23 March 2005
"Why are we sitting in an Applebee's, anyway?" Kastor asked. He's a 4-foot tall faun that I met when I was a kid, and had never really been able to get out of my life since. He was sitting across from me in the booth while I waited for Lori to show up. I'd offered her a ride, but she said she had some other stuff to do first and would meet me here.
"Because white girls like Applebee's," I muttered, looking through the menu and trying not to draw attention to myself. Kastor hopped up and smelled the food as a waitress walked by, then scowled.
"I don't think I like Applebee's. Why don't you take me anywhere fun?"
"I don't take you anywhere at all. You just kinda show up."
"And it's a good thing I do! Where would you be without me?"
"I should be so lucky to find out." He gave a sarcastic laugh as I looked up and saw Lori checking with the hostess. I waved, and she started walking over. Kastor scampered over the table and sat down next to me. "Must you stay?" I hissed.
"And miss whatever this is?" I sighed, and then smiled as I got out of the booth to greet her. We were having a nice time talking and deciding what to order, and I found that Kastor was much more quiet than I expected. It was nice, made it easier to ignore him. She called me Matteson, and when I asked why she showed me that that's how she had listed me in her phone.
"Everyone knows a dozen Johns," she said, putting the phone away. "I think this makes you more distinct."
"I suppose I can take distinct," I chuckled. "Better than what some people call me."
When I slipped out to use the bathroom, he came with me. I glanced over at him as I entered the room, and noticed his eyes were darting around a lot and his ears were down like a frightened dog's. I looked around the bathroom to make sure we were alone, then made my way to the urinal.
"What's your issue, Kastor?"
"Her," he said, looking back as though she was going to come bursting through the door. "Something's off about her. Did you see the way she looked at me?"
"I have serious doubts she was looking at you. You know people like me are rare."
"I mean, sure, statistically, but there are an awful lot of humans out there..."
"So you don't like her because you think she gave you a weird look?" He sidled over to me, and leaned his back against mine. "That is incredibly uncomfortable while I'm doing this."
"So stop." I groaned and rolled my eyes. "But no, listen. Something is...off about her. You didn't notice?"
"I'll bite," I said, zipping my pants and flushing. I pushed him aside and went to the sink. "The ripples she leaves in the Realm are different than anyone else I've seen."
"Yes! Yes, that!"
"But so are everyone else's. It's almost like a signature." I started washing my hands. "The differences in hers are more pronounced than other people I know, but that's it. It's not like they read as inhuman."
"Well I don't think you should be dating her," he said, crossing his arms.
"I'm not taking dating advice from a faun." I turned off the water, grabbed some paper towels, and turned to face him while I dried my hands. "You lot are known for a very different romantic lifestyle than I'm interested in."
"You can't believe everything you hear about us!"
"So you don't go frolic with nymphs when you're not bugging me?" He opened his mouth as if to say something, then closed it and waved his hands around as he looked for the words. I raised an eyebrow at him.
"Okay! So you can believe some of what you hear about us. But don't go buying into stereotypes all willy-nilly on me!" he yelled, pointing.
"Noted. Look, I'm going back to my date. If you have a problem with her, just leave. We can talk later."
"I could introduce you to some of those nymphs, you know."
"Good night, Kastor," I said, before heading for the door and back to the table. He did not follow.
The blog of John Matteson.