With all the time I've been devoting to work, growing facial hair, and unsent fan letters to David Foster Wallace, I have had little time for flirting with the ladies. Tonight, I was lucky enough to learn that I still have just as much game as ever.
The scene: On Haight Street with The John Francis, after watching televised baseball at a bar. We stop to pick up ice cream at a convenience store that, for a moderately-sized corner market, has a staggering selection of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. My companion nabs his favorite flavor easily, but I have to lunge to reach the Peanut Butter Cup sitting at the bottom of the freezer bin. Staggering selection requires a staggeringly deep freezer bin, I realize, as I thrust my entire arm, and nearly my head into the freezer in pursuit of dessert.
My struggle does not go unnoticed my the mildly cute alterna-girl brunette behind me in line. The sight of two young men buying pints of ice cream at ten o'clock on a Friday night is a clear signal that a wild night lies ahead for them, after all. Shockingly, she compliments my dairy-grabbing effort, rather than cringing at the gluttony it represents. I spar back, telling her that the Peanut Butter Cup is worth the reach. I can feel my long-dormant game rising to the surface. I sense that "it" might eventually be, dare I say, "on".
I hand my money to the counterman, and the alterna-girl mentions my luck at the ice cream's proximity to the cash register. "In case you were winded from that move," she says, smiling. The John Francis places both ice cream containers in his bag. I freeze, already out of small talk, but manage to mutter something about having just enough energy left to handle scooping the ice cream, provided it was left out to soften.
I receive my change, and notice the John Francis walking out. Clearly, it is time for a memorable exit line. "Well, have a good time tonight with your stuff," I say, and turn to go. Not until the last consonant sounds are leaving my lips do I notice that her "stuff" consists solely of a four-pack of toilet paper. Even Parker Brothers ain't got game like me.
We walk home, together and yet alone. The alterna-girl is gone, but my game remains. The John Francis ends the scene with some much-needed perspective.
"At least she wasn't buying tampons."