Sunday, April 1, 2012

Top Ten Terrible Pick-Up Lines

(Partially inspired by The Woman At The Cafe)

The night is dark with limitless possibilities. Yet you stand isolated, alone, lurking in the shadows. A place in the corner, camouflaged by darkness, the light avoiding you as all else has.
You sit and you watch the throngs of people, other people, other lives, brushing against your own. But only at the edges. They seem not to notice you, as if the untold envy in the chamber of your heart is pulsating for all to see, a dangerous glow, green and frightening. No one approaches you and you approach no one.
Until you see her.
At first a face and then a vision. Her form bathed in the light of the heavens, though you know not whether she stands so illuminated in truth or merely in the depths of your desire. You blink. The world disappears, then reappears again, still gloomy, still desolate, still crowded. And in the crowd she stands, still glowing.
Longing wraps itself round your cold and shrivelled heart, extracting who knows what essence from that organ, for what love it once held has long since bled away. Yet it bleeds fresh for the first time in eons and you realize that this night is different.
She is not the woman of your dreams. She is more. She is real.
You want her.
You need her.
You never want to leave her.
Yet suddenly you remember that even to dream is futile. What would such an exquisite creature want with someone like you?
Your fancy leads you down the path of parallel universes. You see yourself getting to know her, the sound of her voice, like a brook bathing pebbles, the taste of her ruby lips, like nectar and cinnamon. You see the joy that has eluded you for so long, the companionship you thought you would never know.
And then you see her leaving like all else before her, leaving naught but a memory of an angel who touched your life, oh so briefly, yet leaving in her wake the wreckage of a man who thought he was already destroyed.
You sigh with regret as you come back to reality. You stand up to leave when all at once...she looks at you.
Was it the lovelorn sigh that drew the attention of those breathtaking orbs or did she feel it too: that electricity, that anticipation, that feeling of completeness, the knowledge that the other half of your heart lies waiting nearby?
It doesn't matter. She looks at you and she sees you.
Your first instinct is to hide, lest your bitterness and yearning and envy and despair, the monstrosity of your soul lay itself bare and scare away this vision who stands before you.
But you stay still. You let her see you.
And then...she smiles and walks away. She sits at the bar and turns imperceptibly yet surely towards you.
Your heart leaps! She knows! She sees and she doesn't care! Suddenly you have the key to your lost future in the palm of your hand, the drawbridge has been lowered and the invitation extended!
Suddenly, the darkness lifts. You see colours like you've never seen them before. They smile at you too, friends revealing themselves after so long. In a daze, you make your way towards her. The crowd parts like the Red Sea until suddenly, you stand before her, her suitor at last.
But then (alas!) your tongue stumbles and your mind grows still. Your throat is parched and your palms are moist. You don't know what to say!
What words can exist in this imperfect world that would capture the extent of your love for her? What words can tell her what she means to you as they should, as they must, lest the fire awakened afresh in your spirit and in the depths of your soul find no utterance and burn the core of your being to a cinder as if it had never existed?
What words? What words?!
In your madness, you despair and once again your mind leaps ahead.
You see yorself ten times over, the heat of your passion magnified tenfold and where once there was a goddess stands now a pantheon! And you watch as each one turns towards its respective suitor and raises an eyebrow, questioning, yet inviting.
You see yourself, ten times, search for the words that would attract her, inflame her, reveal your ingenuity, your wit, your love, that she may love you as you have loved her.
And you watch ten times over as you lean in towards that delicate ear.
And you whisper:

10. "Honey, you must be an angel, 'cause it smells like something died in here."

 9. "They say there's a fine line between beautiful and gorgeous. Well, when I look at your face, trust me, all I see are lines."

 8. (sings) "You say it best...when you say nothing at all. So shut the fuck up bitch and listen to me."

 7. "Give me all your money! No, I'm kidding. Just buy me a drink. Now."

 6. "Has anyone ever told you that your lips make you look like Steven Tyler?"

 5. "Soooooo, I ran over this squirrel on my way over here. It took a while, but I finally got the furry little     bastard. Wanna go take a look?"

 4. "Yo momma's so ugly that even if she married Brad Pitt, all her kids would end up looking like you."

 3. "Knock knock."
     "Who's there?"
     "Knock-knock who?"
     "Will you stop that?!"
     " Sorry, I just really want to knock you up!"

 2. "Love me. Looooove meeeeeee! LOOOOOOOOVVVVE MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!"

 1. "Say hello to my little friend!"

Ten times you watch this sick charade play itself out before your eyes. Each time, the words that you utter grow coarser and coarser, the random by-products of an overtaxed mind. You cringe and you weep with rage at each new iniquity until the last one causes you to scream. In all these visions, unsurprisingly, you muse with disgust, she grows cold and distant and once again leaves your pathetic life, back to whichever Paradise from which she originated.
Then you return to reality and she looks up at you, her expression quizzical for you have stood there for a while, saying nothing, lost in what may happen, what must not happen.
And then you sit down facing her. And you hear yourself say:

"Hi, I'm Armando."
"Hey, I'm Kiki."
"Hey Kiki. Listen, I'm sorry to disturb you but there's something I need a little help with."
"See, I have this blog. It's called Are You Passively Observing The Random Canvases At The Cafe?"
"Long name."
"Tell me about it. You should check it out sometime. Anyway, I've been thinking of putting up a post listing the ten worst pick-up lines I could think of."
"Sounds funny."
"Thanks. So anyway, I made up ten terrible pick-up lines, but I have no idea how to rank them. So when I saw you here, I thought, well, here's a girl who's probably heard a lot of pick-up lines, you know? Because you're so beautiful. No offence."
She laughs.
"None taken."
"So I was wondering, could I perhaps read these out to you and could you, like, rank them for me? Just give a number for each one between 1 and 10, 10 being not too bad and 1 being absolutely despicable."
And so you take out the notepad you carry with you all the time and tell her what you said in those ten visions. This time, instead of leaving, she's amused! She giggles at a few of them and by the end, she's clutching her sides, laughing. The laugh is just as you imagined it, full-bodied yet innocent.
And for each pick-up line, she gives you a number between 1 and 10.
At the end of it all, she asks if you have any more.
"Well, I do have one, but it's not as funny as the rest."
"Well let me hear it."
"Okay. Here goes - 'Hi, my name is Armando and I'm making a list of the ten worst pick-up lines ever. Could you help me rank them?' What do you think of that one?"
She smiles. This one is different. It slowly spreads across her face and her eyes grow dark and mysterious.
"That one's not too bad."
"So a 10?"
"Better. In fact, if someone used that one on me, I'd have a tough time playing it cool, you know what I mean?"
"I think I do. Well, thanks for all your help. I've got your scores written down here, your ten...uh... numbers."
Now you lean across the space between the two of you. And you ask her:
"Are there perhaps ten more numbers you have that you'd like to give me?"