Me, Lisa And Nae

I'll be 33 in no time. I met Liza yesterday. My friend, Nae Curcă, is also in love with Liza. He met her at the swimming pool last summer. When he passed by her, she asked him:"Stop fiddling, will ya'?"Liza was with a friend of hers.Curcă promptly reacted. He sprawled on her beach towel.Nae had a lot of money that summer, because he kept going to the countryside to repair TV sets.He spent 8 000 lei with Liza that summer.Then they broke up. Nae, who was very much like a Dostoievsky's characters, was ravished. He would call her from the Triumph Arch and in less then tens of minutes he would show up at her place in Berceni, getting off some taxi. They quarreled most of the time. And that's because Nae was in love with her and she was a dame.One evening, he even hit her because she had changed her mind about going to a party with him.And Nae is crazy about these kinds of dates, although he is a normal person. He likes music and he loves being with his friends. He drinks occasionally. He raises the bottle and sucks the life out of it. His eyes shine like two pearls. He laughs like a fool then. This proves Nae is really a good guy and has the soul of an artist.Still, he punched Dan Petrescu twice at some party that Ovidiu threw a while ago. Dan wanted to leave with Sanda and her friend, Carmen, to another party, but without Nae, of course. Yet, it was Nae who had brought Sanda and Carmen.It's been a year since that incident. Petrescu and Nae never spoke to each other again and now they work in different teams. I work with Nae, Ovidiu Cocorinov, the short one, with the others, and Dan Petrescu with Sandu Cărtiţă.I met Sandu the other day. He asked me:"How are you, my friend? Still workin' with Claponu'?"He meant Nae."Yeah," I replied. "How about you, are you still a team with Dan Petrescu?""Well, yeah," he said, "we went to this party last Saturday. The three of us accompanied by six women. Only for us."Hearing about such a waste, I told Sandu gently:"How about taking Sandu with us, too. He is full of resources." I suddenly realized he was lying big time. "I'd still cruise with you," he read my mind, "but what shall I do with Petrescu… you know he can't stand Claponu'…?""That's ok," I provided the solution. "Take me, 'cause I don't go out with Claponu' all the time."Then we said goodbye. But if I come to think about it, this did not happen yesterday, but the day before, on my way back from the swimming pool, around 16:00 hours, because I got off earlier from work.So, yesterday, I met Liza. Around 19:45, in front of the new cosmetic shop, right across the International Commerce Ministry. I see Liza coming my way while I'm staring at her ridiculous bulky legs and at her thick ankles, at her so unfeminine walk. But her blue eyes are so blue and her flesh is so white as if it were made of crystal and she smells so delicious, wearing Rexona and other expensive, import cosmetics.She suggests we go to see a movie. But I don't feel like the movies at all, my throat is dry and I desperately need to drink some beer. Hell no, she insists, she already had two, one in the morning, when her boss sent her to have one an another at home.Anyway, we went to Luceafarul. Liza insisted we bought tickets, I hesitated. And talk in, talk out, we decided to ditch the movie and go for a beer. She got really pissed off because she didn't feel like drinking beer at all. "Ok, hon'" I tried to explain, "I can always dance as you play, but today I'm tired from all the work at the office I won't do it for the world.""All right, then," she replied, "but I am younger and you are older and you must humour me."Indeed, she is younger. She is 20 or 21 and I'm older, I'm 33. So I told her:"All right, then, I'm older, but not that old to humour you every time!"This really made me mad. It wasn't so important for her to be with me. I was the older guy who was supposed to humour her. To take her to the movies, for example. Wrong address, baby!We separated at the University bus stop. She took the 31 R bus to Berceni, and I carried her bag to the bus stop. There were some things in there, for a friend of hers or a colleague from work, she said, who was in hospital at that time. This is the story of our breaking up. Nae introduced me to her. Now he is in love with some girl, Nelly, but I know he still fancies Liza.We had a double date once: me, Nae, Liza and Nelly. We drank Cabernet at Pescăruş because they didn't have any beer, and then we went to my place to play rummy. Nelly figured out that Nae was still in love with Liza. I liked her, too. So, Nelly refused to play. Liza and me enjoyed the game, then Nae cut in. Nae called me last night to come over with Nelly to see the football match against Denmark. I told him I was seeing Liza that evening. Nae felt awkward. "Come on, you introduced us!""Well, yeah," he answered.I was later to find out from Liza herself that she met Nae right before our date that day and he carried her bag, too. Then she dismissed him.Well, Liza and Nae still went out. "Why is that?" I asked her."Beats me," she said, "Nae is a jerk.""How so?""Just like that, hon'. Once I called him to go out together. He told me he had no money. I said it didn't matter. He made me lose my temper and I refused to go out with him again.""Why do you insist on going out with him if you consider him a jerk?" I teased her. Actually Liza took advantage of us both. She felt good about herself with all those men around her. Typical for young girls who do not know what they want!Once we went to the circus, and Liza asked me:"What do you expect from me?"Good question. What did I expect from her? I don' know. Why did she play me like this, like she knew what she was talking about? I am a very discreet person. People should treat me nicely.One Sunday afternoon, I went with Nae Curcă to have some soup. I felt like eating fish soup, but they ran out. I asked for veal soup and Nae wanted chicken soup. When we saw the waitress coming towards us with the soup ball on the tray, we made a bet. The soup ball held both the veal and the chicken soup. She gave Nae the chicken meat and me, the veal. The soup was the same. What shall I gather from all these?A great deal, in my opinion.Anyway, I am 33 and I do all the wrong things. I'm going to a party tonight, with Ovidiu. I need to straighten up my life.

by Dumitru (Puşi) Dinulescu (b. 1942)