A story about the tv show, Cupid
by Steve 0yervidez

            Twilight had fallen over the Chicago skyline. The noisy streets buzzed with traffic as several sets of twin headlights sped beneath a row of streetlights valiantly trying to push back the shadows from the sidewalk below. The cars whooshed past, oblivious to the two figures, a man and a woman, huddled close together as they talked, alone, their distant voices swallowed by the street noise. Both of their nervous forms emanated an awkward anticipation as they shuffled for warmth in the crisp air. Still, they continued to talk, ignored by everything and everyone around them. Well, almost everyone.
            A keenly interested Trevor Hale watched the couple from his shadowed vantage point in front of the building's double doors. Blowing into his fist, he watched their every move and gesture, trying to gleam as much information as he could from each inflection. Coiled with anticipation, albeit vicarious, he waited to see what would happen next.
            "Come on, Michael. The set up was perfect. Don't screw this up," Trevor whispered to himself.
            Out under the streetlights, the man and woman appeared to laugh together, and the man nodded in agreement as a smile lit his face. She smiled back and began to walk away, coyly looking back as she invited the man to follow. The man seemed surprised for a second, then he shrugged his shoulders and happily obliged. The two began walking up the sidewalk towards Trevor. As they passed, Trevor made a show of looking away while he swept the door frame with his fingertips like a feather duster, as if standing there was perfectly innocent. Out of the corner of his eye Trevor caught the other man's gaze, and the man gave Trevor a thumbs up as he passed without a word. Trevor suppressed most of his smile until they were further down the street, at which point he pumped his elbow into his side as he made a fist in victory.
            "Yes! Pure brilliance, unequivocal artistry, the man with the plan, the cherub with the-" Trevor had just begun a celebratory strut but stopped mid-step, as he realized that there was no one there with him. He was alone. What was the point of being right, he wondered, when there was no one else around to be wrong? Well, he could fix that. With one jubilant grunt and thrust purely for himself, he swung open the doors and stepped inside.

            Several floors up, Dr. Claire allen sat before an assorted group of men and women with the skyline of Chicago shining through the window at her back. She pushed an errant strand of dark hair from her bewildered face as she considered what to tell one of the group members who waited for her reply.
            "I would have to say that it was inappropriate for the circumstances, Dennis. What you did was a tiny bit presumptuous," she said as she tried her best to phrase her reaction delicately, her lips pursed in disbelief. She took a calming breath. "So it's understandable that she would be so underwhelmed by your... gesture. Next time, however, it might be wiser to look for a more overt sign, a more obvious sign, before disrobing so completely. Real life doesn't happen like a porno film."
            Dennis nodded to himself and tried to ignore the snickers of laughter behind him. "She said she'd call me, Dr. Allen. Do you think that she'll call?" He asked eagerly.
            "But I'm sure I could make a better impression with time to prepare. I mean sometimes it takes a few minutes to-"
            "That ship has sailed, Dennis. And sank. For good. Perhaps you should start looking elsewhere. And by the way, you've been coming to my singles group longer than... well, everyone. We aren't so formal here that you have to call me Dr. Allen all the time."
            Dennis smiled. "Sure thing, babycakes."
            "Little more formal, Dennis."
            Dennis' eyes went wide with embarrassment. "Sorry, Dr. Allen."
            A woman at the back leaned over to the woman next to her, and whispered into her ear. "Little being the key word," she giggled.
            Claire glanced towards the back of the room, expecting the usual snide, disruptive remark from Trevor, but she was surprised to see none forthcoming. She looked around the room. Where was he anyway? Looking down at her watch, she noticed the time. Typical. She was always waiting on Trevor. He was never on time. Even when all the guests had been invited and decked in their finest clothing, waiting for them to enter together and elegantly descend the staircase for the-
            Claire stopped herself. Where had that come from? She grasped for the image she had unconsciously been thinking, but felt it slip away into nothing. Weird.
            Claire rose from her chair. "Okay, I think that will definitely be it for tonight. I'll see you all on Thursday."
            The room filled with quiet whispers and laughter as chairs were pushed back and everyone slowly moved towards the back of the room. Claire bent down to gather her things and didn't notice as Trevor darted in at the back of the crowd and began to push his way past them. He zigzagged his way up to her quietly without her seeing him until he stood right next to her as she straightened up, surprising her. He smiled like the cat who had eaten the whole aviary.
            "Oh, no. Not tonight, Trevor. It's been a rough session and I don't need any more from you too."
            "Me two? There's another me? Well I suppose there would have to be since one of me isn't enough to contain my enormous-" He made a space with his hands.
            "Does everything have to do with size with you men?" she asked.
            Trevor hardly paused. "-skill in the ways of love, matchmaking and otherwise. Still, I do know how you shrinks think."
            "Gee, I wonder why," she quipped.
            "Wanting to create another me, another lab rat to try your psycho-analytic voodoo that you do so well. Lucky me. I guess I'm like the potato chip. You can't treat just one. Interesting brand name for a chip, by the way. Lays. Lots of swell connotations. Notice my oh so subtle emphasis on the word swell."
            Claire was annoyed. "Trevor, did you ever meet an innuendo that you didn't like?"
            "Only those not about sex."
            "I thought you were the god of love, Trevor."
            "Who doesn't love sex?"
            "Trevor, I'm sorry that your... persona, missed the group tonight. Without your sparkling insight we may have actually been able to make some progress."
            "Well, my charming persona persists in absentia."
            "Yeah, too bad it didn't keep the rest of you with it." She looked at the smile still plastered across his face and sighed. "I know I'll regret asking this but, what is it that-?"
            "Has me so excited? Well, beyond the obvious incentive you provide-"
            "I was right, I do regret it," she said.
           "To paraphrase," he continued, "I've just been chased by a large and cuddly spokesbear carrying a bucket he wanted to soak me with because I'm... smoking." Trevor touched his sleeve as if it were hot.
            "Smoking, huh? With luck that will violate some building code and I can have you arrested, Trevor."
            "Oooh, handcuffs, bondage. Can I be the warden this time?"
            "I see your taste in films hasn't improved."
            "Love's always in good taste, even when its not."
            "So, Trevor. Is this conversation ever going to crash into whatever has caused your current, bubbly disposition or should I just escape pre-emptively." She took a step as if to leave before he stopped her.
            "I am NOT bubbly... Okay, maybe a little. I'm also light on the tongue with a charming aftertaste." He leaned his lips toward hers. "Care for a sip?"
            "Trevor..." Claire said, still annoyed.
            "O.K. Fine. The paragon of love has struck again. You really should hang around me more, some of my talents could accidentally rub off on you. That's something I've been thinking we need to talk about, by the way. You. Me. Rubbing."
            "You've finally mastered the single entendre, Trevor... and I'm in no mood."
            "Yes you are. And its a bad one. I, however, am one bead closer to Olympus."
            She looked towards the door she somehow wasn't able to get to. "And one marble further from reality."
            As always, he ignored her. ""I matched two up today. Two free tickets on Cupid's magic carpet ride."
            "All right, I'll play along. Which two misguided, doomed to fail, and easily impressed souls have you snared into your grand web of delusion this time, Trevor? Anyone I know?"
            "Absolutely. Two yearning hearts from this very assemblage. And, thanks to me, the doomed and misguided parts are now past tense."
            Speechless, she hung her mouth slightly open as she placed her hand on her hip in annoyance. Trevor watched her with a smile on his face. "You know I love it when you look like that," he said.
            "Two people... from my group."
            He nodded. "Formerly from. Well, after tonight, anyway." Trevor motioned to all the empty seats around them. "Have you ever noticed how your singles group never gets any smaller?" Trevor held up two fingers. "Its two smaller today."
            "And me hoping for the hat trick to make it three. Hmm, too small. Interesting. Addressing certain inadequacies are we, Trevor?" she mimicked the form he had made with his hands earlier.
            "Not too small, two small. And don't even think that, because I'd be perfectly happy to dispel any misconceptions that you may have about-" Trevor reached for the buttons of his belt.
            "Trevor!" Claire darted out her hand to stop him. "Just tell me who."
            "Michael and Lucy."
            "The shut in and the claustrophobe?" she asked incredulously.
            "Absolutely. And you only wish you had thought of it first."
            "It'll never work." Claire sighed.
            "Oh, come on. Yin and Yang. Tit for Tat. It's classic."
            "Cliché, Trevor. I believe it's pronounced 'cliché'. Opposites attract is a common myth that certain intelligent people in this room, namely me, know better then to believe in."
            "Maybe that's because certain intelligent people, namely you, haven't been getting enough Tat for their-"
            Claire raised her finger quickly. "Don't say it."
            Trevor smiled. "Well, it's true isn't it? What with your slab of picture perfect hunk meat, Alex, still in New York."
            "Sometimes I wish you had more of Alex's qualities, Trevor. Mainly the far, far away part."
            "Ha, that's funny. I never saw you as the roleplaying type. But if it will tide you over while Alex's gone, just consider me your 'In Case of Emergency, Brake Bedpost' switch. I'd be happy to provide the services of someone, oh, I don't know, god-like."
            "Adonis, perhaps?"
            "Sorry, not a god. Besides, mom's called dibs on him." Trevor chuckled derisively. "Adonis... He wasn't the superhunk everyone thought he was. Really let himself go. Put on a spare tire or three."
            Claire looked at him curiously as a serious look crossed her face. Her past suspicions about a possible weight problem for Trevor bounced to the forefront of her thoughts. "Haven't we all at one point or another."
            "And he was never that good looking to begin with, he just had a kick-ass PR department. Those satyrs really worked their hooves off trying to de-emphasize those love handles of his." Trevor made hoof-clopping sounds with his tongue as he imitated a high pitched, effeminate satyr. "No, no! More toga, not less, More Toga! Have I taught you nothing? Conceal! Conceal!"
            "Trevor, what I'm trying to get in edgewise, is that in the end, me, Alex, and my group do just fine without you. As we've proven today."
            "Just fine doesn't quite dunk your doughnuts, okay. What I'm asking is where's the passion between you and Alex? Where's the heat? The parental TV Warning about mature content?"
            "Where's the mute button?" Claire asked in an exasperated voice.
            Trevor barely paused. "Although, I must admit," Trevor said, giving her a quick once-over, "you do have the visual element nailed down..."
            "Trevor, passion and heat aren't necessarily conducive to a lasting relationship."
            Trevor laughed in disbelief. "You know you'd make a great Vulcan," he said. " 'Necessarily conducive'. Poetic. Who wrote that, Byron or HAL-2000?"
            Claire tried to move past Trevor so she could leave but he shifted to block her.
            "What's your point, Trevor?"
            "MY point used to be your point. Passion. Heat." Trevor made an inspection of her neck. "Hickey's."
            Claire brought one hand reflexively to her neck before she stopped herself. "There is not!" she said.
            "Exactly!" Trevor replied triumphantly. "For some one with a boyfriend, you sure don't have any neck art to show for it. I've met nuns and eunuchs less celibate than you."
            Claire tried to get past him again but gave up. Instead she put her hand on his chest and began to push, backing him towards the door. Trevor tried to ignore the thrill her touch sent up his spine.
            "This isn't high school, Trevor. I try to provide a rational-"
            "Boring. Its pronounced 'boring'..." Trevor said as he walked backwards.
            "Rational and realistic approach to finding love or being able to cope without it for awhile," she continued.
            "What, with one of your over winded and under lived treatises on relationships?"
            Claire stopped and thought. "Help me out here, Trevor. Which one of us were you talking about again?"
            A voice spoke from the back of the room.
            Claire looked up and a smile lit her face.
            She quickly ran over into his arms where he stood near the entrance to the room. Trevor looked away, annoyed at being left alone.
            Alex looked into Claire's eyes. "I'm glad I caught you," he said. "I had some business in Chicago and I thought I'd surprise you. When you weren't at home I figured you'd be here."
            "Alex, I've missed you so much. I can't believe you're here."
            He looked over at Trevor scowling at the back of the room. "Are you in the middle of something?"
            Claire looked between Alex and Trevor, sensing a little tension. But her smile returned in full. "No, nothing really. We were just talking."
            "Because if I'm interrupting your work..."
            Trevor shook his head in disbelief and called out across the room. "Why do you always assume that? We were just talking. It may be something you have never personally had happen to you, but some people actually like talking to me ."
            Claire reached up and kissed Alex. Trevor bowed his head and looked away.
            "Let me get my things," she breathed at him. "Then we can go back to my place."
            Claire bounced over to where she had dropped her purse and papers on a chair by Trevor. She smiled up at him with a mischievous look as she picked them up.
            "I guess I won't be needing any of your emergency switches today, Trevor. But I'll keep the rest of what you said in mind."
            For once, he had nothing to say.
            She moved over to Alex and looked back. "So, I'll see you Thursday, okay Trevor?"
            "I'll try to get her back in one piece," Alex added, smiling for Trevor's benefit.
            Claire lowered her voice as she spoke to Alex. "Oh really? Well, I can't guarantee the same for you."
            They both chuckled as they kissed and left the room. Trevor stood there alone, listening to them going down the hall.
            "Bubbly... yeah, right." He said into the silence, and despondently looked out the window at the Chicago skyline.