The preface to the story about the Girls from Thursday turns out to be another girl — a girl who is too young, according to our thirtyish driver.
“I had to tell her I don’t want to date her,” he says. “She’s like twenty-two or whatever. I don’t stay out that late anymore, so I was like forget it.”
“Awww, too bad for you,” mocks the front-passenger girl (whose age remains a question mark). She then decides to meander from the plan. “You hear that, Mr. Sleepyhead in back? He leaves them alone when they’re that young.”
I yawn as I finally sit up in the back seat. Are we still on Ninth?
The driver glances up at the rear-view mirror. “You got something going on I should know about?” he asks me.
“Nah, just some girl I was talking to earlier. Certain bystanders have chosen to exaggerate.”
FPG scoffs. “Pfffffffff. I know what I saw.”
“How old is she?” the driver asks me.
“I don’t know. She’s young; she graduated last year.”
“Excuse me,” FPG interrupts. “What is so nice about it? You were just complaining about Miss Twenty-Two-Year-Old a minute ago. Hypocrite.”
“Naw, naw, it’s not being hypocritical really,” notes the driver. “I’m just saying younger is always easier to start out with. I mean, young girls, they like experience, okay? You can’t be afraid to act on it if it’s what they want. So in general it’s much less stressful in the beginning.”
“Oh my god. How about you pull over right here and I can walk home.”
The driver ignores her and looks at me again in the mirror. “Which girl was it?”
“Eh, it’s not really worth getting into—”
“The one with the short brown hair and the green shirt,” FPG says. “They were sitting together for a while. Brown eyes, kind of short. Did I miss anything, Mr. Sleepyhead?”
“Oh yeah I remember her,” the driver says. “I didn’t really get to talk to her. What’s she like?”
“She’s a smart kid,” I say. “But, you know, she’s in the middle of that still-finding-herself phase.”
“And now she needs your help. Niiiiiiiiiice.”
“That’s it!” yells FPG. “Pull over! I’m serious.”
“Haha. Relax there — we’re just educating you some.”
“I am done with you two. Seriously.”
It’s here where I decide to get back to the plan; the flattery angle typically works best.
“So sensei,” I say to the driver. “You have to explain the darts thing to me. I don’t really get it. I mean, darts would seem to be a major turn-off for most girls.”
“Naw, naw, it really depends on how you play it, see. I happen to be pretty good at darts. It looks easy but it’s harder than you think. You throw one and they wanna try it. And so I teach ’em: I sorta guide ’em on how to do it, and it becomes like this excuse to hold onto something — you got an arm over her shoulder, maybe, or a hand near her hips. That kinda thing.”
“And what was this girl wearing, if you don’t mind telling me?” asks FPG.
“The first one? Well, she’s some manager type who wears executive clothing. I guess I’d call it executive tight clothing. And so I’m showing her how to the throw the darts and I tell her a lot of it is your posture during the throw — which is true by the way — and she’s got her chest out a little, kinda…What? What’s so funny?”
“Nothing,” says FPG. “Just finish your stupid story.”
“Why you trying to make me feel bad about it, huh? These girls know the game.”
“If you say so.”
“Look I’ll tell you straight about this girl and the darts. I like her but I’m probably not gonna call her again. She wants a relationship and I’m not into that right now.”
“And so you play the darts and lead her on.”
“I’m not leading her on! I’m showing her how to friggin’ throw darts! She asked me to show her.”
“Hey it’s not like I’m hooking up with these girls — I’m just meeting ’em, talking to them, flirting with them, seeing if it stays interesting. I like meeting people. It’s fun. But I get bored with ’em sometimes.”
“Out! I want out of this car!”
“Look, it’s not like I drag it out. Two dates is my limit. If it doesn’t stay interesting after two dates, I don’t take ’em out anymore.”
“And what if they want to keep going out with you?”
“Well, I tell ’em I’m busy or gotta work late or maybe we can meet up the next week. By the next week they probably found someone else. They play the game too, you know. But what gets annoying is that they still text me — all the time, it’s ridiculous. All this texting, it gets expensive, man.”
“You don’t have unlimited?”
“Naw, naw, I only have a thousand. And they won’t stop texting me.”
“Poor baby,” says FPG. “Get unlimited and stop whining.”
“I’d rather just get fewer texts from these girls…”
“Okay, okay,” I interrupt. “I think we’ve got the darts girl down. What about the second one?”
“Right — the second one,” says the driver. “So the darts girl leaves, and I see this other girl, Puerto Rican girl, eating dinner at the bar.”
“So you ask her to play the darts too?” asks FPG.
“Naw, naw. I just go up to her and say, ‘That looks good, whatchew eating?’”
“Seriously? ‘Whatchew eating?’ is your pickup line?”
“Hey I like to talk, okay? If I see somebody and I feel like talking, I find something to talk about. I don’t care how obvious it is. I don’t need some fancy line to get started. I was hungry. Her food looked good. That’s enough to start talking to her.”
“And then what happened?”
“And then we hit a few more bars and we drink and we say goodnight to each other. That’s it. We had fun. That’s it.”
I ask the driver if he’s going to see her again.
“I dunno,” he replies. “She’s supposed to text me.”