Not Today

I don’t even want to do it, really. It’s just another compulsion, just another thing I keep doing because I have to prove to myself I can do it and I’ll keep doing it.

It’s all a fake, though. Of course you play it cool and act like you think you’re in control, but in your gust you still find women every bit as terrifying as you did when you were a sweaty-palmed kid daydreaming about Petrarch and Laura. Couldn’t even get laid unless she practically (and sometimes literally) jumped on top of you.

Guys who were decent with women in high school — or hell, even in college — were damned lucky. They can have their fun, settle down in their twenties, and enjoy the best (correction: least bad) of what life has to offer. Then you have guys like me who are chasing a mirage, trying to prove something to themselves that can’t be proven and never will be proven.

Anyway, today’s specimen was a blonde I found at Buffalo Wild Wings while I was walking in. I say she was a blonde, but you should have seen the way her brunette roots were growing out. Short, skinnier than I usually like them, pretty enough in the face — at least from what I could tell in spite of the black and star-speckled Covid mask she was wearing.

Because of course she was a mask-wearer.

“I’m just waiting in line for a takeout order,” she said, because apparently I looked like I was about to dine in.

I told her I was doing the same thing and she nodded and turned around to face the front of the line, where there were a good half-dozen people waiting in front of us.

Then it happened. It crossed my mind that I really ought to try extending the conversation.

I don’t even want to do it, really.

Women. They have no idea how easy they have it.

Anyway, this one wasn’t exactly broadcasting that she was a promising prospect. Standing with her arms crossed, tapping her foot, and her right leg doing some weird kind of twitchy thing either on account of the cold — she was that kind of skinny, where standing in an air conditioned restaurant on a hot day would be enough to make her shiver — or simply because little miss thang was so over standing in line with all these plebs.

So like I said, not exactly super-promising. Had one a couple days ago who was doing the little hair thing that’s so obvious when you know to look for it, but they never seem to realize they’re doing it. Or hell, maybe they do. What’s it matter?

That one was wearing a mask too, come to think of it. But I’m sure you know what I mean when I say I was much more warmly disposed to mask-wearers that day than I was today.

But the blonde. Or the pseudo-blonde, since that’s more accurate.

She did talk to me first, which is always a promising sign, even though it was just to tell me she was waiting in line.

But none of that is really the point.

The point is that it crossed my mind I should say something, see how far I could keep the ball rolling. My ego was involved now, and if I didn’t say anything I’d be chickening out and if I did that I would still be that idealistic and naive young kid I used to be and still can’t forgive myself for ever having been.

It’s not about sex, really. If it was just about sex I’d be just fine with picking up a hooker whenever I felt the urge. It’s about killing that chickenshit little fucker I used to be. It’s about doing it, and then doing it again to prove I can still do it, and running away from the thought that no amount of proof will ever be enough to satisfy that doubt.

And if you thought it was ever about her, you’ve got another thing coming.

Anyway, what I ended up saying was something like, “So are you bouncing around because you’re cold, or are you just sick of being here?”

“Just cold,” she said flatly. No give in her voice at all.

Which was just as well, really. I’d gotten what I wanted.

I didn’t pussy out. Today.



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