Monday, September 28, 2009
I start the Chronicles with a rule for wingmen to remember: If you force things, the condom breaks.
Wait, wait, that’s not right. Well, technically it is right, but it’s not the point I want to make.
Ah, I remember now...ahem: Always go with the flow. Chose good copilots, and go with the flow.
For night one of wingmanning, I chose my copilot carefully. Back on the singles scene after five years with an emo crybaby (one with bangs and a bizarre germ issue that meant he didn’t perform oral), Red is 5’9” of lithe, ginger-maned lioness. She’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of music, unfairly perfect porcelain skin and feminine ease with a pint glass. She is, in flirting style and visual “type,” pretty much my opposite, making her an excellent yin to my yang--and we’re different enough that we rarely aim for the same target. Except hot targets with full sleeves of well-drawn tattoos and/or accents, in which case it’s every goddamned woman for herself and Red’ll tell you that herself.
Red and I spent Night One in a downtown music hole with only one purpose: go with the flow. Hear music, have good time. We grabbed a drink and did some catching up. Then, fifteen minutes in, he took the stage.
Young, wild-haired and working angular, fox-like eyes, The Vagabond (the name of the song he was singing, of course) opened his mouth from behind the mic and let out a soulful riff, riding the back end of a blues growl until every vagina in the room was pissing cerulean. Red’s pheromones blew out the front of her dress and knocked my drink out of my hand en route to the stage.
“Dibs on--,” she started moaning.
“Yours. Got it,” I concurred.
I know, it’s an obnoxious cliche: Brooklynite she-bitches, gunning for the dirty-cute-hipster-rockstar. Whatever. I’m not ashamed.
Anyway, flash forward to midnight. Through a set of mutual friends, we ended up at the same Lower East Side (ugh, of course it was the LES. Maybe I am ashamed...) watering hole as The Vagabond and his band-mates. We weren’t there solely for the boy. The company was laid back and warm, the Guinness pints only $5 and the flowing spirit of the weekend Gods had delivered us there.
But the boy didn’t hurt.
The ensuing mission was smooth and organic--no planning, just an on-the-fly series of non-verbal cues and tactical maneuvering.
At some point, The Vagabond separated from his pack of buddies and headed to the corner of a deserted smoking patio outside the bar’s open windows. Red saw, wordlessly pulling out her cigarettes and following outside to a position near, but not facing, her target. I stayed seated inside, watching for his reaction. He checked her out once from behind the cigarette, then again on the exhale. Roger, we have confirmation of interest.
Behind me, three busty blondes noticed The Vagabond’s vulnerable position and furtively began plotting their own move. (He's the lead singer. Tough life.) Outside, Red was striking up conversation like a seasoned pro, and he was going for it...but she’d be out-gunned against three. Having confirmed mutual interest, I immediately commenced defensive activity.
I bolted (casually) to the patio, smiling and bumming a cigarette off Red before faking the death of her lighter. I turned to Vagabond for a light, introducing myself while cutting off his line of sight with the incoming trio of big-breasted bogies, now on the patio and closing in quick. Red, sensing the threat, turned her body perpendicular while I stepped toward her, effectively penning the Vagabond in his corner while still giving him ample personal space. Shut out, the bogies eventually finished their Newports and left.
With the patio cleared, Red eyed Vagabond’s almost empty pint glass, gave me the look and exited. Vagabond pulled out another cigarette (chain-smoking blues singers. It’s a veritable storm of cliches today, folks), and I bummed from him (and smoked the damned thing. Right after the one I’d just had. The things we do for friends....), playing the mutual acquaintance card to keep him in position for a few minutes longer. (“No way, you know Mike too?)
Red returned with two icy beers, one for her, one for him, and we all toasted his stellar performance. I then excused myself back to the bar, watching through the windows again while Red skillfully wrapped their chat, gave him a solid piece of body contact (the classic “I’m-laughing-and-touching-your-arm”) and rolled off to come “find” me. The seed has been planted.
An hour of random socializing later, I spotted one of the blonde bogies from earlier making her move. Houston, we have a problem. Vagabond look uncomfortable, eyes all over the bar, looking for something. With Red MIA I did a slow fly-by in, listening for the opportunity to cock block. (Is it still cock blocking if you do it to a girl?) Vagabond and Bogey were playfully arguing over which of two bands I don’t give a shit about were better. Bingo.
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to eavesdrop.” Except of course I do. “But I couldn’t help hearing your argument and I totally have to take her side,” I told Vagabond.
“SEE, I TOLD you,” she crowed. Targeting Bogey...
“What is it with guys? They never appreciate the genius that is...um...that band,” I tried. Really lamely tried. That's right--come to Mama...
“Omigod, riyyyyght?” she said, shifting her body toward mine. “I saw them at the Bowery Ballroom last summer, and they were soooooo f-ing amazing, they came out and were....”
And then Red appeared. Vagabond grinned at her immediately, locked in. He'd clearly been looking around the bar for her. KABLOOEY, bitches.
Vagabond ended up following us home to my place, where one roommate was conveniently out of town for the weekend. He stayed for a 3am night cap, a 4am discussion of music and a 5am anatomical study of Red.
My co-pilot had to scoot out to a modeling shoot the following morning. (Of course. I should rename this post “Of-Fucking-Course.”)
I cooked The Vagabond breakfast from scratch (because he was genuinely cool) and listened for half an hour while he told me how amazing Red is (duh, I know dude). Then, I tossed him out into the bright world and stripped the sex sheets off roomie’s bed before he got back, informing him (as was right to do) that his room had been used for wingmanning purposes upon his return. He was proud of us both.
Red's not looking for anything serious, but she and the Vagabond have had several casual dates since that night.