Friday, August 14, 2009

It's about time...

I'm sitting on the ground, legs crossed, surrounded by men and one woman is who quite happy with her mate of choice. The rest are laughing, joking, talking to me. The Cuban (the second of that weekend) fixating on me.

He's amusing, he's cute, but he's too desperate. It slides off him in waves. He's too young, too inexperienced, doesn't yet understand that to win a woman, you have to be willing to lose her.

I glance over my shoulder, glance again.

He's tall. Jesus, he's tall.

Dark brown hair, almost black, but I can see the highlights by the streetlight he stands by. Eyes that tilt up slightly at the corners, cat-eyes. Beautiful. Black slacks, dress shoes, a deliciously unbuttoned white dress-shirt, hanging untucked. Good chest, good abs. He leans against his cello case, looking off to the side.

For the first time that weekend, I find myself an object to attain.

"Hey, you!" I call across the twenty, thirty feet that separate us. He looks over at me. "Mind if I take a picture?"

He shifts his stance into something slightly posed. I'm disappointed in the change, but I snap one off anyway, glancing at the screen as he shifts back into something more relaxed.

"Don't move," I tell him, framing it quickly. His eyes dart over to me, but then return back when he sees my expression. My finger presses again, the sound effect of my shutter closing signalling the picture has been taken and, again, I check the screen.

"Perfect," I look over at him, "You should see this shot. It's brilliant. God, I'm good."

He lifts his cello and walks over to me. I don't bother getting up, so he bends over the see the screen.

"You have to send that to me," he says, opening his wallet and giving me a business card. I don't look at the name, just pocket it.

I tell him I will, of course, though it may be awhile. Busy life and all that.

Noticing our interaction, my Cuban devotee wanders over to see who I have fixated on. They introduce themselves to each other. I don't pay attention to the names. It's not important.

I shift my attention from my cellist to the Cuban, talking, laughing, flirting. Then I shift back a little, integrating the cellist into the conversation some, not too much.

Another man wanders over, curly hair, and shakes the hand of my cellist. They're friends. Suddenly, the conversation I had started with my cellist is thrown to the wayside as the two of them become animated in conversation. I listen and watch their dynamic, then decide to slide in by gaining the attention of the curly-haired man. My gut tells me that this is the way to go, and I trust it.

I study the curly-haired man. He looks as though he may start painting happy trees. I wait for a break in the conversation, and then I tell him this, ignoring my cellist, and their conversation derails as the two of us start trying to remember the name of the painter who I am referencing. I start stopping strangers, calling across the empty spaces to passersby who aren't too absorbed in their own conversations.

No one remembers the name, but I continue to make references to it instead of bothering to learn the name of the curly-haired man. He'd actually be quite cute, if he just buzzed his hair down and stopped wearing scenstery plaid shirts.

I focus on him, the cellist once more standing there, not part of the conversation. I make sure my body is facing the curly-haired man, left shoulder closing out the cellist, while the curly-haired-man-who-resembles-a-painter and I talk about what we had been doing that weekend, what had be going on, what we are planning to do with our evening ahead of us.

In this, he does what I want. He tells me that he has plans in the next fifteen minutes. He's going to be exiting stage right, which is perfect.

As I shift conversation into what I am going to do, I mention that I am hungry. I was going to go look for food at one of the nearby restaurants that downtown LA has to offer. They should come with. The three of us could walk down Figueroa and see what we can find.

The cellist mentions that he is hungry and was planning on getting food. But the curly-haired gentleman reminds me that he has to be somewhere shortly, and my face falls in disappointment. I tell him that it is too bad he cannot cancel his plans, but he should go and enjoy himself before he is late meeting his friends. He leaves, I wave after him.

"Food?" I ask of the cellist.


The Cuban and his friends are still nearby. I tell them I'm going to get some food, I'll catch up with them another time. The Cuban has my number. I tell him to text me with his location when he knows where he is going later that night and I might join him.

I walk with the cellist down Figueroa, then up through the Staples Center to get to The Yard House in the back. We sit and talk. I tease him because that's what I do. And then conversation shifts to social dynamics, to how some people are the alphas of the group, but when you take them outside of their given group, they no longer are alpha. They can only hold that dominance for one set of people. It isn't a natural dominance.

He tells me that he used to do that, but then he read a book that changed his life.

What was it? I ask.

The Game he tells me. By Neil Strauss. Have I heard of it?

This is the moment where my face lights up. This is the moment where I'm covering my mouth because I'm caught between laughter and a crazy smile.

Have I heard of it?

Oh, this makes so much more sense, blocks stacking in my head as things shift slightly. Ways of handling people and situations, what ethics I feel when I deal with men, it alters because I don't have to be so damn polite with this one.

Because it's a game. He knows it, I know it, and I know he knows it. That makes all the difference.

My laughter is finally controlled as I tell him, yes, I have heard of it. I have read it. Has he read these other books in the same vein? Does he hang out the various PUA forums, read the blogs? How long has he been doing this? Tell me stories, I ask him.

And he does.

I tell him stories.

And we laugh.

I can relax. Not in the normal way of relaxation, where you are lowering barriers and being vunerable, but relaxation because I don't have to be on the constant fence of trying to control my own instincts. I don't have to act normal. I don't have to act like this isn't just a game. I don't have to be nice and concerned. I don't need kidgloves with him, like with so many others.

I couldn't ask for anything else.

During dinner, my cell phone continues to go off. Text after text. I have three or four guys texting me, trying to get me to go out with them that night, to meet them somewhere. I ignore them, but I start to feel bad.

We finish dinner.

Where now? We have options available to us, but most of them involve crowds. And I'm not done with him.

A small bar down the street seems likely. I suggest it to him, and we walk further down the street.

It's nearly empty when we get there, which is what I had expected. Wonderful.

We snag a table and continue to talk, his cello on the floor beside us, his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows. His fingers are so long. His eyes are still beautiful and intense, though I've seen eyes better, eyes that blow me away on contact.

His fingers steeple when mine do. Arms are on the table when mine are. I move, he follows. I watch.

He tells me that I make him nervous, the way I look, the way I act. That he doesn't know what to do with me, that his usual tricks, I already know. He can't seem to stop talking. It's not frantic conversation, it's simply me leaving a space for him to talk and, instead of being comfortable with silence, he fills it. It's interesting, what people will tell you, what they will talk about, if you simply expose them to silence.

My phone continues to go off but, by this time, I am returning the texts as rapidfire as I get them.

Rude? Yes. But I wanted to see what would happen. I wanted to see what he would do, how he would respond, if I continued to interrupt our conversation so I could return the texts of other men that wanted to know where I was, when I would be out, and if I wanted company.

Each time, which was often, I would smile sheepishly and apologize. I would explain how guilty I would feel if I did not return their texts and, really, I am very sorry. Very sorry. It's just rude not to return them, right? Hold on just a second, let me just get back to him. No, it's okay, continue your story, I'm listening, really.

This goes on for almost ten minutes before he finally decides what to do.

"Can I see your phone?" he asks me casually.

I slide it over the table to him, knowing full well something is going to happen to it. He looks at the picture I have on the screen, and then slides it into one of his pockets.


Instantly wet, I want him. He's knocked out my "distraction", he's taken my phone and isolated me not only from the males who so badly wanted my attention, but also from any outside contact.

I have become his.

At least until I get my phone back.

And it's perfect. He handled himself with flying colors, though a bit delayed, and I am sitting there silently thanking Mr. Strauss for helping the young males of the world.

The bartender comes by, closing up shop.

I tilt my head slightly at my cellist, "Where to?"

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