So, I was at the cinema with this girl, first date you know, and I realised it was just a shit idea. Like, I should have realised, like everyone else, it’s a bad idea. Fortunately the cinema was empty and the film was irrevocably bad. We laughed, we took the piss, she took on this screeching infantile voice mimicking one of the actress’, it was quite annoying. I just took the film apart. I literally dismantled the whole structure of the film. It was like someone had gone onto Wikipedia and looked at all the clichés about screenwriting and directing and producing and looked at all the trends of box office hits, their plots, their run time, their effects, and just copied everything, noted it down like some kind of digital lecture, like they were stealing some secret creative gold and made a film out of it. Yeah, it was a comic book adaptation, a very tenuous comic book adaptation. I can’t even remember what it was called. Anyway. Most of the time I was trying to get her to do something for me, you know, everyone has their ulterior motives, and I had mine as soon as I saw that we were the only people in the cinema. But it didn’t really hit me until the lights went down and the trailers started. One of them was a Rom-Com about an engagement going wrong and it showed the lead actress in skimpy lingerie during one of those quote unquote awkward and quote unquote comic situations, where something quote embarrassing happens. That’s when I got the idea and that’s when I remembered everything I had been reading weeks prior to our date. You see there’re certain communities and advice forums online that are out there to help guys like me who aren’t very good with women. Like, I’m good with women, I can talk to them and get them attracted to me and stuff, but I hate waiting around for them to get comfortable with me. I just want to get in there, you know.
I think it’s pretty obvious from the outset. I make it clear, this is what I want, this is what I’m after. I mean I don’t necessarily say that, but they can tell from my body language and how I look at them. My sexy smoulder, you know.
So I was sitting there, thinking about what I read online and I had heard about this thing called [air quotes] kino escalation. It’s pretty much making them aware of yourself physically by touching them, obviously more and more until they are used to your touch until they want and need your touch. But this girl, I could tell from our other conversations that she was pretty prude. She wasn’t easy. I think that’s why I was attracted to her. I wanted a challenge. I had this other girl a couple of weeks ago. We met at a club and it was like [smirk], you know, easy. All I had to do was just indulge her drunken spools of conversation and [air quote] listen to what she had to say. She was talking about one of her housemates, or one of the people she lived with at halls and I just nodded along, made a dry joke here and there, challenged her intelligence and she was like putty. However, this cinema girl, I knew it would take a lot more than that to get her. But I wanted her to do this one thing for me. No biggie, nothing extraordinary, nothing absurd.
Well, I realised that it was something I had always desired. I hadn’t realised it up until that moment. And I’m not sure where it came from, probably from hearing about guys cooler and more quote unquote adult than me, doing it during secondary school. They did it everywhere. The bus, the park, pub toilets. The cinema sounded the coolest to me. In plain sight, I mean, whose going to look behind them in a dark room with a massive screen and a multi-speaker sound system. Unless you know I, like, jizzed on the back of their head or something. Maybe it’s deeper than that. [Depletes pint of Strongbow] I always crawled into small and dark spaces when I was a kid. [Refills from his litre bottle] Whenever I had friends over I always used to make them hide in this small closet space in my parents room with me, you know, right before their parents were coming to pick them up. Is that weird? I mean, I guess you could say it’s kinda foetal right? Hiding in a small cupboard space where my parents put their suitcases and overnight bags, I’d make them hide there with me, and talk, nothing else. We’d just sit there and talk. I’m pretty sure I got them in on it too, you know, told them that we were going to hide from our parents so that they could stay longer. There was only one guy who wasn’t keen on the idea. He stayed there for a bit and then left when his parents arrived. I stayed in the closet, I remember, I crept right to the back behind the suitcases, behind the wheels. My dad came and got me out to say goodbye.
No, she didn’t do it. She left half way through the film. She was prude like I said. It was only a blowie, right?
Well, you know, Simone. She’s pretty intense, man. The other week I was helping her in the stock room, scanning stuff and checking the sell-by-date’s and stuff. We were just chatting you know, getting on with the job when I realised how attractive she is. Like physically, yeah, she’s gorgeous but personality wise, she’s quite I dunno what you call it, spunky, maybe. Fierce. Exciting. Independent. A real challenge. Anyway, we were chatting, gossiping about, oh yeah, I don’t know if you know but Craig and Shauna are like totally fucking, Naomi saw them making out in Hyde Park like a couple weeks ago. But, yeah, anyway, we were flirting and laughing and I asked her if she wanted to go out with me for dinner or something. I’d learnt my mistake from the cinema fiasco by then, so I made sure to avoid all places where conversation wasn’t the prime distraction. She said yeah and she was free after her shift, so I told her to meet me at the Nandos just down the road from work, you know the one? I finished a couple of hours before that so I went home and freshened up, had a shower, trimmed my pubes, aftershave, some reps, just to pump myself up and feel good, you know. Obviously I had to make sure I didn’t look too good. A few reasons, first, I didn’t want to make it look like I had gone home and made a genuine effort, you don’t want them to think that, especially if it was like a last minute arrangement like ours. Secondly, I want to keep the best I can look safe for another time. A proper date, so there’s like a surprise of, wow he really does look good. You get what I mean. So she’ll expect me one way, expect a lesser version of myself, so I can just destroy it and be like, yup, yup, [smoulder, then laughter]. You should probably be taking notes, mate.
Next, I made sure I was about five minutes late, just to keep her on her toes. So, we waited to be seated at a table and we talked a little. I asked her about the rest of the shift and I touched her arm when I asked more questions, and the small of her back when we are led to our table, just for a second, not for too long, kino, remember? And let me prefix this by saying that I never pay for them on the first date, and you know what Nandos is like, you go up and order and they bring you your food, its perfect for that scenario. So we sat down, chatted, talked about what we wanted, and then I said I was going to go and pay for my order. I gave her a look and she understood she’s clever. She stood up after me with the menu in her hand, pressed against her chest. I paid, she paid, I got the cutlery for both of us, asked what condiment she wanted, and I filled her drink up for her. Yeah, it took several trips, but it’s about the denial of one convention and then expertise when it arrives again. After we sat down I asked her about the music she likes, films, books, general chit chat you know? I kept it flirty, I kept it cool, but more importantly I kept the sexual tension there. I’d touch her hand, touch her leg with my foot, making sure I kept eye contact, kept smiling, kept the idea that I wanted to sleep with her, that I liked her, always under the surface. And it paid off. It wasn’t long afterwards that I was at her place.
I asked her when we were in the stock room if she lived with her parents. She doesn’t. Lives on her own, which is pretty perfect. So we walked around town a little, I smoked some cigarettes, gave her some cigarettes, and then she asked me if I wanted to watch a film at hers. We all know what that means. I obliged. Not too eager, not too casual. And we made our way to her place. It was in a block of flats, not too dissimilar to council estates but different nonetheless. I don’t think I could ever be with someone who lived in a council estate. Either way she unlocked the gate, we walked up some steps, a couple of flights, and she turned her key and pushed her way through the door.
The first thing I saw was a small statue of Buddha. You know the one where he’s meditating, smiling, laughing at your internal dismay [smirk]. There’s one thing I can tell you about Buddha. If a girl has a Buddha statue in her room or apartment or house, and you’re there on the first date, you’re gonna fuck. It’s like a law, man. Those types of girls are just easy, quote unquote deep and spiritual. I’m not gonna lie, her place was nice, and she was a good host. We sat on her couch and she put on some music, it was some indie band, I dunno, I don’t really care for music much. She asked me if I wanted something to drink, I asked if she had a beer, she got one for herself and one for me, she even opened it and put it in a glass. See, you’re thinking what I thought; she’s pretty cool but wait, we talked more. I could tell she liked me, that much is obvious, right? But there was something wrong. I couldn’t really put my finger on it. And that’s when she started to be more assertive. She started asking me questions about my family and my relationship with my mum. I mean, Jesus, right? I’m trying to seduce you and you’re asking me questions about my mum? She laughed. Said she was joking, just trying to wind me up or something. We continued chatting, nothing to note, but then she started acting weird again, like she was gearing herself up to ask me something. She was biting her lip, while I was talking about Arab Spring. It’s not the most interesting topic but she asked me what I’d been doing recently, and I’ve been studying about it on my course, I mean it’s interesting as shit, you know? So she bit her lip, looked down at her hands, and then I could see the courage, like, rise up and she straightened her back (a sign of confidence in conversation) and then asked me if I liked bondage. What could I say? I’d drank her beer, I was in her apartment, kinky sex is cool, and I’d never had bondage before so, I thought, why the fuck not, right? I mean, as a man I think it’s like my duty to explore sex. Like Star Trek, you know that guy was just boning every species he encountered. I’d do the same. That guy is, like, my hero. I said yeah, I’d give it a shot, and she didn’t even hesitate.
Let me just say, I’m telling you this in confidence, yeah? I feel we’re pretty good friends even though we only talk at work, but you know. You’ll keep this to yourself right?
[Leant in, almost whisper] She led me into her room. She sat me on the end of her bed and stood above me. She ran her hands through my hair. She kissed my forehead and told me to take my clothes off. She’d left the bedroom door open. A window in the lounge looked at me and through that there was someone else’s living room. I could see their TV. They were watching that Gogglebox show. It’s good init, but I found it weird that I was watching them watch other people watch TV. Obviously she can tell I’m not paying that much attention. I think it’s cos I was kinda shocked. It hadn’t really sunken in. But she grabbed my head and she was naked. She pressed my head against her chest, and pushed my hands down when I tried to touch her. She knelt down beside me, I leant back, she laughed, and dropped some handcuffs on me. I want to see them pinching your skin. She pointed at the bedposts. I obliged. She helped with the last cuff, and sat next to me when I was completely bound. She got some scarves from a wardrobe and tied my feet. And she stood above me for, like, ten minutes man. Why am I telling you this, I don’t even know, I think I’ve drunk too much. Anyway, she sits on my chest and she starts talking. Like before she propositioned me. She’s talking about this band that she went to see a month ago. And I’m lying there, like, what the fuck? I can tell she’s turned on, you know? And I start to get frustrated. She can see it in my face. She smiles but she just continues to fucking talk and talk. It gets to the point where I’m just flaccid as all hell, and it’s like she doesn’t even care about the fact that we’re naked anymore. So I ask her, what’s going on? She just looks at me and continues. She talks and talks and then she starts to stroke my hair, and she’s giving me this look. I realise, like, right there, she’s talking to me like a child. She asks me how school was, and she starts gyrating, just right on my chest. She starts moaning. And I can tell you now, mate. I was freaked out. Like, I wouldn’t have been surprised if my balls had jumped up inside my body. And, yeah, I mean that’s it. I was raped. I mean it’s hard to say, but I think she raped me. I didn’t get anything out of it, you know, and I was so shocked that I didn’t stop her, I didn’t even think to say no. Okay, I’ll admit when things were getting really heated, you know, when she was getting close. I was encouraging her, yeah, of course, how could I not? But that was because I wanted her to please me too, just like I was pleasing her. Afterwards, she brought me another beer, poured it into my mouth. I tapped her when I had too much in my mouth. She untied me, unlocked the cuffs, and then we stood about for a while. I waited. She waited, and won. I got changed and left.
I didn’t, I mean, c’mon, I mean, who deserves that. So, yeah, I mean, yeah, do you know if she’s coming tonight?
[This format is taken from Brief Interviews with Hideous Men – David Foster Wallace]