Sunday, October 25, 2009


The Complete and Total Loser had a pleasant summer.
He went to a wedding. He housesat in a nice house in the suburbs where there was air conditioning, cable television, and silence. He got paid for this. He took time off while in the suburbs, freeing him from a train commute to the city, something he didn't used to mind but tires him now.
The Loser is enjoying autumn, though it's been a wet one in his region. He read a book he liked. He went to another wedding. He hasn't taken any time off, but his low-level job is an easy one and is close to where he lives.
He went on two dates.
It's like a canker sore in his brain that becomes inflamed every autumn or two. The inflammation triggers desire in the Loser, a primitive want, like a salmon's need to thrust itself upriver to spawn. And the Loser seeks to squelch this want by pairing with a woman.
He imagines what it would feel like to have one touch him. A grazing as she passes him as they prepare a meal together. A tug on his sleeve when she wants to draw his attention to something she sees in a store window. A pat on the shoulder, an embrace from behind, a hug as they part.
The Loser wants this, feels it like a hunger that he satisfies with books, movies, pornography. His successful relationships number zero; he fights the impulse to entertain possibilities. Usually, he triumphs. Not this year.
He found a free dating site. He filled out a profile, and of the two dozen women he entreated to meet him, two said yes.
The Loser is bald, cripple, old, and extremely underemployed, yet he's fussy about the women he likes, clinging to physical criterion that tosses out the majority of Americans. They must, he decrees, weigh less than his 175 pounds. Much less, idealy. Any woman tipping the scales at over 135 is not likely to catch his eye. Not a tall man, they must also be shorter than his 5'9", preferably by at least four inches, which would still mean a woman an inch taller than the average American female. That is about it, except he has a weird dislike of women with hairy arms. Women's body hair should be barely visible, he thinks.
Date number one. Literate as hell, which he likes. (Use "LOL" once and the Loser will look elsewhere.) She was a published author, writing teacher. They exchanged several emails about books, writers, the city, and all looked well. The Loser googled her email address and found a profile of her on a different Web site in which she described herself as "slender." All good.
They arranged to meet on a Sunday evening. She exited a church in which she was doing volunteer work. The Loser's heart sank. She was built like a tank. Healthy, but a torso like a trash can. They had dinner (he paid) and a decent conversation, but didn't keep in touch afterward.
a couple in a museum
A couple in a museum.

The second woman approached the Loser, which surprised him and was a first and only. She'd liked what he said about little getting him angry but fat-necked Republicans who twist the truth to maintain a status quo that benefits only them.
Again, a flurry of emails. Again, dinner. A pleasant meal, a nice conversation, but when the Loser went home he felt ... nothing. There was nothing about the evening that made him long to see her again, hear her voice, know that she was thinking of him. This puzzles him even now. She was nice enough looking, quite acceptable to the Loser. A churchgoer, but he could have lived with that. To rid himself of her, the Loser did a simple thing: He wrote her an email that night and told her enough truths about himself that she never wrote back.
Then he went to the Web site and deleted his profile.

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