She eyed me from the screen. Even though she was on the other side of the world, confined to the flat netherworld of Skype, her disapproval was evident.
"Don't you know about men with dimples in their chin?" she asked.
"No ma," I sighed. "What about men with chin dimples?"
She lurched forward, her face filling my screen: "They're all sex maniacs! Do you hear me? SEX. MANIACS."
I laughed. "Well that doesn't sound so bad."
"You mark my word young woman," she said, "he's a sex maniac." She leaned back, exhaling, "Now don't get me started on men with short fingers."
Later that same night, awaiting my destiny-to find out whether or not my mother was right about Peter Chin-Butt and his sexual proclivities (I certainly hoped she was)-my girlfriends burst through my front door bearing beer and guacamole.
Nat clears her throat suspiciously and, very slowly, asks me what Peter Chin-Butt looks like.
"Well he's tall and really good looking with a bum chin," I explain.
Nat looks at Rachel and they raise their eyebrows in unison.
"Why?" I ask, alarmed.
"Well," Rachel's mouth tightens, "we think we saw him in the shop when we were buying beer."
"AND?" mild panic wells up within me.
"He was being really obnoxious. Talking really loudly and saying dumb things," says Rachel.
"Yeah, he was pretty annoying," nods Nat.
I sigh, "Well, I guess we'd best head up to the roof to meet him then, hey?"
So we begin our ascent to the roof where I had agreed to meet Peter Chin-Butt and his friends-and where I successfully down for cans of Bud before Peter Chin-Butt even shows up. We introduce each other to our friends awkwardly, but fuck-he's good looking. So good looking, in fact, that my friend Tom leans across to me and whispers "Are you boning this guy?"
I shake my head and put my finger to my lips to indicate that he should shut up because Peter Chin-Butt is in hearing range.
"That's a shame," Tom says. "He's a fucking babe."
After more beer I need to pee, so Peter Chin-Butt leads Nat and I down the fire escape and into his top-floor apartment. Or toxic dump, whatever-the place is filthy. There is trash and broken furniture everywhere. Tangled cables snake across the floor tempting painful falls and electrical fires. Old food sits out (don't even get me started on the stale pizza with cigarette ash all over it that I physically have to stop Peter Chin-Butt from eating), and all I can think of is bed bugs as I step around the debris.
The bathroom is worse. The floor is covered in hair and grime and the toilet won't flush. As I squat over the toilet bowl Nat looks down at me, horrified.
"Oh fuck," she moans, "that's fucking disgusting." I follow her gaze to a toothbrush that is resting on the mouldy toilet cistern. She screws up her face ("ewewewewew!") and picks it up between the very tips of her thumb and forefinger, placing it instead on the equally dirty sink.
"Let's get the fuck out of here," she giggles.
On our way out I see something that makes my stomach turn. It's the original note I had left for Peter Chin-Butt, now taped up on the DOORWAY TO HELL. We stand peering into Peter Chin-Butt's room, although it's more like a crack den-dank, dirty and covered in junk, trash and clothing. His bed is a single fold-out camper with a thin mattress devoid of sheets. The pillow has no case and everything looks like it has been soaked in coffee, or vomit, or worse. I gag and grip Nat's hand, pulling her onto the fire escape and into the fresh night air.
Back on the roof I relay the horror to some of my friends while Peter Chin-Butt stands nearby flashing his glorious smile at me. I ignore him as my phone buzzes in my pocket-I cave and glande at the glowing screen. One new message from Peter Chin-Butt: "You look so cute sitting over there on the floor."
I look over at him. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so pleased with himself. I smile back and put the phone in my pocket without replying.
He is so fucking beautiful I almost forget about his pig sty. We part ways and he offers to play me the bongo (apparently he has a set), but I politely decline.
Thank God you're gorgeous, Peter Chin-Butt.