Loser Teen becoming a pick-up artist.
By: Thomas Martin
I said goodbye to my cousin Andy and got on the plane as he reminded me for the billionth time to get his book signed.
New York City wasn't what I had expected it to be. I had always thought of it as horrible crime filled urban slum. The buildings were so high up and I felt a rush of adrenaline when I looked up at them.
The people here were so nice and charming. Were city people always this nice or was it just the fact that they didn't know anything about me. They didn't know how annoying I was or how I would pretend to be retarded just to get attention. They weren't bad people like the rednecks from where I grew up.
This would be my new home. Well at least after I graduated from a tech school and became a video game designer. I would live in an apartment at the very top and get to ride the elevator everyday up to my bedroom.
I was standing in line at the Gotham Book Mart on Madison street. Looking around at the others in line I noticed a commonality. They all wore such elaborate clothing. Here the goofy hat actually made me fit in.
It was getting closer to my turn and I was glad, seeing as I had to be at the Muse Hotel in about twenty minutes. There I would meet up with the rest of RACE. (Radical Acceleration of Christian Entertainment)
RACE was a Christian group that helped to promote Christian entertainment. We did fund raisers for Christian books, and gave people free tickets to Christian movies and so on. We went on all kinds of cool trips. We would be going to Australian to see the world premier of the Australian film The Eighth Sin.
Andy had always adored Neil Strauss's book, The Game. He was always throwing me quotes and such. When it was finally my turn, I was nervous. Okay..., I'll admit it, I was scared.
Neil looked up at me, smiling. “Whats your name?” he asked.
“P-Phoenix...” I replied, and attempted to correct myself after he had began writing “ I mean Shade. The book belongs to my friend Shade.”
“Your lucky, this pens dry.” Neil explained Neil “Hold on, I'll be right back.”
He got up and walked over to another desk. I could see a small blue slither on the book where he had attempted to write.
He sat back down, holding a new pen in his right hand. It happen Neil fast but somehow as he sat down and reached for the book he knocked over a glass of coke, soaking the book.
He motioned Neil with his hand for a woman near bye. He explain Neil what had happen Neil and within a minute was drying up the mess.
“I'll get you a new book Phoenix. How long will you be in town?”
“I'm meeting with a youth group at Seven.” I told him.
He looked down at his watch. “Where will you be staying?”
“Where will you be staying tonight?”
“I'm not staying tonight, I'm meeting them in fifteen minutes and then were flying to Australian.”
“You know it's seven forty-five don't you?”
My heart skipped a beat. When something really scary happens its like time slows down.
I had remembered to set my watch up and hour on the way up. I must have set the alarm time up instead, I made the mistake occasionally.
How could I have been so stupid? What was I going to do now. My parents were going to kill me.
In an instant my heart began to pump blood once more and I could hear the people behind me standing in line.
“I have to keep the line moving, heres the number of where ill be staying at.” he handed me a slip of paper “Call between nine forty-five and ten. I'll have someone bring you a new copy.”
With that I left. I didn't know what to do or where to go. I made my way to the hotel and to no surprise the manager informed me they had left about a half hour ago. I found out there were more than seven airports within a half hours distance but I didn't have enough cab money but to go to one. No one there had seen them.
Holding the pay phone in my hand and a slip of paper in the other I wondered whether I should dial the number. He was famous and friendly, but now I was in the big apple alone. What if he was some kind of psycho like Michael Jackson?
The entire mission trip was going to be about a month. I could use my parents emergency credit cards and they would never know. The bills wouldn't even come in till it was time for me to be back home anyhow.
I would be in a lot more trouble for maxing out their card than I would be for missing the trip, which would defeat the purpose. Not to mention the credit bill in the mail would be an obvious indicter of what I had done.
I'd love to spend a month here. It would be great. But impossible anyways. But maybe one week wouldn't hurt.
With a smile I walked up to the counter of the hotel I was at. I asked how much for a week and it was well over a thousand.
“Well?..” The man asked.
“No thanks.” I replied.
I walked over sat down by the pool. I pulled out my notebook and doodled a few anime sketches. I wasn't a good drawer but at least it was something to do till I had decided what to do.
I drew a little sketch of my friends Jonathan and Terry. They were my best friends. They were both on a plane heading to Australian right now.
Then I drew a bald guy and it looked sort of like the author guy I had met. I noticed this and tried to make it a little more like him. He wore a pink polo shirt and talked sort of metro. Maybe he was metro? Scary.
A girl maybe a year or so older than me was play with her little sister in the pool. They were splashing each other and having lots of fun. She was really cute. Too bad only people staying in the hotel were allowed to swim.
She went to splash her sister but when she dived under the water the water splashed upon to me instead. I was soaked. That girl must work out a lot to be able to splash so hard.
An instant later she was standing in front of me with a towel. She was at least seventeen. I was in love.
“oh my god I'm so sorry.” she said as she tried to dry my stuff.
“No, It's my fault. I shouldn't have sat so close to the water.” I told her.
She sat down beside of me. “I'm Sarah.”
“Are you staying here?”
“No I was just about to go eat.”
“I meant at the hotel.”
Ahh, she had said it. The magic words. The words I kept hearing from everyone I met. The words I hated. The Crippling words. The words that felt like shotgun shells exploding into my self esteem. Why, did everyone think I was weird?
Something changed in her eyes. I believe that to be the moment I switched from the cool new friend she had just made, to just another loser.
“hey, what are these?” She asked, looking at the water soaked drawings.
“Oh their nothing.”
“These are pretty cool. I wish I could draw like this.”
It was back, her eyes had returNeil to normal. She like me again. I was no longer a loser, but instead a talented artist.
“well..” she said “I'll be staying on the third floor. You did say you were staying here right?”
“Of course.” I said.
“See you around then. Oh, by the way, my name is Melany.”
“Bye” she said, and then she was gone.
I immediately checked out a room. Upstairs I noticed the clock said seven forty-five. I quickly grabbed the phone and dialed Niel's number. I wasn't paying for another damn book.
“All my friends call my Style.”
“Picasso Gruo. It's a small coffee shop near the book store.”
“Yeah, be there in fifteen minutes. I got something special planned.”
I was curious. This guy was very intriguing. He only gave you just enough details. What you needed to know and thats all. Very mysterious.
I walked into the shop and he asked me to have a seat next to four other men. They were all dressed up and like they were going on some sort of high Mystery date. I didn't know what was about to happen but I was anxious.
“Phoenix, glad you made it man. I've brought the book, its in my props bag already signed. You can get it now and leave if you wish, but if your up for it I have something much bigger planned. Do you have a few hours to waste making your life better in every possible way?”
“Umm...Doing what?” I asked
“This Phoenix is a workshop. I was informed earlier that Extra-Mask is sick and won't be able to make it. I decided to let you take this course, which is costing these four men $2,500 A piece, for free.
“yes. A course on life.”
And thats how it began. I was in. From here on I was about to become a new man. I was about to hatch from my cocoon and see the light for the first time. I was about to enter the matrix.
Style gave a wink at the waitress and she jumped onto the front desk. With a great big smile she introduced us to one person none of us would ever forget. “This” she said “Is the one and only, Mystery!!!”
In a flash a tall gothic looking man sprinted from the employee's only door, jumped over the desk and slid across the floor to our table. “Thanks Cindy” he said making her blush.
“The media have brain washed men for years. Men are no longer men. They are angry frustrated cowards. I never hit puberty till sixteen and didn't get my first girlfriend till I was twenty-one.” Mystery admitted.
He went on to talk about his history, him meeting Style, and then on to why evolution had made men cowards. I was shocked at how dead on what he said struck a core in me. I knew of all the experiences he mentioned.
He told a story of a boy with a crush on a girl. The boy was friends with this girl and started to develop feelings for her. He kept noticing more and more things she did as signs that she like him. He kept trying to keep it secret but it was eating at him. That boy knew that if he just confessed his love, told her how she was all he thought about, then she would have to, feel the same way. It was fate, destiny. So the boy mustered up all his courage and wrote a letter confessing everything. Upon receiving the letter, the two didn't kiss like he had imagined, she didnt even confess her love back. In fact she acted weird.
The girl said they should just be friends, because furthering it would ruin the special relationship they shared. Mystery called this the “Lets Just Be Friends” speech. I myself had called a girl I knew. Her name was Trisha and she had been my best friend for three years. She had given me my first LJBF speech.
After the confession the boy realized his friend was a lot busier. She never had time to hang out with him anymore. She was always doing homework or taking a nap. When they did see each other there was this awkward feeling and she was in a rush to get somewhere. Eventually they quit talking all together.
My breath was gone. How could this guy know so much. This was a worldwide thing? This very thing had happen to me. As I would later find out, this very thing happens to every guy, in some form or another.
That night we went to a club. I think Style may have had something to do with them forgetting to check my Id. We were told the first step was to talk to a girl. That was all. Just talk. He told us all one interesting thing to start a conversation.
Fifteen minutes later I was asking a girl if it was okay for a straight guy to watch “The Notebook”. She told me about how much she loved the movie and went on for almost a minute. Style walked up behind me and whispered in my ear “Tell her your eject line.”
“Pleasure meeting you” I said, and with that I was gone.
“Style, why did you make me leave?” I asked “I was doing so good.
“One thing at a time young jedi, one thing at a time.”
Over the next few nights I learNeil many things. I leanrt that after starting a conversation I needed to demonstrate that I was of higher value. I would do this through a story or maybe a skill such as palm reading. This was called P1 and P2.
Next came P3. After the girl has shown three signs that she is attracted to me, I needed to show her I was attracted to her. But I couldn't do it just yet. I had to make her earn it, so she didn't think it was because of her looks alone. This was not too hard. I just needed to screen her. Little questions here and there between the conversation, which told me qualities about herself. I was seeing if she had all the traits I desired in a woman and she wouldn't even know it. Her subconscious would realize it though, thus making her come to the realization that I was of high quality. Most guys after all, will ask a girl on a date simply over looks.
It was wild. It took a long time to get everything right but it was working. On the final night of the workshop he took us all to the mall. We asked the attractive women working there, what they thought would look good on us. We all then got facials, Which Style said was very imporatant. I didnt even know people plucked their stray eyebrows. Little things like this Mystery told us, are the things that make movie stars so attractive.
After learning how to groom ourselves we went out to the final club of the workshop. It was odd but, they forgot to check my Id again.
Mystery and Style were constantly getting the hottest girls in the clubs to slip them phone numbers in front of their boyfriends. But what really got us was Mystery.
Brad Pitt was in town for a movie shoot, and he was sitting at a table with five models. Mystery walks up and says something to Brad. He smiles and says something back. Mystery continues talking as he sits down. A minute later Mystery is Levitating a glass in front of everyone. Then Unbelievably he dose the impossible.
The girl wrapped around Brad's right arm was clearly his date. I had even seen them kiss. Too bad for Brad that this was Mystery's target. Style told us all to watch this. Seconds later Mystery had stood up with the girl, and began making out with her.
If there had been a doubt in any of our minds it was gone. This stuff was for real. This stuff was amazing. My life goals were all turning away from being a famous author, to being the worlds ultimate pick-up artist.
I was disappointed that the workshop ended. It wasn't fair. I had only gotten two numbers and I didn't think I'd be able to push myself any further just yet.
“Phoenix, Your a fast learner.” Style told me.
“This workshop, reminds me a lot of my first workshop. Do you know why?” I shook my head and Mystery continued “Because I met a man at my first workshop who had never kissed a girl even. This man was a fast learner though. Maybe not much faster than yourself. This man's name was Style”
It was settled, for the remainder of the month I was gonna go to their workshop's free of charge. I was going to be their successor when they were too old.
The month went by fast and every area of my life improved. I could talk to random strangers on a bus for fifteen minutes when before I felt awkward even saying “hi”. I walked more confidently and charisma radiated from my body. I had made a lot of guys friends too, and unbelievably I was the leader of our little group. I had never been a leader before.
One month ended and It was September. It was a sad day. I was up in the trade center with Style and Mystery. My plane would be there in an hour. Mystery was talking business about his upcoming television series with a former student.
Thats when it happened. A plane had hit storied below us. We didn't know it yet. Mystery walked out of the room quickly with a slight drop of sweat coming down his face.
“Stay calm. We can't lose our cool, but a plane has hit fifteen floors below us.”
Style looked over his face for a minute and then his face turNeil pale “your serious.”
“Sadly, I am.”
“The elevator.” I said.
“No way!” I'm not dieing in a malfunctioning elevator.” Mystery said.
Style put in his two cents “Lets head down the stair case to the floor of the crash and see if we can find a way around it.”
He wasn't the only one with the ideal. There was already a panic and people were rushing down. We grabbed hands and rushed through.
The smoke started getting thick as we arrived at the floor. The staircase had this smoky wavy look to it and the smoke was too thick to see very far. Everyone had stopped. That is except for Mystery. He whispered to me and Style “I'm not gonna sit around and wait on the fire to get bigger. Hold on tight.”
It must have been a sight. We had a Gothic cowboy, a bald metro looking man, and a seventeen year old kid running into the smoke. But then things got bad.
Part of the staircase crumbled. Mystery was on one side and me and Style on the other. Style took a step back and jumped. When he landed even more broke off and he would fell if Mystery hadn't caught him.
What was I going to do? “Phoenix, are you a survivor?” Style asked.
“yes!” I said “But I can't make that jump!”
“Do you wanna see your family again, do you wanna be our apprentice?”
“yes!” I screamed.
I walked back, ran, jumped, fell!I couldn't breath and it wasn't from the smoke. I hurt all over. How far was the fall. Six feet? Eight? Oh, it hurt. I started to feel for blood, but then decided i didn't wanna know.
This was it. My death. I had to except it. They were probably yelling for me, but i could only hear the ringing noise, the one year hear when you light a firecracker too close to your ear.
It felt like hours but it was probably just a few minutes when I felt a stomp beside me. I thought i heard one of them tell the other I was hurt. A sound and then my leg shrieked with pain! Mystery had landed right on top of me!
They were saying stuff but all I could concentrate on was the awful pain! Then Mystery slapped me. Hard! Then again! I cursed loud and asked what the heck was wrong with him.
“I hate you!” He told me “I'm going to kill you!”
Yeah I was having a nightma-Oww! He kicked me.
I was up on my feet and pissed! “He's fine Style, I told you.”
“What?” I asked.
“We couldn't pack you all the way. I had to motivate you to get up.” Mystery said.
“I hate you? You could have done better.” Added Style.
“True True.” Said the Gothic man and we were off.
When we reached the floor. Of the crash we couldn't go any further. Fire was everywhere. It was eventually decided that our only choice would be to jump through the flames and hope to land onto a part of the staircase somewhere below the initial fire. None of us wanted to and we racked our brains for fifteen minutes for better ideals, but none were better.
Style went first. He said his goodbyes and told Mystery he couldn't have done it without him and all the usual talk people say before they do something dangerous. But you could tell he was serious because they were both crying.
Style jumped and it hit me that I probably would never see him again. I realized I wouldn't see my parents again, or my sister, my brother, anyone. I was crying too now.
Mystery looked me in the eye “He is a great man, Style. He will be alright. He is a survivor. Just like us. Lets do it bro! Lets get out of here.”
Then we heard footsteps. More people heading down. Panic had forced them to move. Their survival instincts finally kicking in.”You gotta go first. I have to make sure you don't wuss out man.” Mystery told me.
I told him I'd see him soon, and took a deep breath, and jumped.
My life passed before me as I fell and I knew it was the end. It felt like hours. Had I fell a long way or was this how it always felt when your were this scarred?
Boom! My stomach collided with a guardrail. I couldn't breath, despite the fact that the room was clear of smoke. I grabbed the guardrail, and pulled myself over it and landed hard on the staircase.
I didn't have to wonder if I was bleeding, I could taste it. Everything went black.
I awoke in the arms of a firefighter, as he made his way down the towers. I was so happy. I was going to make it.
All the girls that had dumped me, they weren't bad, I was just doing it all wrong. I thought of the girl by the pool. After hanging with Style for a few weeks I had talked to her again. We had got on the rooftop of the hotel and looked at the stairs. She was a great girl. I probally wouldn't have spoken to her if it weren't for those two.
I couldn't wait to get home. I was going to take charge and turn my life around. I had the knowledge and the willpower to do so.
I had guts jumping like that. Nobody expected that from me. My brother was never going to believe it.
I could feel it inside of me. I was going to be a legend someday. A hero. I knew it just like I knew the sky was blue.
I had done it. I was going to survive and be able to pass down my genes so they wouldn't be ruthless remove from the earth. I had done it.
And I opeNeil my mouth and I said “ I did it, I survived. I am a survivor!”
I knew the words I spoke were truth. I knew it just like I knew the sky was blue. Nothing would ever be the same. I was Phoenix. I was destiNeil to be the next great pick-up artist, successor to Style and Mystery, and nothing was going to stop me!
The building squeaked and I heard a thousand metal fingers raking across a chalkboard. The tower fell.