We Bonded Poolside

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I pour a glass of wine and go outside; there, on my patio, a beautiful woman lays peacefully reclined in a pool chair. The evening sun has set the mood to Instagram filter “Crema.”

On seeing me walk over, in her typical hungover husky voice, she asks, “Where’s my coffee?”

“Look, I know how much you detest caffeine after 6 pm,” to which she responds with deadpan silence, taking the glass of wine from my hand.

“I can’t believe your husband didn’t come over last night and, instead, sent you over, without ever having to introduce us.” But that’s Jean. He can send his wife accompanied by a letter written by hand and get away with it.

I snap my fingers and pretend to make an announcement, “Hello! Earth to Andrea,” “You’ve spaced out again.” She isn’t showing signs off life except for the occasional hand bringing the glass of wine to her lips.

All he wrote, in the middle, of the white piece of paper with an ink pen, are the words, “Andrea is in one of her moods today. Jean.”

He never fails to humour me. We have a code, and I guess he just trusts me with his favourite person. Jean has talked about Andrea at lengths on most of our flights to Asia. I know his wife like a person I’ve to know for decades because Jean’s storytelling is Noble Prize worthy.

“If I were you I wouldn’t gaze too long into the horizon — not the best time to get reacquainted with overly melodramatic, sad and nostalgic version of Andrea,” poking the alligator.

“How did you know that? Did Jean tell you? He’s such a dick sometimes, you know…” she responds coming out her long silence.

Oh, look at the time. It’s almost midnight.

Where were we? Oh, yeah. I had inched my way into the middle of the group; at arm’s length from this man. Now, stay with me on this because I’m not repeating myself — even if you beg and plead afterwards.

I know about the look, okay. No wine-induced puppy dog sparkle eyes, please.