He smoked a casual cigarette, like a cool construction worker.
My friend met him in the church parking lot.
I came over, a bit apprehensive.
“This is Charlie,” my friend told me.
I looked at him. He was calm, down to earth, a mountain.
“I’m hoping to meet a young lady,” Charlie said.
He drained his cigarette and blew smoke into the air.
“I’m trying to do the same thing,” I admitted.
Charlie nodded. “I bought a cheap car and I’m going to the gym.”
We talked about clothes and cologne.
“That’s a nice shirt,” Charlie mentioned to my friend.
“Thanks, it’s a Hugo Boss. I’ve been trying to elevate my style.”
On Monday, I found myself following my friend’s sister from store to store in the shopping mall.
“Girls are superficial,” she told me. “They look at a guy and think there must be something going on underneath, if he has a good style.”
I started spending money like a drunken sailor.
“Don’t worry,” the Vietnamese cashier told me, “You get points for this.”
I thought about how much energy and time it takes, just to get the attention of a woman.
I bought boots, jackets, shirts, belts. Then, my friend suggested…
“You should buy a Corvette.”
I almost lost my mind, but I have strategies to maintain my sanity.
That night, I read Chinese philosophy while eating Chinese takeout to calm myself down.