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“Hey, CH. CH!”

Wheeling around and flipping my sunglasses onto the top of my head, I studied the location from where the voice originated. A cute, bob-haired girl stood with a herbster (combination hipster + herb) off to one side. She was smiling. I recognized her, after a moment of assessment. She was a former fling.

“How are you?”

Caught by surprise, I had nothing witty, engaging, or charming to say. I looked her over, ballet sandals to nympho hairstyle, and all I could muster by way of brain activity was a memory of watching her smoke in bed after I had ejaculated inside her.

“I’m good.” Bereft of follow-up, I stood quietly and self-assuredly, staring her right in the eyes, as three bloated seconds ticked by.

Finally she broke the impasse. “This is Jerry.”

I nodded at Jerry, who seemed to be a boyfriend of some sort, but his body language telegraphed eunuch house guard rather than intimate. I found it strange that the first substantive words of her conversation after “hi” were an introduction to some man I never met and couldn’t have cared less about.

“Well, nice to see you. Bye,” she chirped, and teetered off like a child being called home just as a pink flush was revealing itself on her cheeks.

There are moments with ex-flings when you know sparks are inevitable. But these sparks are enfeebled by shared history and time apart, or distasteful circumstances. In that moment, I had nothing to say. Nothing worthwhile at any rate. One can’t be on top of their game all the time. When gamelock happens, your best course of action is to refrain from saying much of anything. Silent game is all you need, then, and it beats bad game. A few exceedingly sparse words, a nod, a slow hand gesture or a couple of seconds of manufactured anticipation, and you leave a girl wanting to know more about what you’ve been up to than she ever did when you were a blabbermouth.

It’ll sound rude to an outside observer. But to her, it’s the most pleasant intrigue she can hope for.


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