Maybe...


Inspired by true events.


Disclaimer: The next couple of sentences may include some inappropriate language, racial stereotypes and general rudeness. But keep your pants on; I’m just the messenger. Like I said, this is inspired by true events.

…and when I say “may include” I mean it’s definitely in there.



Setting: 1pm. At a bar. An older man sits down at the next table, orders a red wine, turns to me and says...


Have you ever done business with Asians?


I shook my head wondering what he was going to say next.


I have a girlfriend. She’s 27. I'm 70.


Those two comments didn’t seem related in any remote way.


Is she Asian?

I asked, attempting to contribute.


Nope.


He was not making this easy for me.


I call her Maybe.

He said


That was very funny. I raised my eyebrows and nodded to tell him just how funny that was.


You see,

He continued. I spun on my stool to face him, bringing my beer with me.

When you do business with Asians, they always say maybe. You ask them something and they say ‘maybe, maybe we do that, maybe.’ But guess what? They just mean no. In the end, they always mean no. That’s why I call her Maybe.


Because she’s a no?

I asked.


Yep, in the end.


Does she know you call her Maybe?


Yep.


Does she know that maybe means no in the end?


Yep.


I don’t get it.


Well,

He paused, smiling for the first time since we began our chat.

If you’ve been with as many girls as I have, then you’d know you may never find your one-and-only. But what I have found - hanging out with people you like is far more enjoyable than hanging out with people you don’t like. Not everything has to be extravagant, we exist on a spectrum and few things are at the edges.



He gifted me a bookmark. On it, the three stripes of the Irish flag, and in bold black writing across the stripes, ‘Illegitimi non Carborundum, don’t let the bastards wear you down.'


I thought for a second, but none of these things - the Asian businessmen, the young girlfriend, the Irish flag, the Latin saying - had seemingly anything in common. I said so and my new friend shook his head as if I’d missed the whole point of the conversation.


Maybe.

He said.

Or maybe it's all very intentional.

Maybe it's just a conversation.

Or maybe not everything is meant to mean something in the end.

He turned away to drink his wine.





















- Emily Menges