“It’s like you–no matter how much I blow you off, you always come back.”

The burst of adrenaline her comment elicited sent a concussive wave of chemicals through my brain and pasted a look on my face that, I’m sure, was hard to disguise. If I had the ability to TiVo my life, I’d probably wear out the remote in amused Golem-esque self-loathing watching the expression develop. My eyes popped, my jaw dropped, my face reddened. On stage, I shoot hecklers down with the ease of a seasoned crowd sniper, but in my real life I’m not as nearly adept. Her sentence rendered me utterly speechless.

She – let’s call her G – stared me down with her entitled smile; the same stamp of smile that has challenged and weakened my spirit throughout my life. Smiling dark eyes, full lips, at least one unique quirk. With her, it was the beguiling way the tip of her tongue nestled, wet and coquettishly, between her upper and lower set of teeth; poised to say something scandalous.

I wanted to say something quick and smart like, “Pfft! Nigga please!” but this bitch had my number and she knew it. It could not have been more obvious. I couldn’t have been more submissive if I had been a Korean in a leather harness licking dried dog poo off the sole of her SHOE.

My brain continued to buzz from the cocktail of adrenaline and fear. I ransacked the relationship archives of my brain and mustered quite possibly the most pathetic and feeble response of my life… and that’s saying something.

“You shouldn’t SAY that.” I spurted back.

“Oh come on, it’s true, we both know it.” G laughed.

“Yes, but it’s not something you should say out loud.” I had a yuk-yuk-isn’t-the-war-of-the-sexes-funny smile on my face, but my attempt at levity was betrayed by the fact that my normally beady eyes had enlarged to the size of saucers like some Japanese anime character. “AKIRAAAAAA!”

Silence followed, mostly. It was peppered by a one-sided argument between our Pakistani cab driver and whoever was on the other side of his blue tooth. I looked at the cabbie through his rearview mirror and could have sworn I saw a smirk on his face. Busy with driving through Manhattan traffic and arguing with the leader of his sleeper cell, even Ahmed could tell I was pitiful and pussy-whipped.

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