I’m back. The work has changed somewhat recently. It’s been a focused change to create something more personal. I am getting back to my roots. The idea is to step away from genre and write something visceral. The idea is to bleed on the page and hope some truth comes from that writing. I will always love genre, but in order to write it better I have to take a step back and write from my life for a while.
The piece I am posting today is satire. Let me state that again, it is satire. I was writing about masculinity in a way that pokes fun, but also shows the fragility of the male psyche. A lot has been written about male psyche recently and toxic masculinity. I have dealt with it in my own way and I’m sure I have a long way to go before I rid myself of these prejudices. This is a way of showcasing what it was like for me as a young man in my twenties while also poking fun at the sense of entitlement men often seem to espouse.
The following piece is a work of fiction. It is a satire. It is meant to poke fun at men. I wrote it in second person perspective with the tone of books about masculine etiquette (maybe, I don’t know, I’ve never read one actually). It also reminded me of “Pick Up Artists” from the aughts.
Please read and enjoy,
She walked into the room like a cliché. The room went silent, she laughed with her whole body to something her friend said. She was a woman that you could fall in love with, grow old with, have children with. All your fantasies fuse onto her like a bear trap and you suddenly can’t picture anyone more attractive. She is light and sunny, but has an edge that screams of some hidden kink that you get to explore. She is unattainable, but highly gettable. She moves like Dita Von Teese and looks like Pam Grier. You imagine she can drink you under the table, but always maintains poise and balance. She is all these things right up until you speak to her, get to know her and find out she is broken and looking for a place in this cold dark world. This doesn’t deter you however. You knew that she was a real person. You are not objectifying her, because in that two second introduction you are in love with her whole being. You don’t even know her name, but you’re sure it’s something exotic, like Rain, or something regal and old like Muriel. The names aren’t important, they’re just titles really. A way to put a sound to the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. She moves and your eyes follow her into the bathroom and you lose sight of her. You will find the opportunity to speak with her by the end of the night and declare your undying love.
You get a drink at the bar, nothing fancy, a man’s drink. Whiskey neat or on the rocks, both are masculine enough to be seen with. Martini glasses are for women or Hunter S Thompson. Wine is for the artsy types. Beer is yesterday’s big thing. This bar doesn’t have any craft beer anyway. You are a man’s man, here for the music, the atmosphere, and the women. The drink is just a prop, like the cigarettes. The cigarettes should be cheap, but not too cheap. No Basics, No Pall Malls, It’s either Camels, Marlboros, or American Spirits if you’re feeling spendy. Nothing with black paper, no cloves, you’re not in high school, and Johnny Depp is the only straight man you’ve ever seen that can pull off cigarellos. With your bourbon neat in hand you turn back to the dance floor.
Dancing is a tricky prospect. It is necessary in a club to dance, but it can also be off putting. You need to move just enough so that the women around you can dance with you without the distraction of quality dance moves. You are not John Travolta. You stick to the two step, because you can make it look somewhat more complex than it is. Sway the arms more, step quicker or slower, Kick out a foot if you’re feeling frisky. A woman may join you on the dance floor. Match her pace, let her be the star of this show so that perhaps you might be the star of the show to come. Always be aware of your drink. A clumsy spill could end your night on the town. Watch for rings on the fingers of your dance partner, this may make it more challenging to take her to bed. Obstacles are just things to be overcome. Bear in mind it may be too much effort so be prepared to bow out gracefully. You haven’t managed to entice any women so you move off the dance floor. You were starting to sweat and that may be unseemly.
Out to the smoking patio for a quick smoke. Don’t pay too much attention to anyone in the smoking patio. The men tend to be too chummy and the women may be more brazen than you are used to. Light the cigarette, be mindful of your own space. Encourage conversation by having an open stance, but don’t be too encouraging. How many great people have you met in a smoking patio after all? This is a lottery you don’t need to win. Smoke quickly, but not too quickly, the smell may stick to your clothes. Keep an eye out for your one true love. Her smoking habits would be worth noting for later encounters.
Inside the bar the patrons have grown in number. Scan the bar for your beauty, than the dance floor. You had not seen her in the smoking patio, it would be heartbreaking if she had already left. You make a pass through the throng of dancing bodies. No need to dance while you are in pursuit. This is a tenuous time where you should look for her, but you mustn’t seem like you’re looking for her. This can create an aura of desperation that others may see and confuse as an overall desperation to find women. You don’t have any trouble finding women, not usually. The women tonight have been cold. Not one has approached you on the dance floor, at the bar, or indeed even in the smoking patio. There can be no doubt in this regard. It’s not you, it is the women. You are a healthy specimen of masculinity.
At long last you spot her on the dance floor. She is dancing with her friend close enough to ward off lesser men. You should not be fooled by this ruse, she is waiting for the right man. She is waiting for you. You move closer. Dance nearby, within eye sight, but not too close, you mustn’t let your intentions be known until it is absolutely necessary and she can be understandably wooed. At a booth is most preferable with her hand in yours as your eyes drink each other in and you ask her where she would like to spend the night. You find the opportunity to make your move. Her partner has left and she is dancing by herself. Move closer. Make eye contact. Nod at her as you dance. Not too close, but close enough where she can easily close the gap. Your eyes glance over her amazing assets. You note with some joy that she has no ring, that is not a hurtle for you tonight. You move closer. She smiles. The air between you is electric. There is a ferocity in her movements that you don’t believe were there moments ago. You feel a tap on your shoulder, it is the friend of your true love. You move your ear closer to her imagining the possibility of two partners this evening, “That’s my girlfriend.” She says to you in a more serious tone than you were expecting. You nod, of course they are girlfriends. The friend shoves past you and embraces your love. She kisses her. Your love kisses back. The friend’s hands are moving more intimately than you are comfortable with.
In these situations it is best to retreat quickly, but not too quickly. Your haste may be misinterpreted as homophobia. You are not homophobic. You’re drink is finished so you go to the bar. Glance back at the dance floor and you will see your lady’s passion for her friend growing. There is a slight sting in your chest, but this night is still young. Out of the corner of your eye you see a woman enter. She walks in like a cliché.