liquid confidence.

sitting at the balcony, i was on my third of fourth beer when this blonde woman asked me if i liked the band. the truth was, i did, but i didn't want to admit it. it was the new faces, a group of eighteen year old white kids. fucking white kids and their talent. i was so sick of it.

"yeah, they're not bad," i said. "do you like them?"
"i think they're great," she said.

she went on to say some other things, but i couldn't hear that well, so i just nodded along. i found her attractive, but i knew it didn't even matter, since there was some guy standing right next to her. i wanted to know what this was all about. did i seem so weak and innocent that she could just talk to me right in front of some dude without him feeling emasculated? i offered to buy her a drink.

"i'll do a red vine."
"what? a red vine?"
"a glass of red wine," she said.

i went downstairs and ordered a fat tire for myself, a glass of red wine for my new friend.

when i had returned, she and the dude she was with were already walking down the stairs. i handed her the plastic cup of wine.

"cheers," she said. the guy smiled at me. you aren't a threat, he seemed to be saying.

i walked back upstairs, and my two friends asked me who that woman was.

"i don't know," i said. "she just started talking to me."
"she was pretty cute."
"yeah," i said, "she was."

i noticed another cute girl with short hair sitting next to my friend.

"i wouldn't mind getting with that," i said, pointing to her.
"switch seats with me," he said.

we switched seats.

"say something to her."
"hold on," i said.

i wasn't drunk enough yet. why was this so hard? other guys got to do it all the time. but me, i just felt like a creep. like, what did i actually have to say to this girl?

hey, i'm a pretty boring guy. i have like three friends and i live by myself in a small and cold apartment. i have a job where i don't do anything all day but look at random websites. i read posts on reddit about equally socially inept guys and i like to do so because it just reminds me of how pitiful i actually am, how we all are.

i had an xbox and then i returned it because i wanted to use the money to apply to grad schools instead. and still, i probably won't even get accepted because my stories are awful and i have zero confidence in myself. i really just want to be back in school because my life is boring and i think that, if i were to become a student again, i might become interesting. that's probably not the case, but i have to try.

anyway, want to have sex?
the girl was looking at pictures on her iphone. i gulped down the last bit of my beer, and just got to it.

"so, is this visqueen?"
"no," she said. "they're on next."

she told me about her friend and how her friend had something to do with visqueen. i asked her about her job, and she asked me about mine. she was beautiful, and i felt creepy. i didn't want to feel creepy, but i felt creepy. i asked her if i could buy her a drink, but she said she was still working on what she had. i got myself another drink.

i tried starting the conversation again. i asked if she was into the band that was playing. they were really awful. she said no, but did i like them? i told her not really. i asked her what kind of music she liked. she said everything, but mentioned r&b and hip-hop. i asked what kind of hip-hop, and she said old school stuff like digable planets and local stuff like blue scholars. i told her i heard that the blue scholars were good.

i wanted to impress her, but i hated myself too much to be able to do so.

she got up and said that she and her friend were gonna go next door and come back for the next band. i panicked. i told my friends what had happened.

"well, let's go next door," they said.
"but it'll feel creepy," i said. "i don't want it to look like i'm stalking her."
"you won't be. let's go next door."
"alright," i said.
"you just need confidence," my friends said.
"yeah, but i don't," i said.
"you've got liquid confidence," he said.

we went next door, but the place was empty. we went to another bar, shorty's, and the place was packed, but she wasn't there. my friends ordered some gin and tonics. i sat there at the bar with them, and i thought about whether or not i was gonna finally grow a pair.

after some time, i said that we should go back to see if the next band was on yet. we went back to the balcony, but she wasn't up there. i looked at the dance floor, and i spotted her at the opposite side of the venue.

"there she is," i said.
"come on," my friend said.

we walked up to her, and i stood behind her for a minute. my friend pushed me forward, egged me on. "go ahead," he said. i felt like a fucking fool. why was it so fucking difficult for me? i knew she was going to say no, that i wasn't going to get her number, but i had to do it anyway. she was too perfect not to.

i tapped her on the arm.

"hey, i kind of wanted to ask for your number."
she said something, but i didn't hear her over the band.
"what?" i asked.
"i'm in a relationship."
"oh okay," i said.

"she's in a relationship," i told my friend.
"let's go," he said.

once we left the venue, he put his arm around me.

"i am so fucking proud of you right now," he said.

and for the first time in a long time, i was proud of me, too.

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