Written by podell23

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


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image for One Failed Swoop
A dream

I think she likes me. You know what? Scratch that. It just can't be possible. Hell, with women, it's not even possible to tell if she likes you or would rather push you into oncoming traffic. The reality is, they usually just want a free Vodka-Cran.

I suspect women even get a rush out of spinning a poor little guy like me into total, utter, and hopeless confusion over whether she recognizes my existence as a human being, homo erectus himself, or if she is simply using me more as a homo erect to make some other guy, you know, who's far more handsome and incredibly successful, jealous. For my money, I am nothing more than a background actor in the movie of her life, and the last to get served at craft service.

Then, logic and reason and rationale enter the mind and yeah.. there is absolutely no way that this beautiful, intelligent, witty girl likes me. How could she? If she did, she'd be none of those things! Not beautiful! Not intelligent! Not witty at all! And if she does like me, how could I possibly like her? I mean, what kind of taste does this woman have? Does she not have standards?

Groucho said it best when he proclaimed, "I won't belong to any organization that would have me as a member." I was turning in my card before I even applied.

I met her at a café on Sunset, pretending to go over my stack of pages I'd been pretending to go over the entire week, at various other cafes around town. She was sitting alone, probably pretending to go over hers as well. Somehow her pretending looked a whole helluva lot better than mine.

If I had a set of balls larger than two raisins, I'd have gone right up to her and said something clever, like, "hey, at least your pretending to go over your pages looks a whole helluva lot better than mine," yet, as soon as I laid eyes on this sensationally beautiful woman, my balls shrunk as though I just stepped out of the Pacific. In fact, I think it's technically called a double hernia, but I'll leave that for the medical experts to diagnose.

Fortunately, out of the blue, my manager, who, though he can't get me a writing job to save his goddamn life, the sonofabitch, swooped in and introduced the two of us, both writers he happens to "rep". She asked me what I was working on. I think I said something like "Cather In The Rye meets A Million Little Pieces meets A Tell Tale Heart meets Goodnight Moon. You know, something with meaning" because yeah, meaning, that's what I'm all about. Bullshit. I'm about a paycheck. Depositing money in the bank has enough meaning for this guy.

My muddled little pitch was followed by what felt like a never-ending eternity of awkward silence until somehow she actually responded, and we talked like two rational human beings, and holy fuck was it going well!

Whether she was laughing with me or at me I'll never know, but she was laughing, which is always a good sign, though I did have a piece of spinach caught in my teeth. Besides, wasn't this going a little too well? I mean, I couldn't have written a better conversation. Therefore, I immediately planned an escape before I gave myself an opportunity to say something idiotic, and ruin the day for everyone at the restaurant.

I quickly got her number though knowing I'd never have the raisins to actually call, and skipped off to a meeting I didn't have, with my balls dangling somewhere high in the stomach region.

Later that night, drunk off cheap whiskey and spun off six hours of reality TV, I stared at her number. "Fuck it", I slurred. "Why not?" And, as luck would have it, just as I was about to dial, the phone rang. And, as luck would have it, it was my mother.

"How are things going? Did you get a job yet? Have you tried Craig's List?"

The quickest way to castrate a man is to have him engage in a conversation with his mother about his life. The woman who gave birth to the guy who is drunk on the couch, spun off six hours or reality TV, and staring at the phone number of the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, yet too afraid to call. I hung up the phone.

After a couple more glugs of the sweet brown liquor, something absolutely paranormal happened. It was like some Ghost-whisperer type shit. 3 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 2. My fingers were pressing these numbers. Holy mother of God I was actually dialing! Shit. Wait a minute. Dialing means that the call is actually being placed. Oh, Chirst! What have I done? Plus, with caller I.D, I can't just hang up. So, I took two quick puffs off my inhaler, chugged some more whiskey.

A "hello" came from the other end of the line. The most beautiful hello I've ever heard. However, the voice on the other end of the line was in total, utter confusion as to who the hell was calling her at three in the morning, and why this strange man was having an asthma attack.

I should take a moment now to tell you that I am thirty years-old. Yep. The big old Three-O. Old enough to have established some sort of game with women, yet, young enough to still be able to use it without getting arrested. However, when I heard that voice on the other end of the line, I think I spoke Spanish. Fluently.

After five minutes of explaining who I was, she finally figured it out. We could have solved the Kennedy Assassination by the time I got "Oh, you're the guy from the café". Jesus Christ. Do you need to see my social security number?

Anyways, I somehow convinced her to come to a movie premiere I was invited to later that night. Surely she could give a fuck about going with me. No, this was a chance to mingle with the stars, and get a few free Vodka-Crans. But you know what, I'll take what I can get. Yes, she was that kind of girl. If I could buy her all the Vodka-Crans in the world, well goddamnit, that is what I would do.

And then it hit me. Holy fuck, we are actually going out. What do I wear? How do I act? Which lies do I go with? If there was a personality store, I'd have rushed over and bought the place out.

Now, it must be said, this is no normal girl. First of all, she's a model. A model-model. Not one of those L.A. "models" who consider standing in front of her mirror high on cheap blow for three hours "modeling". No, this girl was a working, real-deal, hardcore, straight to the bone model.

This, of course, means she's a good four inches taller than me. I felt like a lollipop kid taking Dorothy to see the Wizard of Oz. Yet, right off the bat, this one was different. She was looking at me, like, in the eyes. Talking to me, like, having a real conversation. Acknowledging me, like an actual person who may be interesting.

At one point I think her hand even rubbed up against mine. Skin contact! We may as well have gone straight to hardcore sex! The night couldn't have gone better. I was just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out and tell me I'd been "Punked".

The man who invented text message was a genius, and, probably wasn't much of a ladies' man himself. See, when you text a girl, you can be witty, to the point, you can flirt and come on to her; you know, all the things us men are too chicken-shit to do with our actual vocal chords. And so this is what I did for the following week. I texted like crazy. I texted like I had unlimited minutes. I texted a goddamn novel the size of War And Peace. Yet, somehow it worked, and we arranged to have plans later in the week. Hell, if it wasn't for text message, we'd have probably never seen or spoken to each other ever again.

So, I cleaned my place as though the Queen Of England was dropping by for a joint and a movie, doused everything from my tee-shirt to my couch in my finest cologne, tossed novels haphazardly around the room as though I was in the middle of reading all of them, until I heard the knock at the door. Now, this was a moment. Neil Armstrong knows what I'm talking about.

When I opened that door, she looked prettier, sexier, softer, and hotter than what I had pictured every single night since I had last seen her. Add intelligence and wit to this equation, of which she was both, and the girl standing in front of me may as well have been a dream. Once I finally caught my breath, this "date" went even better than the first "date", which, in hindsight, she clearly did not consider a "date".

We talked late into the night. And that's when the moon lights up the night sky, the alcohol flows through the veins, and you ruin your life, in one failed swoop.

By one failed swoop I mean one failed swoop. I swooped. Oh, did I swoop. I swooped in for the kiss, as though I was bravely leading the charge into battle. But this was it! This was the moment! What was I to do? Let it go by like I'd done so many times before, leaving me in a psychologists office once a week to discuss the harmful habit of regret? Well, not this time. No, this was the time to swoop. This was the moment.

For me.

I don't know if she was allergic to the cologne, or if it was because she "had just gotten out of a four year relationship", but she pulled back, and we sat there on the couch, both equally stunned by my ridiculous assumption that my love was requited. She told me it was okay.

Great. Thanks!

She told me she really likes me but just isn't ready.

Oh, totally - I understand. One hundred percent. Gotcha.

She told me she just wanted to be friends.

Yeah, friends. Like the guys I play basketball with on Saturdays, and whom I am calling once you leave to lie and tell them that we had sex?

Either way, I ruined what could have been a fairy tale encounter with an angel from another world simply by trying to make the move. To do away with the passive-aggressive text message philosophy. To take control and stand up like a man. And you know what? I really just wanted to kiss her.

In the end, friends we became, despite the fact that I want to shove my tongue down this "friends" throat every time I see her.

The moral of the story? I'm not sure. In dating, as in life, there are no rules, no game plan as to how things will go, and no telling what's waiting for you around the next corner. Sure, I am broken-hearted, but that means I have a heart, and it's beating again just thinking about my new friend. Wait a minute. It's beating kind of fast. Maybe it's because I just took another two puffs off my inhaler, and have started in on my next text.

Eric Podell

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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