Who ever told you that trying to seduce a gamer was easy?
When the gang at the CyberCafe convinced me that I needed to prey on the weakness of the Battlefield 1942 team that moved in, I had to name my own terms. They told me: “They can’t win that tournament or they’ll never leave our cafe.” They said: “Go after the weakest link!”
Weakest link my ass. I was going to go after the cute one. I mean, there’s only so far I can take this whole Mata Hari spy espionage thing. Besides, one of those guys actually intrigued me. His name was Crenshaw. He wore a white button-down oxford with the sleeves rolled up. His hair was tosseled after playing games for 24-hours straight. There was just the slightest shadow of a beard on his face, but his eyes twinkled alertly in the monitor-light. Who was this mysterious Crenshaw? What did he do for a living? What were his friends like? …Was that his first or last name? I was hellbent to find out.
I put on the moves with the skill of a professional. Uh, not a professional in that sense, you creep. You know the game: googly eyes from across the espresso bar, then shy little glances away. Peering at him with one eye as I twisted my hair. Then, when he went to get a soda and was bragging that he sunk an enemy carrier, I peered over my shoulder: “Hello sailor.”
You have to know that when you date a gamer things move fast. Typically they see what they want and they go after it, whether or not they have any skillz. It’s kinda endearing. Oh – but Crenshaw. He was smooth. Easygoing. Casual. We talked about the war; he showed off the blistered finger he got in the Ardennes. Hours passed like minutes.
His training regimen was a tough one, because his team Captain was as hard as they come. A career Battlefield man. At 4 AM the next morning I was in the freezer with him as he pounded raw slabs of steak with his bare fists. Then he drank a raw egg! At least, he told me it was a raw egg. It smelled like vodka.
We jogged in the purple hours of pre-dawn through cobbled city streets, our breath puffing out in front of us in steamy little clouds. We stopped before a small brick walkup on the west side of town. Crenshaw vaulted over a wrought-iron fence into a small city garden, where he hefted up a heavy cement lawn gnome over his head and then placed in on a window ledge, positioned so that it stared into the bedroom of the house with googly eyes. “Is this part of your training?” I asked, watching him strain.
“Naw,” he said, puffing. “I just really like messing with that dude’s head.”
Later, down by the docks, the sun rose and turned the river crimson red as we stood in the morning mist. He had lifted up one side of his coat so that I could cuddle up against him for warmth. In the distance, a fog horn hooted. We kissed. I made my move.
“Sweetheart,” I said. “I don’t want you going off and fighting in that terrible, terrible war.” My hand against his back felt his muscles tense.
“Oh baby,” he replied. “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. My country needs me honey. We didn’t ask for this war–”
“Yes you did!”
“–sure, sure, well, there’s that, yah.” He held me tight in the cold. “But that’s all the more reason I gotta see it through. From Normandy to Berlin! And to the mall, next to the Whattapretzel, where the tournament is being held. There, I’ll spit in the eye of the devil, damn me if he must! And then I’m going to get a smoothie.”
We parted ways, and he went off to the Cybercafe to practice some more. My friends cornered me in the parking lot that afternoon. “The tournament’s tomorrow!” they pleaded. “And they’re still practicing! You’ve gotta step it up.”
“If you can do any better, why don’t you seduce him yourself!?” I barked. That shut ‘em up. Still, they were right.
I was gonna have to get all M-Rated on his ass.
I invited Crenshaw to dinner at my place that night. He insisted that I serve spaghetti so that he could “bulk up on his carbs.” We ate by candlelight, the seductive punk-rock tunes of The Frogger Gods bubbling through my speakers. Small talk turned to heavy talk. I tried to get him to drink wine with me, but he insisted that he had to stay dry the evening before the big tournament. I turned up the heat. Clothes came off.
Suddenly, I vaulted onto the bed. At this point, it wasn’t about the stupid game anymore. No … that man … that rebel without a conscience … he made me love him. He seduced me.
“Make love to me, Crenshaw!” I cried out, hurling my wineglass to the floor. “Use me like the Russian Front! Storm my beaches! Infiltrate my Guadalcanal!”
By now he had his shirt off. He jumped up on the bed but stood upright over me, legs apart, his head nearly touching the ceiling. With a whoosh of air he wrapped my red bedspread around his arms like a cloak. “You don’t understand baby!” he bellowed, putting his hands on his hips. “I’m like a MATADOR! A Matador baby! YAH! No sex before the big fight. My juices make me STRONG!! Not you, not any woman can take from me my PRECIOUS BODILY FLUIDS!”
Then he sang America the Beautiful.
Moments later he was out of my apartment like a Superhero, off to get a good night’s sleep before the war. I flung open my apartment window and leaned out to watch him disappear into the mists. “I love you, Crenshaw!” I belted out.
“I know,” he answered.
A squadron of planes flew overhead. In the distance, a dog barked. Crenshaw had gone off to fight his tournament. And I still didn’t know if that was his first or last name.
That very evening, across town, a man turned on his bedroom lights and was horrified to see a lawn gnome looking in through his window. He screamed and fell backwards into his closet.
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- And Now, Crenshaw, Perhaps You’d like to Explain to Me Why My Favorite Mouse Is Covered in Potato Chip Grease?
- When I forgot my access card this morning, I was forced to go Metal Gear Solid freestyle at the office