Thursday, April 1, 2010

Strikeout: Part II

These segments are a continuation of my 2007 story, Strikeout.

I was in the computer lab my senior year of high school with The Stumbler and my crush, Munchkin. They were discussing a party she would attend that night, and how I should accompany her. Munchkin told The Stumbler that I was going to get play that night, and it was obvious she wanted me to overhear her.

My nerves went haywire. I pretended not to listen as I furiously typed gibberish, though the look on my face suggested I found the solution to peace in the Middle East. I forced myself to stop by her work that afternoon, though.

I first ran into 7-11 and bought her the blue pack of Starburst, formerly known as California Fruits before Mars changed the flavors and name to Baja California. The original blue pack was one of the best candy packages ever assembled. I was hopeful that Munchkin shared my passion for corn syrup and hydrogenated palm oil.

I felt like I was about to make an inauguration speech in front of two million people. I strolled into her work—palms wet, sweat dripping down my ribs from my armpits, shaky with an unsure voice. I cleared my throat several times, and then slammed the beautiful blue package on the counter.

“Hi, Ben! Starburst…thanks.”

“They’re California Fruits. They’re the tastiest.”

“Oh. Okay.”

Somehow, my cognitive abilities functioned enough for me to converse for 40-60 seconds, just long enough to get her number—clearly a mistake, as now I would have to talk to her again.

I called that evening, pacing the floor, and thankfully she didn’t answer. I was free to play my video games with a normal heart rate as she did not call me back.

At my five-year informal high school reunion, I talked to a long lost friend about the exact same things I talked to all reunioners about—what are you doing, how are things, yada yada yada. Two tall girls wearing limited apparel walked past me toward the bathroom. I halted our pointless conversation to ask my friend if he noticed the girls’ height. “They were monsters!” I said.

“They were tall, but I wouldn’t call them monsters. You’re just short.”

We continued talking, often beginning sentences with, “Hey, remember back in high school when…” I looked to my right and saw the two girls walking back toward me. They stopped at our table. “Did you call us monsters before?” What do you have, dog ears?

“Um. No. What?” I said. My friend was smirking. He might as well have been pointing at me.

“We definitely heard you call us monsters.”

“No, see, my friend here was explaining how he thinks Bigfoot exists, and I think it’s stupid to believe in monsters. He claims that genetic mutations can occur that would create a humanoid, and the poor feller would never be left alone in society.”

“Whatever, short stuff.”

That’s the second time I’ve called a girl a monster (see Strikeout #6), and it is quite rude. Damn milk drinkers.

I leaned over the ledge late one Saturday night at Clarendon Grill, watching the live band. My friends were scattered around the restaurant. Though very loud noise bothers my ears, I enjoy seeing live music and don’t seek it out enough. The band was playing rock cover songs, and I could dig it.

Something brushed my tush. I turned to see if Zeke was messing with me, but didn’t notice him. My attention returned to the band, now playing Fall Out Boy. Then I felt an ass pinch, with a full finger clamp. I quickly twisted to find the culprit standing at the bar staring at me, motioning for me to come join him. I consented. “Are you pointing to me?” I asked.

“I sure was. Can I buy you a drink?”

I looked at the Bud Light in my hand. “No, I’m good.”

“Anything else I can get you?”

“No thanks.”

I walked back to the ledge. When I later used the restroom, he was at the urinal next to me. I picked my speck on the wall to stare at and hoped the dude strictly abided by men’s bathroom etiquette.

Was this incident an omen that a change was to come regarding my ineptitude with the ladies? Or was it just a random dude who saw me as a fine sexy piece of ass?

My roommate, Millennium, and I met our teammates for our first skeeball match in the DC league we joined. There were eight of us on our team named “Skeet Skeet Skeet” (my suggestion, closely followed by “Will Skeet for Balls” and “Our Dog Skeets Pink Lipstick,” also my ideas). Girls comprised half our team. My attention focused on the shorter girl, Hot4Teacher. So did my roommate—why are tall dudes always snagging the short girls?

Hot4Teacher and I conversed well. She was a third-grade teacher, I once thought about becoming a high school teacher. She spent time in San Diego, I heard their zoo is phenomenal. She lived in Bethesda and I used to receive cancer treatment there. The similarities were astounding.

Once back home, Millennium and I discussed our skeeball team. Most people in the league seemed older, and our team was no different. Millennium thought Hot4Teacher was our age, but I could tell she was slightly older. I pegged her at 28-30.

Writing a book has provided me tremendous internet searching (read: stalking) skills. I investigated Hot4Teacher, which was far too easy since her Facebook privacy settings were turned off. I found what looked to be her profile. It said she graduated from college in 1993. I figured it was a prank profile. Then, I found an early 1990s list of marathon runners, including the athletes’ ages. Her name was listed. Hot4Teacher is now 38 years old—about 50% older than me.

Though we won our first skeeball match, our team was horrendous, finishing the season 2-6. Late in the season three other girls were playing shuffleboard and needed one more player. I volunteered, not least because shuffleboard is more fun than skeeball. Also, the girl on my side of the table was smart, fun, short, and pretty as hell.

We spent the next couple of hours together, with brief breaks so I could get my skeeball rolls in. She was a college intern working on Capitol Hill. I impressed her with tidbits I learned in The Economist. Before leaving, I got her digits.

I reverted to Swingers on how long to wait before calling, but then realized that Vince Vaughn is full of shit. I called two days later, left a silly message, and then received a return text message. After many more attempted funny texts and another voicemail, and a week-long silence on her end, she decided to meet up with me.

If a relationship could exist entirely on written instead of oral communication then I would be pulling a Ben Roethlisberger number of chicks. Since I would be forced to speak, though, I arrived at our meeting place early and downed two shots of cheap rum.

I had a pleasant time, but somewhere I messed up because she kept yawning and claimed she had to do work after our social engagement. I left a message two days later and did not hear back.

I had ample time at work to consider what went wrong. Two rum shots: too much, too noticeable? Did I ask too many questions about her growing up on a farm? How could I not be curious when she said she’s eaten bear jerky?

Why didn’t I wear one of my Brooks Brothers slim fit shirts?

Was I too vague when I said I wrote a memoir but didn’t disclose what it was about? Was I not funny enough, too boring? When she said she was a good three-point shooter, I hope I didn’t go on a tangent about my man crush on Kobe Bean Bryant.

When my book eventually gets published and I reach balloon boy-fame, then hopefully stating that Black Mamba is perhaps the most talented (which is different than the best) scorer of all time will not hinder my chances. All ages* between 21 and 45 will be fair game.

*females only, with the sole exception of Kobe Bryant (...not that there's anything wrong with that)


Raine said...

This post made me giggle like a loon :D

Benjamin Rubenstein said...

I had to look up the definition for "loon." Good word usage.