The last few days here in Los Angeles have seen a man shooting at cars in the street, killing one victim and then being shot to death by police himself. A serial arsonist is on the loose burning cars in Hollywood. A recent wind storm uprooted trees and took out power for days. A man shouted at me in the street when I stopped at the crosswalk. My front tire had rolled over the line.
"What are you trying to do?" he said. "Run me over? Pay attention. You never pay attention. What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you?!!" He shook his fist at me as I rode away. I'm pretty sure I saw him mouth the words: I'm going to come for you.
Later I told this to Johnny.
"What did he look like?" Johnny asked.
"Small and brown," I said. "His ancestry's probably Latin American."
"Sounds like a Mayan. You know the Mayans predict the end of the world in December 2012? This guy's just getting a head start with you."
"Thanks Johnny. That makes me feel better."
I'm sitting alone in bed at night. I've propped my MacBook up on my stomach typing this.
I hear a bang. I look up from my computer. It's probably just the wind blowing the shutters again.
I hear a creak. The apartment was built years ago. It makes noise. I reassure myself that the place is just settling.
I hear a series of creaks - coming closer. They sounds like footsteps on floorboards out in the hall. I look around for a weapon. I find nothing but pillows.
I seem to remember reading in National Geographic about the Mayan culture - something about making necklaces out of their victims' heads.
I see a shadow under the door. The knob turns. I heft my laptop in both hands. It might deflect a knife or a gunshot.
The door flies open. I scream. "Oh no!"
Erika runs and jumps on top of me, careful to let me set my laptop aside in the nick of time.
She roars and pretends to try to snap my neck. "I love you too much. I have to kill you!"
"No please," I say. "Don't kill me. I'll try to be less lovable."
"It's impossible. I'm going to kill you, cut you in pieces, eat you and then go to Mexico." She pins my arms and pretends to bite my ear. It tickles.
I laugh. "Wait, wait. I'm too young to die."
"No. You're old." She pretends to bite my stomach open and pull my guts out. This tickles more.
I laugh and squirm."I'm going to throw up."
"Oh wait. I hear your food down there." She presses her ear to my stomach.
"The rajas we ate? What are they saying?"
"They're having a party."
"What kind of a party?"
"It's a costume party."
"Really? What are they dressed as?"
"That sounds good."
She roars. "I'm Pizzasaurus. I have to kill you because you have pizza inside. Grrrrrr..."
"Wait. It's not real pizza."
"Close enough. Grrrr!"
I'm sure you remember those times in your life when you felt so immersed in something that your forgot your troubles, the world's troubles and even kinda forgot yourself. This usually comes through play.
Erika does that to me. I find it sexy that she can immerse both of us into her imagination. She makes me forget my problems. Those moments feel magical.
Advice based on this principle
- For a time set aside your social goals and just play with the person you are with without thought of where things are heading.
- Encourage people to play with you. Wave them over to join you. They'll shake their heads. Just let them see you playing and enjoying yourself and then encourage them again to join in. People need your persistence and will be happy to experience a moment of pure and sexy fun.
- Try winking at people. Erika does this. It's flirty and fun.
- Once a week wear fun clothes you'd never wear or carry a ridiculous prop such as a golf umbrella around on a sunny day. You will be surprised at how many fencing duels you find yourself in.
- Try new things. I once had a bartender friend send a drink over to a guy saying it was from his secret admirer and then did the same to a girl there by herself just to see if they would find each other.
- Don't act too serious. Social conversation is rarely about facts. Be will to use your imagination.
- Remember that few things in life (including death) are never so important as to lose your sense of humor.