“So, how was it?” Justine asked.
We were sitting at the Bean drinking coffee.
“It was OK. But he wouldn’t really kiss me.”
“He wouldn’t kiss you?”
“Yeah, and I didn’t use a condom,” I said, drinking from my cup.
“Are you on birth control?” she asked.
Justine laughed. “I fucked lots of guys without a condom. And I think you can trust Keokuk. And what if you had a baby? It would be with a Native.”
“I guess,” I said, feeling very strange. “He’s weird about Elyse. They’re weird.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, they call and text each other incessantly. He did it while in bed with me. And they both act really jealous about whoever the other is with.”
Justine laughed hysterically.
“What?” I said.
“You’re sooooo wrong,” she said.
“Because you’re being paranoid. You’re so neurotic.”
“No one’s ever told me that,” I said.
“Oh you are! You are!”
I was silent.
Then Justine said, “Well, but then again, I was helping Elyse clean her car out the other day. It was filthy and I told her that she should come to my place and that I’d help her, though I did all the work, just like with the Center! Anyway, I found this picture of Keokuk and said to her how good-looking he looked in the picture. And I could feel this wave of hatred come out of her.”
“That’s weird,” I said. “Yuck. I mean, that stuff is especially taboo with us.”
“What do you mean?”
“They can only be enrolled if it’s from the Dad’s side.”
“Oh. Well, he was a good lay, right?” she said.
“Plus, he’s really good looking.”
“I thought you said you thought he wasn’t?”
Justine laughed loudly. “Oh, I never said that never.”
“You did,” I said and drank more coffee.
It was only 11:00 but Justine was stinking, fucking, amazingly drunk.
Chris had called, finally, and asked me if I wanted to go to a party that a bunch of his English major friends were having. I had asked him if I could bring a friend. He had hesitated until I had stated that the friend’s name was Christine.
“He likes me, I can tell,” she said, smoking. We were out on the porch.
“Uh, huh,” I said. That was the fifth guy that night she had said that about. There were only twelve people at the party and only seven of them were men. The guy she was telling me that about was Chris.
“Remember, Chris is the guy I was, well… I guess am seeing.”
“Oh! Right! Sorry!” she said.
“It’s cool. Do you want to go home?”
“No! I’m havin’ fun!” She yelled. I had been trying to get her glass away from her all night. I had not been successful. She had just kept ducking my attempts and refilling her glass.
By 2:00 everyone was gone and it was only me, Justine and Chris. Justine had tried to get everybody to listen to a pamphlet on Mormonism and had been furious when people would not quiet down and listen to her. I had tried to make it into a joke, but it wasn’t funny. All of Chris’ friends were these cool, sarcastic white people and I knew, I knew what they were thinking.
I looked over at Justine. We were out smoking on the porch again. “Want to go home?”
She looked at me, her head swaying, “NO! I wanna dance!” and she walked into the apartment and over to Chris. “Hi,” she said to him and then tried to pull him up. He was like a cat though, she couldn’t get him up. He kept slipping through her arms and murmuring, “I can’t dance.” He was pretty drunk himself. Justine looked over at me and narrowed her eyes and then blocked me with her body and started trying to pull Chris up again.
“What is it about you that makes Indian women just wanna throw you around?” I said and he laughed.
“Wha?” Justine said.
“Oh, nothing, just that we should go home.”
“You’re a jerk,” Justine said to Chris and he shrugged.
“Let’s go Justine,” I said.
“Fine. I don’ wanna be with this jerk anymore anyway. Won’t even dance,” she said as I took her arm and led her to the door.
“Sorry,” I said to Chris as I walked over to the door. He shrugged again. I felt a surge of hatred for him that I didn’t understand.