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Vicarious – Scene 3

August 31, 2009

2 weeks after playing the People Game with Bill, I returned to the same bar, alone. I didn’t get anything to drink – I just stood there, casting glances at interesting looking people who came to the bar. I liked this place – it felt like home, to me. I don’t know why.

I walked into the bar, and ordered a tonic water, as per usual. I make it a rule to not drink at all. Well, that’s a lie. Alcohol is banned – I need to stay sharp if I don’t want my social awareness to go down the toilet. I never liked tonic water as a kid, and especially growing up, and the first time I ordered it when I was at a bar, I thought it was worse than anything I’ve ever drank – even really cheap vodka, and I had some in my time in college. Not to mention the bartender gave me the weirdest look when I ordered it straight. No gin, just tonic. Insane. But I’ve grown to like it, and I’ll be sure to drink it if I ever get malaria.

As is usual, I’m here to… Uh, well, be the social guy at the bar. Going alone makes it imperative that I step up and actually socialize with someone that isn’t already my friend; I can make new acquaintances and definitely some new girlfriends this way. Not that I’m a player. I just figure if a girl I meet at a bar or club or on the street likes me enough, it’s not a big deal to have sex. I have desires too!

Speaking of girls, there’s a cutie that just walked to the bar. It’s go time, champ: time to say hi. I started to walk over to her, with one thing in my mind: I’m a cool guy. I don’t care what she thinks of me. Hell, she’ll love me. I can tell.

I tapped her on the shoulder, looked her in the eyes, and said, “Hey, I thought you looked cool, so I figured I’d meet you. I’m-”

She looked at me up and down – checking me out, seeing if I was for real – God forbid someone actually strike up conversation with a pretty girl like her in a bar. She had a frown on her face – not good. Oh well, she’ll warm up to me. I’m sure. I calmly smiled at her, despite her negative body language. Stay in man, stay in. Don’t leave just yet – bad first impressions only leave room for improvement.

What happened next totally stumped me. She, without saying a word, just walked at me, gave a little exasperated sigh, and walked back to her (admittedly) ugly friends. Maybe she gets her rocks off by being the only one of her friends that’s actually approachable. Well, to any normal guy’s standards. Maybe some of the more desperate guys would find her friends palatable, since they are so needy of female validation and approval. But, then again, even some of the ugly girls can be the nastiest as well – I’ve encountered some five-foot-three, two-hundred-pound women who think they deserve a guy who got his Ph.D from Harvard and works for Microsoft by day and a Gucci model by night – oh, and, while he was getting his doctorate, he worked as a chef at a 5 star French restaurant to pay for his tuition, so he’s an incredible cook. As if that weren’t enough, he likes walks on the beach and reciting poetry. In short: they expect the perfect guy. Meanwhile, she’s 80 pounds overweight, is 80K in debt from student loans, is working as a secretary in some nondescript company, and her nickname is something to the effect of “Cranky Cait”. What self-respecting guy, even if he’s simply an average Joe and not the previous pinnacle of mankind, is going to want to be with someone like that? Surely he would think that he deserves more. And if he doesn’t, then he surely has low self-esteem, which is something all too common among men nowadays.

But I can’t waste anymore time worrying about fat girls or weird girls or any of those undesirable girls that just don’t provide me with value. No, sir, I cannot do that – I just need to focus on having some fun with the girls that I do find attractive and fun. That’s all there is to it.

This is bad. I’m inside my head too much. I gotta get out and do, and shut off this internal filter of mine.

I just glimpsed at a sexy looking brunette from the corner of my eye. Nice dress, nice eyes, nice long hair. My kind of girl. I turned to face her – I was surprised to find that she was still looking at me. An excellent sign. I made eye contact with her, cracked a mischievous grin, and playfully waved at her. She smiled and waved back. Awesome. While still looking at her, I mouthed the words “Come here” made the corresponding gesture. She leaned in to her blonde friend, said something in her ear, and much to my surprise, she actually started to walk towards me.

Go time.

When she reached me, I again made solid eye contact, and stuck out my hand, saying, “Hey, I think you’re stunning. I’m- ”

She instantly blushed before I could get my name out, and nonchalantly slapped my arm, like a little girl would, and said, “Stop flattering me.” She was actually embarrassed that I thought she was beautiful. Amazing how some girls, even the gorgeous ones, can be so insecure about their looks. I don’t see how anyone could say she was ugly or even average looking. Maybe she was a late bloomer or something.

I put my arm around her and pulled her close, saying, “Alright then, I’ll stop flattering you, and say everything bad about you. Though you look beautiful, your feet are really ugly. You don’t sound very intelligent – no guy will keep you around for anything except eye candy, and he probably won’t be able to have any real conversations with you. In fact, he’d probably be happier if you kept your mouth taped shut, though those lips of yours really shouldn’t be hidden.”

Eyes looked to lips. Lips locked to lips. Felt good – felt real good. I wasn’t kidding about her lips.

Suddenly it sunk in that I was, you know, making out with this girl within 90 seconds of meeting her. Insane. But that’s okay, I’m a sexual guy with desires, and she’s a sexual girl with desires. It’s not like I’m going to label her a “slut” or any of those horrible labels that just perpetuate some stupid double standard. Isn’t it weird that guys who have a lot of sex are labeled “studs” while the girls who do the same are “sluts”? Some things are so archaic. Sexuality needs to be liberated more, I think. How I am right now, with her (I don’t even know her name) – that’s how it should be. No worries about others’ perception of me as a player, or her as a whore.

Ugh, I’m still way too stuck inside my head. Not good. Slip into the moment…

We pulled away. I smiled, she smiled back. I whispered in her ear, “Now, why don’t you tell me if you really are something to talk to or if,” I glanced at her lips and frowned, “I’ll have to get some duct tape to spare myself the awkward, shallow conversation.”

She immediately perked up and asked me an oddball question, “What do you think about free will?” She gazed at me intently, as if she was eagerly anticipating my answer.

I could wax philosophical if I wanted, but I decided not to, showing a cocky grin on my face and replying accusatorially, “Are you seriously asking a philosophical question in a bar?”

She blushed and said, “Of course I am. Don’t tell me you don’t know anything about philosophy, or else I’m going to have to tape your mouth shut.”

I didn’t buy it. “We don’t have to delve into deep philosophy here – that’s something we can do in my apartment over a cup of tea, or coffee if you prefer it. But let’s have some fun conversation – do you know what that is?” I asked with a wink, though at the time I was quite astonished. I didn’t expect her to have such depth – so I needed something more fun to talk about.

I said something along the lines of, “It’s so fun to have a life where everything I do is gold. I feel like King Midas.”

She was taken aback – she certainly didn’t expect me to be so arrogant. But it’s true: in how I was feeling right then, in everything I’ve done so far, I’ve been solid gold. Hooking up with this girl, being good in business earlier in the day – it’s been a wonderful day, and I have every damn right to verbalize it. Why not? Random witty banter ensued – me joking about my demigod status and how I had the golden glow that the Romans thought gods had.

My spidey senses tingled. It was time to leave. I turned to her and said as much, saying, “Hey, I really need to head back to my apartment – and I believe we have a discussion to have about free will, if I recall.”

She beamed, and I guided her out of the bar. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see someone following us – a sort of willowy character, who looked about average. He was staring at me, like he was looking straight through my skull. It was a little creepy, but I grabbed my girl and kept walking, trying to shake off the strangeness of the situation. Oh well, what was there to worry about? I’m taking this stellar girl back to my apartment to have a discussion about free will, amongst other things. Life is good.

We were halfway up the street when I heard the door of the bar exit and close, and, much to my chagrin, it was the man. I turned to my girl and said, “Why is that guy following us?”

She looked at him, a little frightened, and said, “I don’t know. Do something about it.” How could I refuse to serve the damsel in distress – especially being the Midas that I am?

I walked towards him, staying relaxed and not intending to start an altercation. I approached him, and he just stared at me, stopping only when I was a meter away from him. His eyes bore into the back of my skull – as if he was seeing right into me. I said, “Why are you following us? Don’t you have something better to do?”

I replied, in a quiet voice, “What? What do you mean?”

He said, again, “Why are you following us? It’s really creepy, man, why don’t you find yourself a girlfriend for the night or something? Or go home and stop prying on other people. Do you understand me?”

I gave no response. Why is he calling me creepy? Why can’t he see that he’s more interesting than I am?

He stepped towards me, saying, “I saw you. You were watching me. Yeah, I know it’s impressive that you saw a guy actually talking to a girl instead of you fantasizing about it in your head all night, but it’s not that hard. Maybe if you weren’t such a creep and weren’t spying on me, you’d do it. But, instead, you’re here being a total creep. Go away, or I’ll call the cops, saying you’re stalking me.”

I didn’t move.

“Do you hear me,” he shouted, “GO GET A LIFE OF YOUR OWN. STOP watching other people! Do you even know what it’s like to be your own person? Can you even spend time alone in your head? Go home!”

I ran in the opposite direction – the flight reaction to fear had triggered. Suddenly, I felt like I was going to die – anxiety hit me from every direction conceivable. It’s a wonder I made it home that night.

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