I'm at a dive bar somewhere downtown. I'm squatting over a pee drenched toilet seat. I worry for a moment that someone will walk in on me, but then I remember that I paid a man named Buck two dollars to guard the curtain door. I pee out my two beers and thank the man for my privacy. He smiles at my breasts and tells them, "I didn't peak at you in there. Don't worry." I laugh excessively, and then shift my gaze over to the bar where my boyfriend is chatting amicably with his ex.

Yes, that's right. I'm out on a date with my boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend. It's such fun. I recommend that all of you try it someday. Ah, the joy of having your boyfriend tell you, as you near the bar to meet his friends,

"By the way, my ex is going to be there."

"Oh, ok. No big deal I guess."

I check myself for sincerity. Yes, it's really no big deal. After all, I'm not one to feel insecure around a woman I've never met, even if she did use to date my boyfriend. It doesn't matter what she looks like, or how long they dated, or what the sex was like. All that matters is that he's NOT interested in her anymore. In fact, I don't even get uncomfortable when I see an old boyfriend with a new girlfriend. As long as I'm not interested in him anymore, I really don't care who he's dating. Ok, that's not true.
One time I spotted an old "flame" with his new girlfriend at a bar and I felt as if I was going to be sick. I almost threw up all the self esteem I've spent practically twenty-five years building up. But, in my defense, she was 70 percent legs, 20 percent perky breasts, and 10 percent bubble butt. She looked as if she was airbrushed before she left the house. Fortunately, as she was waiting in line for the bathroom, I got to know her better. "My hair and I are in a fight. You know what? The drunker I get, the drunker my hair gets. My hair is wasted! " After forty more seconds of listening to her say things of that nature, I escaped from the line comforted by her personality.

I smile at that recollection as my boyfriend's voice brings me back to the present.

"No of course it's no big deal. It's just that I don't think she knows I'm dating someone."

I stop walking.

"She doesn't know you're dating someone?!"

"I haven't gotten around to telling her, but we have a lot of mutual friends so she might know. But she might NOT know, but if she does know, she might not want me to know she knows, but if she knows, and I know she knows, and she knows that I know she knows, then she might not be too nice to you. Just so you know."

I decide right then and there that I'm not really in the mood to have a girl I've never met be "not too nice" to me. I formulate a mature plan of action. I will avoid her completely.

Two hours later, fresh from the fancy lavatory, I realize that my plan hasn't changed the dynamics of the evening. We are still three, and"" though it saddens me to write this"" three is NOT a fun number.

I narrow my eyes at the re-united couple from across the room. He gestures at me to join them. He gives me the "'come over here and meet her, let's get this over with' wave. I stay where I am. Is his ex still interested in him? Yes. It's very obvious. Is he still interested in his ex? No. That's obvious as well. Do I continue to avoid this girl while my breasts make small talk with a large man named Buck? No. So, I take a deep a breath and head across the room. I immediately regret the decision.

Him: Hey, this is my girlfriend Mindy. I don't think you two have met?"
Me: Hi, no I don't think so. Hi, I'm Mindy.
She: (Nothing!)

She looks me up and down as if I've just walked into a subway train, in the middle of July, wearing a wool overcoat and carrying a large briefcase. I speak.

"Nice to meet you."

Then the most awful thing that could happen happens. The most dreaded, disgusting, horrific, ghastly, abominable thing occurs right then and there:


Thick, awkward, uninterrupted silence.

The three of us are trapped in this uncomfortable triangle of death exchanging glances for what seems like ten hours. I can't take it anymore! I look into my boyfriend's eyes hoping to communicate with him telepathically. "Speak! Say something! Only you can save us! Speak, for the love of god, SPEAK!" But he doesn't say a word, and neither does she, and I continue to go out of my mind. The awkward silence, coupled with her cataloguing gaze, are drilling tiny, throbbing holes through my brain. I have to say something, I have to speak, I have to end it! So, I do. A giant gust of air expels from my lungs as I exclaim,

"I had Mexican food for dinner. I'm still a little bloated. ( I stick out my belly as far as it will go and gesture to it lovingly.) Guacamole."

Thick, awkward, uninterrupted silence.

I want to die. I want to sink into the sticky floor and die. I look up at the ex, and she is smiling. Why is she SMILING?! My mind goes back to the airbrushed nightmare in line for the bathroom. Am I the dim-witted new girlfriend? Suddenly a word pops into my head. (A word I read on Web MD one night when I couldn't sleep and decided it would relax me to look up fatal illnesses on the internet.) Zoetic: pertaining to life. Perhaps it wasn't the stupidity of the long-legged nightmare's words that comforted me as I waited for the bathroom that night. Perhaps it was the words themselves that comforted me; for they allowed me to recognize her existence. She spoke, and suddenly she was transformed from threatening, inanimate object to ordinary human being. I snap back to the dive bar and am greeted by the ex's smiling face. I repeat a mantra of peace in my head that hopefully the two of us will share: zoetic, zoetic, zoetic . . . whatever. I have larger, yummier breasts than this girl. So, I ditch my philosophical musings and stick out my chest like a wild animal in a Discovery Channel documentary. Then, I grab my boyfriend's ass and tell him I want to leave. He says goodbye to his ex., I say goodnight to Buck, and the TWO of us head home.

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