“…I simply don’t understand his need to constantly respond with ‘work’ after every sentence that comes out of his mouth. It’s insane. Utterly. Insane.” Michael said while at lunch with Ryan and I.
“You didn’t notice it at the bar?” I asked.
“No, that’s the thing. I don’t remember him saying it there,” Michael explained.
“Are you sure he didn’t? Or were you just too drunk to notice or too horny to care?” I asked.
“Probably a little bit of both, I suppose,” he said. “I noticed it when I got in the cab. I told the driver to go to Sixty-Eighth between Columbus and Amsterdam and that’s when I first heard it; a faint ‘work’ almost like a creepy whisper. I thought I had imagined it.”
“And it continued?” I asked.
“Well, I brought him a glass of Merlot while he was sitting on my couch. When I handed it to him, I said some cheesy line like, “I’m so glad I ran into you tonight.”
“I’m truly amazed and stunned you even have sex with lines like that. If it were only that easy for straight women,” I said.
“ANYWAY, as I was saying, after I said that I expected him to return the complement or at the very least kiss me. But all I got was a “work.”
“You certainly know how to pick ’em my dear,” I said.
“Did you at least get laid?” Ryan asked ignoring the prior mention of the word “work.”
“Almost,” Michael said.
“ALMOST?” Ryan said exasperated.
“When I said to him let’s go into the bedroom, he smiled seductively at me and said, ‘Let’s do this.’ I’m thinking thank-fucking-god finally.”
“Honestly, the two of you are a match made in heaven with these skills,” I laughed and took another bite of my veggie burger.
Yes, I’m a vegetarian. Or as Daniel likes to refer to me as “a VAGetarian.”
“But just before we got into my bedroom, he said it again!”
“No!” I gasped.
“Yup, and that was the last I saw of my hard-on for the rest of the night,” Michael said.
“Okay, don’t ever say that to me again. EVER.”
“I still don’t get what you mean,” Ryan said while chewing on an air-baked french fry. Oh Ryan, so pretty, so successful, but oh so not versed in gay vernacular.
“Let me demonstrate,” I said. “Ryan, tell me what you’re doing right now.”
“Eating lunch,” he said looking at me as though I’m wearing an “I’m with stupid t-shirt” look.
“Work” I said with a certain flair that was usually reserved for the most flamboyant gay guy.
“Huh?” Ryan said.
“Actually, I think you mean ‘WERK’,” Michael explained. I rolled my eyes as if to tell him to shut the hell up.
“What are you guys talking about?” Ryan asked, still not getting it.
“I’m going to go get a refill of on my lemonade,” Michael said getting up from the table.
“WORK!” I shout to him as he walks to the counter.
“You guys are weird,” Ryan said and shakes his head.
“Were you depraved of all things gay in your twenties?” I asked Ryan.
“Well, not all things…” Ryan began.
“Work!” Michael interrupted and sat back down at the table. Ryan flashed him a cold stare and I laughed.
“Definitely not all things gay because I’ve seen his closets. It looks like Abercrombie and 2Xist threw up in there.”
“And let’s face it, you don’t get much gayer than Abercrombie and 2xist,” I chimed in.
“I’m sure their marketing departments will be thrilled,” Ryan said sarcastically. Michael and I looked at each not sure what to say. Ryan added, “No really, profoundly thrilled.”
Seeing the perfect opportunity, I said, “Work.”
Ryan threw down his French Fry on his plate and stood up and looked at Michael and I long and hard. “I’m gonna go to the gym. You guys have given me the worst headache.”
Then he took a long, dramatic drawn-out pause– otherwise known as “gay pause.”
Then he said, “And you wonder why you’re both single,” and headed toward the door.
Michael and I looked at one another like scolded children, and then turned back to Ryan who had just pushed open the door.
“Ryan?” I called.
Ryan turned over his shoulder and looked at us.
And in unison, Michael and I shouted,