Nashville, TN, morning, February 16, 2012 (A Flirtation)

I was actually looking forward to my second day of work. What a feeling, to look forward to work. I needed the socializing, perhaps, and jobs offer that, for better or worse. A new job in particular can even be entertaining, so much is new, but I know things can sour quickly, like bananas, which I’ve noticed spoil so fast.

I worked with Brianna, a young, attractive college girl, and Jay, a guy in his late twenties. I took to them both. Brianna was friendly and out-going, and when I found out she was considering transferring to my alma mater, naturally I had a thing or two to say. Funny, I wasn’t sure whether to encourage her or not. You might turn out like me, I said. Is that a bad thing? she said. I wasn’t sure. I noted to my sorrow that she was more together than I was at her age. Precocious, even. I wonder often if I’m a late bloomer. Maybe now I’m having realizations that others have had years before. If only I had gotten laid in high school, then everything would have been different. That’s what I tell myself.

While Brianna was young, eager, and in general radiating with enthusiasm, Jay was more wry, ironic and dead-pan. Everything he said seemed a little bit like a joke, or a lot.

After work an event occurred that engendered some auto-criticism on my part. Many events like this occur, in the future I will take more careful note of them and list them here. Jay had spoke in his wry way about a girl sitting outside smoking. She had on a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers and smoked her cigarette like she was in a fashion shoot. Jay had met her at a party somewhere, and reported to us that she was just too much—her affectations, etc. It was apparent what he meant.

Nonetheless I confess to you—you, to whom I would confess anything!—that I thought she was pretty. I felt guilty thinking this (guilty of what?), but I thought it, or rather I didn’t think it, but I felt it, in my loins, as they say. On my way out of work Jay and I had a cigarette together and I used this opportunity to ask her for a light. She proffered her lighter, which was attached to her belt by some kind of leash. That was cute. It could have been a scene in a Sundance movie. I laughed, and she explained that her friends gave her the leash so she would stop losing her lighters. Her southern accent was thick. I made some remark about how lighters and pens are always getting lost, and some other common item, I forget what. I also said many other clever things, you better believe it, but I’ll spare you the details. Talking to her it didn’t take too long to see that what Jay had said and what I’d inferred was true. But I was flirting with her, and Jay was there to witness the ignominy of it. It was as if there was a scarlet “F” emblazoned on my shirt. Don’t worry, I didn’t go so far as to get her number, or anything of the sort.

After my cigarette was finished I left. On my way home it occurred to me that I’d already forgotten her name.