So, I went to a friend's birthday do - one of three last weekend - and got blasted, which was a shame as I was a) skint, and b) trying to forgo booze as it tends to ruin healthy spells.
So imagine my surprise when I found myself throwing shapes on the dancefloor, and generally behaving like some drunk twat in a shirt.
But even that didn't come close to the surprise in store for me later on, as I inserted with my fingers a lady's number into my phone.
I had spotted said lady earlier being all attractive and coquettish in the corner. I say coquettish, although she didn't so much flirt as just smile in my direction, which had been enough to confuse me so I paid her no mind. She was, after all, attractive and I am, after all, a fat ginger fuckrunt.
It wasn't until later in the evening, as I stood outside with the smokers (they to smoke, and me to dry off), that I found myself in the company of that charming lady, and her friend. We introduced ourselves, and I had gone off on a rambling monologue that I thought at the time was tremendously witty but was probably just an overly bitter rant about the tube, or somesuch.
And then I smashed my wine glass and kicked the shards against a wall.
Her friend left, and it was just me, and her.
I was hammered.
Fortunately, I do a pretty good line in not looking as hammered as I actually am, so I just looked merry, and stupid.
She smiled at me.
'Uh,' I began, my befuddled mind racing through porridge, wondering how I could make a kiss happen.
'Can I have your number?' I said, and frowned. Where the hell did that come from?
And then she smiled and said 'Yes'.
I got an erection.
I tried to act cool as I reached for my phone and selected 'ADD CONTACT'.
'Erm, this is a little embarrassing, but what was your name again?'
She shrieked, and made me guess. I had nothing, although it was nice actually engaging with her for once. And then she told me, and gave me a number, and I didn't know what to do next. And by that, I mean seriously. What the fuck does one do after that?
I can tell you what I did; I gave her a peck on the cheek and, trying not to think about how bemused I must have seemed, I went home. Finally, I was living. Things had gone from mundane and yawn, to THISSERIOUSLYNEVERHAPPENS.
Now, I thought, I could date her, then have sex with her (that would of course be brilliant, sex again, with a real human female and no longer my bored calloused hand). She'd see my lovely new apartment. That would be a deal-breaker, surely? And then of course she'd move in. Money's tight after all but she could pay, I dunno, £495.50 per month, bills included?
So a day passes, and I didn't call. Because I'm The Man.
(I wonder if my flat would be overcrowded with two people and a baby? )
I tell a few friends about my According to Hoyle miracle, as the second day passed. Don't mess with Mr Lover Lover.
Day Three, the Industry Standard. I'm at work when, half way through, I realise I could call her on my walk home. The daily slog would be over. I'd be happy; The perfect time to catch up.
"Hello," I said, amazed that she'd given me her real digits, "Is that Now-Indifferent Woman*?"
(*I'm assuming you realise that isn't her real name.)
"Uh, yeah?" said the indifferent-sounding voice on the other end of the line, as I squinted in confusion.
"Er, Hi!" I squawked over the din of London traffic. "This is Fweng! From the other day?"
"Oh, hi!" she said. She sounded perkier, I figured, about 7% perkier than four seconds previously.
"So yeah, I continued. "Three days minimum. I was gonna wait for five days, maybe seven or eight, but thought, 'what the hell, just call!'"
Now-Indifferent Woman made a noise. It could've been a cough, or perhaps a carpet scrape as she squirmed on the spot. She asked me how my weekend was. I admitted it was drunken, as I had a trio of birthdays.
"But I'm not an alcoholic," I added as a woman passer-by grinned at me sweating on the phone. She knew, I thought. She knew.
And that confused me. So I stopped talking.
'I've stopped talking', I distinctly remember thinking. 'No biggie. It's cool to be so laid back that you don't even talk during phonecalls'.
'Uh-' said Indifferent, breaking the silence, 'So what do you want to do now?'
I panicked. This was date-arranging. I hadn't considered that. I was just going to call, and I was. I hadn't planned beyond that.
'Oh, uh, dunno really. Let's meet up for a drink' - And yes, I now know that the whole point of the call was to arrange something, and not just reiterate that something should really be arranged.
'Well okay, sure, but I have to go out right now.'
'Cool. Well let me know what you want to do,' I added, realising I'd now left the ball in her court, and no self-respecting woman would so much as reach down for it.
We hung up, and with each step I took towards the train station, I realised I'd fucked it.
'I'll text her after the weekend if she hasn't called by then,' I told friends. 'It's only another 7 days away.'
They called me an idiot.
But I didn't want to look desperate, so I gave her a couple of days anyway. Needless to say, I hadn't heard back, so I sent her a text. It was Thursday.
'Hi. It's Fweng. Why don't we meet up at XXX in XXX? Nice place. Failing that, howsabout a couple of cans on a park bench? Classy.'
I put the phone down, and waited for the ping!
No ping. I checked it, and put it down again.
I went out to grab lunch.
I got back and checked the phone. It looked bored.
I went home, had dinner, and went to bed after checking my phone.
I fell asleep, then woke up, checked my phone, had a wank, rechecked my phone with a greater sense of loss and disgust than I'd had two and a third minutes earlier, and still I saw nothing.
I went to work. Some customers asked me stupid questions.
Then I deleted her number.