Like A Boss

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It took me a minute to find him because of all the loud music and the angry hostility with which both men and women glared at me as I pushed through the dance floor to reach the table.

“Casper here is a flight instructor,” Dom introduced me, standing up as I walked over. He looked awkward getting up from the stool, his belly hanging over his dark pants, protruding against the buttons of his suit. It looked like there was sweat gathering at the spindly junctures of his mustache and goatee from the effort. I shook his hand concernedly.

“Ah, another protege?” asked the man sitting with him. “Looking to consistently pull more beautiful women? A new master for our method?” Continue reading

An Unworn Pair

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Franklin was intent on dating someone who offered him no conveniences. He looked down on his friends who dated women that cut their hair very stylishly for free, or cooked gourmet meals. Likewise, he looked down on his friends who dated men that did their oil changes or helped pay their student loans. He wanted no pragmatic advantages. He saw them as sellout compromises, reminiscent of the comforts that keep older unhappy couples from divorcing – once they thought of all the hassle, the little bits of laziness they would surrender. He wanted no ignoble and petty considerations like that in his calculations of freedom or commitment. Continue reading

Keeps No Record of Wrongs: A Valentine’s Day Story

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When Callista started dating Colin Raffaeli, I had to break them up.

You have to understand how terrible Colin Raffaeli is. Imagine Colin Raffaeli pulling up with his friends in his gigantic off-roading pickup with those monster truck tires I’ve never even seen at a dealership (where do you get monster truck tires?), Lil Wayne blaring at that bass level that’s so distorted you hear the car vibrating more than any music.

I didn’t have to imagine because I was watching the driveway from behind the French blinds in the front sitting room by the foyer, under our track lighting. Colin Raffaeli was wearing a big white Abercrombie polo and big khaki cargo shorts and big brown flapping flip-flops. You could almost smell the body-spray on him.

Continue reading

I Chat-Sex With Andrea Rosemore

So last night I got a Gmail chat request from a sexy lady by the name of Andrea Rosemore.

I didn’t think I’d ever heard of a sexy lady named Andrea Rosemore, but you never know who you’ve met at some point and the Rosemores sounded like an upstanding family name so I accepted. Andrea’s thumbnail profile pic looked like this:

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so instantly all of my fears were assuaged.

At first it sounded like Andrea was an automated spam-bot that sent prepared responses and links to a scam webcam-chat site, but we ended up having a pretty meaningful (and steamy) conversation, which I copy and pasted below: Continue reading

How to Win at Online Mating

snapchat“Did you hear about Cheryl, Charles?”

“I did hear about Cheryl, Bill. The poor girl.”

“We should do something for her.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“I think the best thing for a trampled heart is to get right back on that horse, mixed metaphors be damned.”

“I agree, Bill. Life is too short to sit around and mope. But you and I certainly make no fitting mates for a lady like Cheryl, ha ha.”

“Banish the thought, Charles, banish the thought – and idiomatic malapropism be damned.”

“You have something else in mind.”

“I do, Charles. Online dating. There’s no quicker way to order up a relationship, as easy as a new DVD on Amazon. It’s as easy as apple pie, and reputable, these websites: they guarantee love!”

Continue reading

If We Only Die Once

Javi Osmar remembers the day he fell in love with girls who lie. It was before moving to the U.S., before learning English and before classrooms full of college students to teach, before a quiet house and sensible car. In those days when the dictator Rios-Montt ruled the country, and Javi was just a student. Now, thirty years later, the regime was gone and Rios-Montt was standing trial but back in ‘82, during the bloody days, it was no secret that in Central America power came in streams of bullets and fire.

Soldiers were burning native Indio villages (their inhabitants actually Ixil Mayas, Javi now knew, though back then all of them were just called Indios), and disappearing union leaders and political opponents and unsympathetic writers, and being an academic was not the safest thing either. Continue reading

Three Scenes in Chicago, Illinois

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Part the First

Warren is on the South-bound Red Line when his phone buzzes in reply.

“I don’t know how I could be sure.”

He stares at it for a while, thinking of what he could say. Luckily, the phone buzzes again.

“I’ll call you in a little bit. I’ll tell you then.”

He looks at it, feeling a tug on a little towing hook from where his lungs don’t meet to the latch on the front of the train car, that says it is unlawful to move between train cars, fragile motion across the fishing wire that might connect them. The train is leaving Belmont, the second to last stop before the track goes underground. The only other person in the car is a disinterested-looking teenager in a red windbreaker staring out the window.

Warren contemplates the sharp, unavoidable dangers of his life. He closes his eyes. What if, he had asked Max that morning, during their cold dawn jog down the Hollywood Avenue curve onto the far North Lake Shore path. What if they just avoided the whole thing. Continue reading