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Testosterone Ain't Hormone Pollution
FEBRUARY 28, 2012 8:36PM

A Late-Night Call from my Ex-Girlfriend's Ex-Girlfriend

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MTN jack 


It was nearly three in the morning. Outside my windows, the city was as quiet as it ever gets. I was stretched out on the sofa in the dark, wearing my silk boxers with the tropical fish print, sipping chocolate milk and watching an old M*A*S*H episode. It was one of the early ones. The good ones. Hawkeye was working himself into quite an emotional lather over a newly-arrived nurse. She was an old flame of his, played by guest star Blythe Danner. Love her scratchy voice.


I was still awake, because I was unhappy with myself. I can’t sleep when I’m unhappy with myself.


I’d made a poor decision at work. It had cost us business. I wouldn’t be laying anyone off, but we’d have to work hard to fill the revenue gap for the quarter. And it was on me. Damn.


My mobile buzzed. I ignored it, but it kept buzzing. A phone call, not an email. At this hour?


The screen showed country code 44, and a number I recognized. I sat bolt upright. Elizabeth Watson. Bane of my life. Horrible little woman. Bossy, arrogant, stubborn, loud, contentious and emotional. Crazed English aristocrat and professional know-it-all. Professor Elizabeth bloody Watson!


My phone continued to buzz. No way. No way was I going to take her call. We’d broken up again, and it was final this time. Screw her.


The buzzing stopped and I put the phone down, pleased with my resolve. Look forward, not back. I wasn’t going give that woman the slightest chance to get her hooks into me again.


But then I had a worry. Why would she be calling so late, New York time? Was something wrong? Was she in trouble? What if, God forbid, it was something to do with her elderly parents, who had practically adopted me?




I picked the phone back up and hit the green button twice. I got her voice mail, damn it. Elizabeth’s posh accent commanded me to leave a message.


“Elizabeth?” I began in the wrong tone. I cleared my throat and lowered my voice. “Uh, yes, Elizabeth. Saw you called. Missed you, unfortunately. Do hope all’s well on your end. Best to your parents, and all that. Yes. Well, goodbye, Elizabeth.” I hit the red button on my phone. And stared at the ceiling.


What the hell did I just say?? Christ on cracker! I’d aped the ridiculous clipped speech of Elizabeth, her family and her whole inbred class. I’d sounded like a squadron leader in some bad British war film. Why didn’t I go ahead and offer her a Pip pip, cheerio?


I was holding the stupid phone to my stupid forehead, considering just how big an anus I’d made of myself, when the device buzzed again. I almost dropped it.


Just one buzz. I had a voice message. Oh. Okay. Dueling messages. Fair enough.


I was about to dial into my voice mail when the infernal thing buzzed yet again. Another live call. I steeled myself. Tried to remember what “nonchalant” sounds like.


“Hello, Elizabeth. How are you?”


“No, not Elizabeth, actually,” said an unfamiliar, but equally plummy voice. “It’s Felicia, Elizabeth’s friend. Have I got you at a good time?”


Felicia? Who the hell is Felicia? “Er, yes, Felicia. How can I help you?” Wait… Felicia… I know that name.


“Super,” said Felicia. “Now, this is just a tad awkward, but you see Elizabeth’s asked if I’d call you to see what you’d like done about some of your things. Things you’d left at her flat.”


And the penny dropped. Felicia was Elizabeth’s ex. They’d lived together. I’d met her once at brunch in London. My ex-girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend was calling me. In the middle of the night. About my things.


“My things,” I said, cleverly.


“Yes,” Felicia continued rather gently. “Elizabeth wondered if you’d like them shipped, or… or whether she should hold onto them for awhile.”


“I… wait, so nothing’s wrong with Elizabeth? Or her folks? She just told you to call me at 3 am… to get my clothes out of her place?”


“Oh, dear,” said Felicia. “I am sorry. I hadn't realized you were in America. Elizabeth was under the impression you were in Africa or somesuch. No, Elizabeth and her family are quite well.”


“I see. Well, that’s good. And yes, I was in South Africa last week,” I replied. “But why the… why didn’t she just call me herself?”


A chuckle on the other end of the line. “She’s in the bath.” Felicia pronounced it as bawth. “She instructed me to ring you up. Quite imperiously. You know how she is.”


Yes, I do know how she is. Issuing commands from the bawth, indeed.


“Well,” I growled, “You can tell Princess Elizabeth that if she’ll box my things up, I’ll arrange for a courier to come collect them.”


“Mmm,” said Felicia. A pause. “If I may… I shouldn’t be quite so hasty, if I were you.”


“Felicia, it may be the late hour, but I’m just not following you,” I said.


“She hasn’t thrown your suits into the street, you understand. I was to ask whether you’d like them returned… or whether she should hold on to them for awhile. Do you perceive a subtle message?”


I didn’t. Subtlety is not always my strong suit.


She sighed. “May I call you Duff?”




“Elizabeth was quite distressed when you parted last,” she said. “It’s why she called me, you see. To—“


“Sure, I see,” I said irritated mightily. “I understand exactly why she called you. That woman is about the horniest little—“




“---hormones out of control---“




“---and you call me in my fish boxers from her place and she’s naked in the tub---“


“Will you stop talking, please!” she said, sharply.




“Listen,” she said. “I wasn’t in the bath with her, for goodness sake. Though you’re welcome to imagine what you like, if that excites you.”


“I…” actually, the thought was just a little titillating. “Uh, what’s your point?”


“My point is that in asking if you’d like her to keep your clothing for now, Elizabeth was leaving a door ajar, so to speak.”


I thought about that for a moment.


Felicia continued. “She still speaks of you. I believe she was quite happy with you. And if you two hotheads---“


“I am NOT a hothead!”


“No, clearly not,” she said, drily. “At all events, I believe were you to send her a note – a polite note – you could expect a favorable reply.”


“And why would you think that? And why should I care?” I demanded.


“Because she had a pregnancy kit last week.”


I stopped breathing. Then, with some effort, started again. Carried my chocolate milk to the kitchen and poured it in the sink.


“Are you still there, Duff?” Felicia asked.


“Yes,” I replied, pouring something stronger into a tumbler.


“Now… the test was negative.”


“Negative,” I said.


“Yes, but now listen carefully, Duff. When she thought she was pregnant – with your child - she was not displeased.”


I leaned against the kitchen counter. Put a hand to my brow. “Not displeased,” I nodded, and took a gulp of Scotch.


“It’s entirely up to you, of course. But it seems to me you two hotheads may have a matter or two left to discuss. Beyond your suits.”


I took a deep breath. “I believe you’re right, Felicia. Thank you for this call.”


“You're most welcome, Duff. Do try to get some sleep, won’t you?”


Not likely.



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I think she planned the whole episode. Yes, she's exactly that devious. Infuriating woman.
YEA, get some sleep! Not bloody likely! R
THE PLOT THICKENS. two lesbians, a cool dude, and an almost-baby. sounds almost as hip & edgy as Modern Family :p
& Im having a lot of trouble picturing those proper english lesbians, but I guess this is a pretty vivid description to help me get there.
love? really? intercontinental types are so very complicated
sigh, and they are not lesbians. She is a bisexual...hence the whole wanting to sleep with a guy part.
sex id primer:
Lesbians- women who sleep with women
Bisexuals- women or men who sleep with women or men
Straight Woman- woman who sleeps with a man
Straight Man- man who sleeps with woman
Gay Men- men who sleep with men
Polyamorous- combinations of the above
Get those suits! If two adults keep breaking up there's a reason. Close that door.
haha ok HJ. look Im about as sex and lifestyle positive as they come. elizabeths own parents called her a lesbian. heck, I think she called HERSELF a lesbian. if I slip & call her a lesbian, plz forgive me. it looks like she only fell off the lesbian wagon briefly for a small aberration with the author. what do you think? if she only wants him for his sperm-for-a-baby, does that make her bisexual or not? lets have a big debate on this. I hope we can get at least 50 more comments out of it. =)
Well, what could go wrong? A short trip to London, a little splash in the bath, then maybe a kid or two....
laugh, no way, I'm going to bed at a reasonable hour tonight...although.... were is SafeBet'sAmy?! I haven't seen her in a bit. She'd go 50 rounds with ya.

----my own personal logic---
You could have a million different people say a million different things. Me- you sleep with both sexes willingly, you are a bisexual. Sorry, I know that makes you (one) the black sheep of the freak family, but suck it up.
If she is perusing him, it's because she likes HIM. You don't have hot/cold stormy drama with a turkey baster.
Offering no opinions, just good luck and a chuckle.
How did I get here?


will be back.
You left me with the impression that your heart would to stroll back through that door. I'm with jlsathre - careful where you step!
So posh. You're a cheeky storyteller.
Do you perceive a subtle message? Hmmm , not, it's not subtle. It's your call on the little hot head. If you like devious and imperious.
Well told! This should be in the next blockbuster comedy romance, starring -- oh hell, let's make it exciting -- Ed Norton and Elizabeth Banks as the love interests and maybe Emily Mortimer as the ex's ex.

Very visually written. I literally could see this playing out, split screens, scene cuts and all.

i would write that note, man.
just to see what'll happen. the cool thing is:
you are in the divine state of disinterest:
if it goes this way, ok,
if it goes the other, still ok. whatever....

i saw in my mind not emily mortimer , but a much more blonde
english chick. i cannot think of any hot crisp polite
english actresses at the moment, sorry.
her hair is definitely tied back though.

the bath scenario is a good one . Crispy gal seems to like you
though you were terribly rude to her.
there are maybe some interesting baths
in your future?

Speaking as another devious and INFURIATING woman--which I was in a past life before I became a goddess: forget the suits. Forget they even existed. The suits are no longer. The Hon. Elizabeth is jerking your chain--- because she can.
Lay on, Duff, and let him -- or her -- be damned who first cries "Hold! Enough!"
Cordle, you kill me. ;)
Metthought a bit of Shakespeare was in order for the English im-patient. By the way, only one other person on this blog calls me Cordle, and she ain't a he in either of her identities. No offense ... I'm just sayin'.
Cordle, did I understand that last comment correctly? Are you accusing me of being a girl? Or just unmanly?

The latter may or may not be true, but the former certainly isn't. It's interesting. Three years I've been typing this silly blog, the consistent undertone of which is arguably the wonders (and occasional perils) of testosterone. Yet I still get the odd twit who thinks I'm a woman. I think Sandra Stephens was the first to tout that theory.

I must be doing something wrong. Do I need to loose more beer burps?
Come on, you really never cared too much for those suits anyway, did you?
[Being ever a man of discretion, my reply to your comment has been transferred to a PM.]
No, it wasn't me, but I've heard the theory, and it made me go "Doh! So that's why he seems to faceless to me." Because I've never been able to assign a face to you. Steven Axelrod is played in my head by Tim Robbins. Gary Justis is played by Bill Murray. Neil is played by Denis Leary. You've been a mysterious blank.

You *could* be a woman, I suppose. I'd guess, Cartouche. You could also very easily be corporate gent in his late 50s or early 60s. I don't have a lot of experience with men that age, which might be why I can't picture you.

I always read your pieces in the voice of Leslie Nielsen. Another clue.
@Sandra: Naw, I'm not an older gent, but I'll tell you something about that. I've tried to imagine myself in an older skin. I can't yet. It feels like a foreign place I know I'll visit someday. I can sketch the outline, but I don't know what it'll be like from the inside.

And one thing's for sure. I won't be "corporate' ever again. I've paid those dues. I'll take the fear and the profit myself now.

Well now, quite a quandary, but I'm leaning towards slipping through that door left ajar... and impregnating both of them for good measure.
Her role as the " Ex "suits" her.