That Time I Tried To Be A Pickup Artist

Banana with lipstick stains all over it

Photo: Deon Black

“Hey, any idea what’s cool to do around here?”

The woman I’d just spoken to held her book closer to her chest, sidestepping away like a crab. No reply, no smile. In fact, she scrunched her face as if I smelled like goat droppings.

I still cringe at the memory of me talking up to random girls in the shopping mall, just because I’d gotten a copy of The Game during my young adulthood, and I thought it that it would be the key to my relationship problems.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

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NON FICTION: When Your Girlfriend Joins A Cult

A woman feeling happy in a group

Photo: Luan Cabral

“I think you’re in a cult,” I said.

“You’re just not used to it,” Sara replied.

“Not used to what, a man telling me that mercury is medicine?”

“Forget it,” she said, more to keep me quiet than to concede her point. The other volunteers still flitted around us, packing up the event space and patting each other’s backs for a job well done. Some of them glanced sideways as they overheard my skeptic thoughts.

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NON FICTION: What Being Dumped (Over And Over) Taught Me About Life

Torn paper heart hanging on a string

Photo: Kelly Sikkema

“I think we should break up.”

“Right,” I said. I slipped the paper rose I’d been hiding back into my pocket.

“I just want to be honest,” Lana said. She pointed out the main entrance of the shopping mall, where her new boyfriend was waiting in his car. “It’s just that he has… you know… and you don’t… you know…”

Money, she meant money. To be fair, it was one of the most honest breakups I’d ever had to endure. You had to give her credit for that.

“I get it,” I said. “Okay then. Guess I gotta go back to work.”

“You’re not mad?”

Mad? She’d been hanging out with this guy all week, told me he was just a friend she hadn’t met in a while, was breaking up with me for him, and they were heading off on a date right after this, while I’d have to spend the remaining hours of my shift dealing with customers trying to haggle a couple bucks off our pirated Playstation 2 games.

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POETRY: A Waggy Tail

Sometimes I tell my dog,
‘I love you, understand?’
I know she really doesn’t
But I take her waggy tail
as a reply.

And then they’re days I feel
that something much, much bigger
is giving me what’s best
And all I know is to
curse up towards the heavens
My very little version
of a waggy tail

FICTION: The Thread Between Soulmates

Man and woman lying down face to face

Photo: Toa Heftiba

Floaters are funny little things. They disappear when you don’t pay attention, but the moment you spot one, you realise just how many there are, drifting quietly in your vision, just waiting to be noticed.

That’s how lovelines look like to me. You can’t really tell until you consciously keep an eye out for them. Don’t bother Googling what lovelines are. It’s just a term I came up with, one that you’re probably curious about right now. I certainly was.

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