The weekend on fast-forward: pretend on Saturday morning that I have an appointment around noon so I can escort the girl to the bus. Put on a belt and carry the messenger bag to really sell it. Then go right back to the villa, change, and hit the gym. Café after that to line up a few hundred words.
Then there’s a large party in Seoul. Starts with a dinner before all the green beer. Schmoozing. God, just hang on for dear life. First impressions are hard when you’re naturally uncool. First impressions are harder when you’ve cut back on drinking. Alcohol is game in a bottle. But I don’t need it to mingle, I think. I can do this, I can pretend to be interesting. I prep for these things like a presidential debate and roll up to the scene late with a few stories locked and loaded. Sometimes I steal them from friends back home. Then I steal stories from people here and pass them off as my own to my friends back home. Everybody wins.
We swarm the bars after. It’s the new year and legions of rookie foreigners have washed in on the tides. Platoons of 20 year-old American soldiers who behave like primates. White girls from Canada and South Africa and Ireland. And white guys. Trendy motherfuckers who wear scarves even when it’s hot. These people come talk to me because I’m 6’7”. Sorry to bother you man. But I just had to ask, like, wow: how tall are you. And do you play basketball. Every time I meet someone for the first time we talk about my height. I’ve forgotten how else to begin an interaction.
When I’m out I have a rep as Suit Guy, because I always wear a blazer and pocket square. I’m so consistent with it that I’m not even a human being anymore, I’m a sitcom character. People must think a gypsy has cursed me to never dress down. Shit, maybe one has. Either way, now I can’t not wear one out on the weekends because it always works. All single men are stupid for not copying me. How do you ignore a scorched earth tactic like this. That would be like ditching the 747 for the horse and buggy. God I am such a douchebag.
The night is a swirl and fairly magical. The whole cast of characters is present. I get with a girl from last weekend from Canada. My friend sees us talking and whispers that he’s banged her before, a while back. I still take her home though; it’s getting late and I’ve already put too many eggs into that basket. The logic is a lot more valid before sunrise. I don’t tell her that I know. I can be a considerate person and let someone else feel like a player sometimes. You go girl. See, character development.
And now: upshifting back into a full schedule. It’s the second week back after vacation. Readjusting to the higher gear is rough; the cherry must be re-popped. Mondays are humbling. They feel like you’re marching into some strange wilderness with ox skulls scattered around. I will probably die on a Monday. I hope so. I’ll be pissed if I die on a Thursday, right before the weekend starts.