Margot, the elusive (part 1)


knoxMy girlfriend took me to see Margot, a friend of hers, perform in a one-act at an old Supercuts-turned-experimental-theater in North Portland. I’d never met Margot before, but I could tell my girlfriend didn’t like her very much, even though they were ostensibly good friends. It was something about my girlfriend’s tone as she reported news of dear Margot:

Margot - photo by Todd Gehman ( used under CC License“My friend Margot is going to Barcelona in a couple of weeks, which is so dumb, because it’s not even that nice there this time of year.”

“Margot once threw a dress-as-your-favorite-song party, but didn’t even dress up herself, because she said she realized it was ‘too heady a theme.’”

“God, she’s such a cunt.”

The play was about a stuntman who became terrified of leaving his house to go to work. Margot played his wife, who every morning fights and fights with the guy, telling him to go do his damn job. It would have better if there were some actual stunts, but it was a fine production.

At the after party I found out why my girlfriend felt competitive with Margot. You see, Margot was just better. She had better posture. She was more impulsive. She had better luck. And as we chatted over Trader Joe’s wine at the director’s apartment, I realized I actually liked Margot better than my girlfriend.

It was a revelation. I didn’t even feel guilty about it – just surprised. We had a good time that night, the three of us, staying up until 4 a.m. As Margot shared stories and ideas, I listened closely and thought in the back of my mind, “Wow, I am really dating last year’s model.”

I’d been really into my girlfriend up until that point, too. She was a writer. I was a writer. We’d both spent time in the Middle East. We both had many summer nights in the city. She was graceful and beautiful and there was plenty to talk about and we were both looking for the same thing. But then I saw Margot and I just didn’t want to be in my relationship anymore. Only time it’s ever happened, where I haven’t been conflicted about wanting someone other than my significant other.
Three days later I went to see Margot at the vegan café where she was a counter clerk.

“Knox,” she said, “Did you come here to flirt with me?” Mostly joking, I think.

“Why else do you think anyone comes here?” I said, leaning over the baked goods display case.

She laughed.

“Listen, Margot. I just wanted to stop by again and say how good I thought your play was.”

“Oh, that’s so nice. Thank you.” Looking into her exultant eyes, seeing how much my compliment had given Margot, I knew what I had to do.

I drove home and told my girlfriend I didn’t love her anymore, that there was someone else. She asked if I had done anything with this someone else and I told her no, that I didn’t even know if she liked me back, but that it would be wrong for me to continue this relationship. Maybe I should have told her who that someone else was. I don’t know.

Anyways, two days later, I went back to the café to see Margot and she went white as she saw me approach.

“It was me – wasn’t it?” she said.  “I’m the girl you liked, but you didn’t know if I liked you back.”

“So you could tell,” I said, excited.

“Listen Knox, I don’t want to see you, now or ever. I don’t like it when guys hurt my friends because of lame impulses.”

And with that, I left her behind, wondering why the fuck I always do the right thing at the wrong time.

4 Responses to “Margot, the elusive (part 1)”

  1. 1 AD

    Loved it. Can’t wait til part II.

  2. 2 Marley

    “Last years model” good stuff…

  3. 3 Margaret

    I think you did the right thing. I am a true believer in love at first sight and if you would have stayed with your girlfriend, you would be miserable thinking about Margot the entire time.
    Margot is also a good friend. Too bad for you

  4. Hmmm. I’m “conflicted” :)

    …but if you felt that it was over, you did the right thing breaking it off with your girlfriend. It appears this was a no win situation to begin with.

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