it's a code orange.


the poor bastard was working late into the night. midnight had come and gone, and he was still going at it, pulling in his 40k a year to be an assistant editor. i don't know how he did it. "how do you do it?" i asked. "i don't know," he said, "i just do it. but i work hard, and then i play hard." he took me to a big window in his office, and said that across the way, those were nyu dorms. "sometimes, we see girls changing, or people straight up fucking," he said. he told me about their code system, how a code green meant a girl in a towel, code orange was nudity, and code red was fucking. he told me how he'd sometimes just stand there and watch a little coed lotion herself up. "you'd be surprised how long they lotion themselves," he said.

i drank a vitamin c from the fridge - all their drinks were free - and i checked my phone and the internet. all the while he sat at his desk, and stormed around the office saying things like, "fuck" and "shit" and "this is fucking bullshit." i didn't know any of the editing jargon he complained about, so i just assumed something was amiss. "ten more minutes," he'd say. "ten more minutes, and we'll be out of here." "no worries," i said.

the night didn't start until about 2 a.m. we walked through washington square park because i wanted to see where they filmed that brutal skateboard scene in kids. we ended up at le souk, some bar/club where his friend was spinning. he introduced me to some girls, said i was a friend from high school, said i was from out of town. i think the girls were marisa and mikelena, and the former was kind of seeing the d.j. they danced and drank and i just drank. "come on," he said to me, "it's a dance party."

there was a black guy there, and he said that he wanted to kick the black guy's ass. "are you down to get in a fight tonight?" he asked me. he told me about how he and the d.j. were gonna fuck up this black guy. "what for?" i asked. "he's an asshole," he said. sure enough, the black guy was annoying, and he said annoying things. i don't remember exactly what he said, but i do remember him kicking my foot at one point. i just moved my foot. "if somebody punks you like that, you give them the finger," he said. "you tell them to fuck off," he said. "yeah, okay," i said.

let me back up. back at the office, my friend was telling me about neil strauss' the game. it's essentially a story or rulebook about how to pick up women. according to my friend, it's helped him sleep with sixteen women so far. he asked me what my number was. i told him the magic number, and he was just like, jesus. and then he told me that i need to read the book. on the train, he showed me how it works. there was a cute, busty girl on the train, and she was with her friend. he offered her his seat, and followed it up by saying, he offered not because he was a nice guy, but just because he didn't want to hear their asinine conversation. a neg is what the book calls it. the girl actually laughed, and they got to talking.

he was proud of that whole exchange, and he wouldn't stop talking about it. i thought maybe he was manically depressed. he already had himself a cute little hipster girlfriend who lived in brooklyn, so i didn't know what he was trying to accomplish. "the game isn't just about picking up girls," he said, "it's about being your best self." he kept insisting i read it, so i told him i'd read it, but in reality, i never had any intention of doing so.

i knew there was a real problem when i had to duck into a mall on the upper west side to take a piss. he really didn't want to go to the mall. i told him it was just to piss. he argued that it didn't feel right, that everything in new york was unique, and that a big mall had no business being there. i told him again, i just needed to pee. "okay," he said, "but let's be quick about this." after we left the mall, he was in a sour mood, until he started explaining the plot of cloverfield to me. he brightened up real quick after that.

i woke up around 3 a.m. that night. he came in and said, "that girl was whack! i gave her a hundred dollars!" "what'd she do?" i said, half-asleep. "she let me suck on her tits," he said. he turned on an episode of the simpsons. i remember laughing at the first few lines, and then i was out. completely knocked the fuck out.

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