Romance isn’t my strong suit. I’m a loving guy, and a total mush, but the wooing and flirting part isn’t something I’m particularly skilled at. Nor am I good at recognizing when I’m flirted with. In my early 20’s, I struggled meeting someone, anyone. I had no confidence, in no small part due to my thinning, sad, wispy hair and doughy mid-section. What a catch. To top it off, I insisted upon wearing shirts that were far too small. I have a long torso, and when combined with tight, small shirts and a belly (at the time), it was quite the sight to behold. I digress.
Point being, I had issues finding someone. But, in what I think was 2012, my group of friends decided to take a trip to Wildwood, New Jersey, a classic shore town with the boardwalk, the rides, the whole deal. We were stocked up on weed and booze, as you do, and we set out for the shore. I should perhaps mention that by this time, I had shaved my head, but did not yet lose the weight. So, my hair was taken care of, but my weight was still an issue, at least for me. I wasn’t big per se, but bigger than I wanted to be, that’s for sure.
We got to Wildwood and stocked up on additional supplies, including a bottle of strange blue liquor called Hpnotiq – it’s delicious, don’t drink it. We spent our days drinking and smoking, all of us. There were perhaps three or four guys, and three or four ladies – two separate hotel rooms, I think.
A brief disclaimer that I should have included at the top, but if you couldn’t already tell, the nature of this story makes for a hazy memory – what with the booze and whatnot. Forgive the looseness.
I was most certainly single at the time of this story, that I can say with certainty – single, sad, drunk, and high. I’ve changed since then, I’m no longer as sad. This is all to say that after drinking in the daytime and smoking throughout, I was in no shape to court or woo anyone. I still lacked confidence in myself as a person anyone would be attracted to. Essentially, I was a pudgy man-baby with a beard.
My good friend Roger and I were coming back to the hotel after being who knows where. We needed to rest up before whatever the hell was to happen that night. Also, we probably needed to get out of the public eye. Even in a shore town, where the worst of New Jersey come to breed, there is such a thing as being too sloppy. So, Roger and I entered the hotel and made our way towards the staircase at the back of the lobby, if you could call it that. As we came up the steps, two attractive women our age passed us by. I smiled, as did Roger. Being drunk enough, I decided to try and talk to them, which is not something I would normally do. I don’t want to hit on people, I really don’t. It just feels sad. But this time, I felt confident enough for whatever reason to try and woo these ladies.
As I went to speak, my flip-flop got caught on the underside of the step, and I went down. Mortally embarrassed, I blurted out a bellowing, pathetic, “I just wanna die.” The ladies barely acknowledged this failed attempt at flattery (or walking), and kept moving while I lay on my back across the steps, wallowing in my sadness and laughing. It was such a sad state of affairs that I couldn’t help but laugh, or else I’d cry. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, I hope I learned it.