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   “Just Ask Her”
 
He was still
working on his
social skills
when he started
to notice her
still trying to
understand
those subtle
signals
a woman
sends a man
when she might
have an interest
in him,
he thought she
was cute
had a few
personality traits
he found very
attractive
though he had
no idea
how they would
get along
once they were
thrown together
at some sticky
table
in a bar
sharing a drink
or making
small talk
as they waited
for the movie
to begin,
he was also
very guarded
when it came
to investing
any feelings
in her
or anyone
for that matter
not wanting to
open up
and let himself
believe
she might want
to be more
than just
“casual friends”
a term that
was really a
misrepresentation
of where he
stood with her
but sounds so
much better than
he sees her
at work
now and then
but even so
he wouldn’t
allow himself
to start liking
her
having to protect
himself
against any kind
of emotional
attachment
for fear of
another drive-by
assassination
of his heart
so he practiced
at not caring
trying to learn
how to just
like someone
without your
heart
having to be
involved
in the process,
he struggled with
the ability
to interpret
at times
the difference
between a
friendly smile
and a seductive
pose
doubting that
she
was going to
help him out
give him a
sexy look
while slowly
running her
tongue
around her
lips
like in the
movies
but he was
working on this,
he had tried
to test the
waters
follow behind
her sentences
with one of
his own
letting her know
he also liked
whatever it was
she was talking
about
not that he
ever noticed
any kind of
obvious reaction
when doing so
then again
with his poor
skill set
she would have
to probably
come across with
something like
“Dude,
You like football,
I like football,
How rare is that?
We totally,
Have to hook-up
After work,
Sometime!”
maybe a bit
over dramatic
but that’s how
his mind
worked,
what he needed
was some kind
of reassurance
he wasn’t just
swinging in the
dark
something to
bolster
the level in
his already
depleted
reservoir of
self-confidence,
he wanted to
ask her out
but couldn’t
bring himself
to bet that
want
against the
emotional
embarrassment
of his very
probable failure
and yes
he realizes that’s
a very sad
epithet
of his ability
to interact
socially,
what he needed
was a life
line
be able to
phone a friend
when the situation
was moving quicker
than he could
think
he had a
friend
that was a
total ladies’ man
he could call
him
for advice
next time he
got stuck
though that guy
also worked as
a dancer
slash stripper
at a ladies
only club
so it might
not be his
conversational
skills
that make him
such a hot
item,
or maybe
one of those
hidden ear pieces
like Tom Cruise
would wear in
one of his
action spy movies
with a hot
nerdy girl
at a computer
feeding him all
the right information
the split second
he needed it
keeping him
one step ahead
of sudden death
then again
if he could
find a hot
nerdy girl
to sit behind
a computer
to help him
out
he should probably
ask her out
instead
but he doesn’t
know any
hot girls in
any capacity
holding up a
hand
to fill that
position,
he sees her
sitting alone
during lunch
takes a seat
one empty
table away
she’s scrolling
through her
phone
as she nibbles
on some fruit
in a Tupperware
container
he looks over
his yogurt
at her
still trying to
decide
what it is
he likes about
her
she is like
that painting
you don’t
understand
but really like
looking at
he stirs his
yogurt
with the child
like
plastic spoons
provided in the
breakroom
then looks back
in her direction
only to find
her
looking in his
he thinks that
he gave her
a smile
but his face
says it felt
like something
else
she smiles
then looks back
down
at her phone
not knowing what
to do next
he puts his
cell phone
on his lap
and texts his
friend
“maybe I can
catch him,
before he starts
his shift,
at the
dance/strip
club”
he says to
himself,
as she runs
her slender
fingers
through her
thick blond
hair
letting it
slowly cascade
down
against the
side of
her face…
 
     Tom Allen…09-25-2018…