Sunday, 29 March 2015

Psychoanalysis and melodrama

A quick hello from the other side of the world today. I'm on vacation and so pressed for time in my heavy schedule of doing very little. But I've definitely got enough time to post another missive from Tom Baker's brain.
And to remind you that:
1. The Music of Temptation is out now! Read all about Margot Duke's love affair with the the drool-worthy Jonathan Young.
2. The Science of Attraction is FREE on Amazon for another couple of days. FREE goddamnit! Go and download yourself a copy now.
In the meantime, you can read about how Tom first met Kate in The Prelude to Attraction. He's already addicted to the Ramsey brand, and now his adviser is on board with a cross-continental move. But first he has to deal with a rather persistent admirer... 

The Prelude to Attraction (Part 8)
I meet Saskia later that evening at a bar near her apartment. The place is a regular student haunt. It’s wall to wall with football paraphernalia, full of drunk undergrads feeling each other up.
Saskia’s already there when I arrive, leaning against the bar and sucking on a straw immersed in some sticky green concoction.
She takes one look at me and says, “You’ve changed. Something’s changed.”
I sidle up to the bar and nod. “I’ve just figured out what I want to do next year.”
I lean in and kiss her on the cheek, signaling the barman for a beer over her shoulder as I pull away again. 
“No, it’s not that,” she says, sizing me up.
Sometimes I hate psych majors. She narrows her eyes at me, then tilts her head and smiles.
“You’ve met someone,” she says, like it’s the most natural thing in the world. I’m meeting her here in some sort of capacity as her casual, soon-to-be-ex lover, and yet she seems totally relaxed about the idea that I might have met someone new. Suddenly I love psych majors.
But technically, she’s wrong, and I feel weird about owning up to my phantom crush on some woman who lives on the other side of the globe. It’s like saying, “I can’t be with you anymore because I’m in love with Scarlett Johansson.” Lay that one on the table and let her psychoanalyze the shit out of it.
Instead I lie to her.
“There’s no one else,” I say. “But I’ve decided I’m leaving Boston in the spring and I’ll have to work my ass off to make that happen.”
The barman plants a bottle on the bar in front of me and I nod my thanks, hand him some cash.
I turn back to find Saskia staring at me. There’s a silence that she refuses to fill, mostly because she’s still busy trying to figure me out.
“I don’t have time for distractions,” I add.
“No, that’s not it,” she says again. “This is definitely about a woman.”
She seems almost gleeful to have me all figured out—or at least half figured out. She sucks on her straw again, pursing cherry-red lips into a provocative little pout.
“What’s her name?” she says, glancing up at me through her eyelashes.
I look away and feign interest in a sign behind the bar.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
And I have to hand it to her. She spends half her life on the stage—she knows a bad actor when she sees one. She doesn’t call me on it though, and I love that. Instead she turns the crank on her own drama-queen side, playing at being put out.
“Whatever,” she sighs. “I can’t say I’m happy to have to give up my plaything.”
Her tone is whiny, which I get—it fits part. But it still makes me want to shake her, because we literally only spent a single night together. I’m no more her plaything than I am a complete stranger. She has to recognize the absurdity of her lament.
Something tells me that I’m better off staying tight-lipped though.
“I guess I don’t have much choice in the matter,” she says, still working the coquette angle.
I meet her eyes and press my lips together. Silence is still my best move.
 “So this is it, huh?” she says, and I realize with relief that she’s totally getting off on all the melodrama.
She steps in toward me, reaches up to swing an arm around my neck, and then kisses me deeply, fully, until I almost feel my resolve start to crumble. But her timing is perfect, and she pulls away right on cue, spinning out of my arms and stalking away from me. And all I’m left with is a face covered in lipstick, and a good few seconds to contemplate her swinging hips before they disappear out the door.

I think my days of having a phone full of Saskia Harding’s boobs have just come to an end.

Jump to Part 9.

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