January 30, 2013

How To Flirt

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The modern courtship ritual is a delicate machine with billions of interworking parts, each requiring a precise application of force and motion. Push when you should pull, rotate when you should flip, jiggle when you should slide, and the entire elaborate mechanism explodes like the end of Chicken Run. You cannot rely on your instincts, for your neuro-circuitry is wired for caveman mating, not the intricate minutiae of 21st century pretty lady interaction. You must strategize carefully. Buy a Moleskine notebook and formulate your tactics in lush detail. Hide the Moleskine notebook where she will never find it, can never find it, or better yet, encode your plans like Da Vinci. You are the sovereign of your romantic destiny. You can manipulate fate through careful preparation.

When you see her at the bar, do not approach; girls are easily startled and might dart into tiny holes in the floor if frightened. Instead, stare at her from across the room with a blank unreadable expression, sucking down Kahlua with an intensity that suggests mystery and depth. As she moves through the bar, adjust your location so you’re always in her field of view, ever watchful like Uatu the Watcher — silent, patient. Over the course of two or three hours, your face will subconsciously imprint on her. When she falls asleep, your blank expression will hover in space, wreathed in galaxies, whispering sweet, possibly terrible things.

After a few minutes of staring, go to the bathroom and do a quick ten pushups on the wet floor. Moisten your fingers and modify your hair into a fastidiously disheveled structure to project indifference. When you pee, speculate on your penis’s appeal. Is it an appealing penis? Would this penis appeal to you if you were a lady? Does it conform to pornography’s standard aesthetic model? If it does not, descend into a state of panicked self-loathing for a period no longer than ten minutes. Loneliness, as we’ve learned from movies and television, can’t possibly last forever, simply can’t last forever.

Buy a drink and send it to her through a nonthreatening intermediary, but do not let her know who bought the drink. Secrecy will magnify your allure. Also include money — maybe ten to fifteen dollars — with the drink; girls require gifts before they’ll entertain conversations with strangers. She’ll see the money and wonder, Is this from a wealthy sleazebag of mystery like Christian Grey or Booth Jonathan? Perhaps he wears a cape and has a cane sword.

Just as the bar’s closing, emerge unexpectedly out of the darkness and initiate conversation with a well-crafted icebreaker. Gaze through her pupils, through her brain goop, deep into her soul cavity, and say, “HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHO ARE YOU WHAT UH WHAT UH WHAT UH WHAT UH YOU LIKE MUSIC?” If she giggles, you may proceed further, but if she frowns and turns to the nearest female associate, back away into the darkness, for like a temperamental hippogriff, she has rejected your advances.

During the conversation, compliment her physical and mental characteristics in a casual way, hinting at bathypelagic depths of feeling where bioluminescent viperfish devour phytoplankton. Grasp hold of her hair and comment on its loveliness. Or if she’s wearing glasses, snatch them from her face and put them on while commenting on their stylishness. Hand her a candy bar from your pocket and imply you have many more candy bars. Your only goal is to obtain a first and last name, then conclude the verbal engagement because this signals the next stage of flirting: Facebook.

At last, you’ve reached the easy part. Once you have access to her Facebook, like every status, every photo, and every link, but do not comment or send a message because that would be too obtrusive, too unsettling; flirting requires a light deft touch like a finger grazing the hairs on the back of someone’s neck. When you update your status, include her in a long list of names to whom it’s addressed. Any events, parties, shows — invite her, along with every other Facebook friend. Distill your essence into a seed and plant that seed in her mind. Grow the seed through steady indirect Facebook interaction, until it blossoms into a message or a comment, and by then, a long and passionate relationship is inevitable.

Of course, there are ways to speed the process: whisper her name to flowers and trees; carve her face into a mountain side; write a flirty note and bury it deep underground; plunge your head into the ocean and describe her to the fish; or telepathically beam your flirts into the cosmos. The universe, faced with this constant hysterical neediness, will manifest total fulfillment of your needs. That’s how the universe works. TC mark

Brad Pike

Brad Pike is a writer and performer in Chicago. His writing has been featured on The Sixth Wall, Thought Catalog, The …

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