied, "Incest...Mostly."
Immediately, I felt like I had walked over a ledge and was falling. Jody released my hand and put both hands to her face, her eyes wide, and terror stricken, above them. Before I knew what had happened, Jody slammed her chair backwards, rose and slapped my face, screaming out,
"You fucking asshole! How dare you!" and stormed out of the restaurant.
The burning sensation, of the slap, hurt like hell, but nothing compared to the embarrassment I felt while under the scrutiny of the people close by, now murmuring and pointing in my direction. I paid the tab, to an amused waiter, and left, quickly.
I walked the 3 miles back to the apartment, my mind a mixture of confusion and wonderment over what had just taken place. More than ever, by the time I reached the complex I was truly down trodden and despondent. I liked Jody and I felt terrible that my confession had up-set her so.
I walked into my apartment and slowly closed the door, leaning on it heavily, thinking. It was still early and I walked to the phone, calling "Juan's Floral Shop" and ordered a dozen roses. I had them delivered to me and while I waited, I wrote out a card to Jody.
"Dear Jody, Please accept these as an apology. I had no idea that my profession would up-set you so much. I would give anything to take away whatever hurt I have caused. Sincerely, Scott Apt 310"
When the delivery man arrived I was ready and slipped the computer generated card into the roses and walked down the corridor towards Jody's apartment. As our section was "EL" shaped, I counted the rooms down to the turn and then counted back up; selecting the apartment I felt, certain, was hers. I left the roses and rang her door bell, hurrying down the hall, making my escape.
I continued to feel terrible the balance of the afternoon, never coming close to the computer. I was heartsick, I guess, and knew I had never intentionally meant to up-set or hurt her. But I was beside myself, thinking about why she acted as she did. It was just a profession after all!
Exasperated, I sat down on the couch and fell asleep. Apparently, I went out hard, as day light had faded away, when I woke, hearing a gentle rapping on my door. I got up, groggy from the extended "nap" and slowly walked to the door, looking out the "peep hole".
Surprised, I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things. There stood Jody, one rose held in her hand, close to her nose, sniffing it - a weak smile on her face. I opened the door and winced at the glaring hall lights, when Jody said,
"I'm in apartment 320 dip-shit, not 319...Thanks, they're beautiful. Can I come in?"
Still wincing at the lights, I stepped back and extended my arm, beckoning her to enter.