My closest friend my whole life has been this guy named Emilio. We’ve known each other since first grade, which means we’ve been friends for some 35 years. If there’s one thing you need to know about Emilio, it is this:
I’ve never really liked him.
The problem is that when you’re me, you can’t be very choosy about friends. So I haven’t been. Hence Emilio. Or as I like to call him, “That fat bastard.”
I bring this up only to tell you a brief story.
When Emilio and I are in a bar, he will inevitably start talking to other people in the bar. I, on the other hand, like to stand in a corner talking to no one. Sometimes facing the wall.
Invariably, Emilio will tell the people he’s just met (often two attractive girls) that the guy staring at the wall is his friend. He then invites me over.
I say hi. They ask what I do.
Emilio answers for me. “He’s a cartoonist.”
One asks, “What do you draw?”
Emilio answers for me again. “Have you ever heard of the comic strip, ‘Calvin and Hobbes’?”
They shriek with excitement.
“Well,” Emilio says, “that’s not the one he draws.”
They sigh. A sigh so audible that they cannot hear it when he adds, “He draws one called ‘Pearls Before Swine.'”
The girls say nothing.
I sip my beer. I stare at the ground.
And Emilio laughs.
Damn that fat bastard.