wouldn't you agree?
baby you and me.



he'd met a girl. he wasn't quite sure how he did it, but he did it. he just kept going to bars and talking to women, pretty ones and not-so-pretty ones, until finally, one of them finally just gave in. she was his height, a filipina, and she fell somewhere in between pretty and not-so-pretty. when she found out he lived with his parents, it didn't bother her. that was the filipino way. he invited her to the movies, to the discotheque. they'd go to the mall, to the movies, to the red lobster on a friday night. he'd take her back to his place, and they'd fall asleep on his waterbed while watching pay-per-view.

he was all giddy because it was first love. everything felt good - the way she'd run her fingernails up his arm, the way he'd bury his nose in the back of her head. in the beginning, every moment was a sensuous overload. there'd be moments where he'd feel his brain about to explode. they'd go back to her apartment near cal expo, and they'd play a few games of mancala over beers. she liked heinekens, and he liked coors. they'd talk about work and their families. she'd make chicken for dinner, and he'd watch monday night football.

each day, she earned his trust more and more. before he knew it, she had racked up $4,000 on his credit card. he knew she was good for it, though. she loved him, after all. his brother and his mother told him to "watch out" for that girl, but he didn't listen. he was making money then. mike's food store was long gone, and he'd recently been hired at a cutting-edge telephone company, at&t. he had full health and dental coverage, an i.r.a., money saved. during those times, he shone in his shoes and in his wallet.

his bank account grew, and so did his love for material things. it was the first time in his life he had money. he didn't have to pay rent or buy groceries, so he'd splurge on beer, pierre cardin ties, florsheim shoes, tissot watches. he had so many van heusen button-downs and members only jackets that he had to buy a portable closet. even though his spending was out of control, he still had more to burn, so he bought himself a car, a nice little two-door mr2. it was stick, and it was badass, the ultimate bachelormobile.

he didn't care so much about music anymore. he just left the soft rock station on all the time, mix 96 fm. he liked peter gabriel and genesis. he really loved phil collins, so he bought the cassette for no jacket required. so there he was, listening to "a groovy kind of love," wearing his members only jacket, arm around his best girl, and they'd go see cocktail at the century cinema. she'd ask him about his day, but he'd have nothing to say about it. work was getting kind of stressful, actually.

the stress was getting to him, so it'd be a beer or two after work to help unwind. then the habit grew to three or four, and so on. he'd started losing his hair then, too. his hair was going, and work sucked, but at least he had money, an mr2, a waterbed and pay-per-view, and at least he had love. he didn't want to look like a balding old man, so he got a toupee. she came with him to pick one out, and since she didn't have any taste, she said it looked good on him. he believed her, and so he wore that silly little hat everywhere he went.

eventually, things between she and him didn't work out. she had changed, or he had changed - someone had changed - and it was all over. all he had left to remember her by was a $10,000 credit card debt, a stupid wig, and some phil collins tunes. he said "good riddance" to her, to them, as she, too, had gotten older, gained weight, and dipped well into the not-so-pretty zone.

there were, after all, prettier and younger women to chase, even if he was just a balding old fool. he had his whole life ahead of him.

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