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Cupcake Kissin’ 63 – Alex Ankarr
Everyone thinks it’s pretty funny, though. It provides a lot of entertainment, and someone records it and puts it up on the net, and Mack just comes up and gives him the most casual one-armed hug when it’s done. ‘Just funny, man, relax. I’m getting the message, give me a little more time,’ is what he says, and it’s hard to understand, to digest. It’s all he gets in explanation, anyhow, because Mack abandons him at that point, and heads for the craft table, where he begins to work his way through a lot more cake than his usual single caramel-dark-choc, and mainlines the coffee too. And that’s all the notice he gets out of Mack. All the rest of the cast and crew seem barely to notice the lack of contact beyond the initial display. Or how dejected Mack is, beyond the overt good humour and teasing.
Caspar isn’t sure. Is that really dejection? Is he responsible, or is that vanity? (He might have been guilty of vanity, at certain points over the last weeks. He’ll own it.)
Sara comes up behind him, and slings her arms around his neck, drags him in, in what looks like quite a friendly embrace. It’s not as friendly as all that, not as friendly as it looks, and that’s what he finds out for himself. ‘You’ve let this go on for way too long,’ she says in his ear. It’s not a soft murmur, not friendly or kind. She makes it sharp.
And that’s all she gives him, because she doesn’t even linger long enough for him to argue. Across the set he spots Sam, too. Who just shakes his head, then disappears. Sam doesn’t come over – seemingly doesn’t even want to talk to him, and that’s coming down from a point of them dating, making out even a little, to colluding and conspiring and Sam manoeuvring him into a courtship he had no readiness for. Now Sam’s mad at him – is he? – and he can’t quite account for how he’s let it get this far. Along a route where he doesn’t have a map, or know how to get back to where they were days and weeks ago.
Mack’s still texting him, still calling him. Still flirting, in a mechanical way, still pursuing him even. It just seems all a little done by rote, without passion or light-heartedness or actual feeling behind it. Rather as if Mack has come around to changing his mind, without notifying his super-ego to modify his behaviour, to abandon a gentle pursuit that hasn’t borne fruit.
And Caspar can’t help but wonder if he’s been silly enough to leave it too late. But if so, then there’s nothing to be done about it. He gets on with the things he needs to get on with, and he tries not to fret. He has plenty to occupy his mind. But it’s amazing just how much it does hinder his free thought, and unclouded action. Especially since, superficially at least, nothing has changed. Mack is still pursuing him just the same. Except it’s not at all the same. In everything except technical details, it feels entirely different, a game and a casual, perfunctory run-through, not a real felt wish and desire.
© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014
No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.