Winners and loserspublished: 2010-10-30
I worried I might not recognize him. Silly me. He was unchanged. The same compact posture, the narrow and rounded shoulders that sagged down over a neglected, apple-shaped, body. I was his opponent back then. He was mister top-lawyer at a competing firmevery won almost every court case. Anytime I saw him, his eyes would narrow. Part of his strategy was to make me feel like I was the most despicable thing he had ever seen.
This time his eyes were different.
Did he have a lisp back then? And I had no recollection of his nose being so flat. Probably because I never dared look at him. I did now. And what I saw was that his nose was whiter than the rest of his complexion from bad circulation. Alcohol?
He had really wanted to see me because of some business-related issue. But first we went through the “how has life been treating you” conversation. Somehow, this ended in his confiding in me that he always fell for fucked-up women.
“The borderliners, huh?” I said.
From what he explained about his latest relationship, I could tell he played hard ball with women. I advised that he might consider simply loving them. Love does not need to be so cruel. But why did I find myself nodding so gravely when he stated that women have told him he was a head turner. “I am 50 and women are telling me how attractive I an,” he said.
“Oh and you are, you truly are,” I said. I even added, “you are a presence.”
All this left us exactly ten minutes to discuss the work-related issue he had wanted m advice on. I had reminded him of it by saying, “listen, I need to be leaving soon because I have to get dinner ready for my two boys.”
“All right then, one man and one boy.”
“You have a child?”
I nodded, “anyway so what was it you wanted to discuss?”
For a moment, his face clouded over in that same look of contempt from back then. And my immediate reaction was to look away. But the moment passed and we said our courteous goodbyes.