Monday, December 7, 2009


She was told to “fake it till you make it.” But she had no idea how the faking it even began. What did such an act entail? She was determined to learn.

The problem was, she didn’t even know how to fake it. What did confidence look like? What about a proper flirtation and coy gesture? Would she even recognize them if she saw them? In order to pull something off even awkwardly, she had to know what precisely she was even attempting to act like….

She dressed only mildly risque for her first time out as she really didn’t expect much. Hell, she didn’t expect this experiment to ever come to anything at all, and wouldn’t have been surprised if it ended after this one evening.

Her dominant sense of propriety was waging epic battles with her wanton desire to prove that she at least had the potential to be slutty – even if she never actually followed through.

She was more than a little prissy in real life. Always dressing properly, and acting as she should. This was mostly out of the fear of being judged harshly behind her back – she lived her life concerning herself with the opinions of others. Rarely did she ever act or speak without reviewing it from a thousand different angles in her head beforehand.

She viewed this all as a social experiment- with the requisite anthropological research to be done to start. First: observe the behaviour of the natives in their natural environment. In this case? A lounge.

She wore a low-cut black top and black shortish skirt. The lace stocking with the backseam and the red high boots were what made her stand out in any way. That paired with the ruby red lipstick sent off a different kind of message. The outfit implied something without outright declaring it.

Maybe she was there for the taking. Maybe she just had a flirty sense of style. Straddling the line, but still safe. As always.

She perched herself at a high table off to the side so she could observe the whole room. She debated about ordering her standard diet coke, but decided to go all out and order a glass of wine instead. A prop really. And a blush wine of course, because really she hated the taste and could only handle it if it was just shy of Kool-Aid flavoured.

Cheesy 80’s music was playing. Not even the songs you normally hear – throwbacks to another, less cynical era. She felt like dancing. That would perhaps get her some attention, but she was far too timid to ever seriously consider it.

This was a neighbourhood bar. Too many common young rowdies in large groups. Not precisely what she was really looking for, but she was too timid to stray further for her first time out. This would do for now.

So she watched.

Groups of man-boys being loud and clearly finding themselves much cleverer and funnier than they actually were. Mostly harmless and watching the TV anyhow. Some kind of sport – hockey. Beer at the table. Not worth her time or ink.

Groups of women unwinding after work. Giggling together. Looking either hatefully at the pencil-thin waitresses, or admiringly at other women’s shoes. They clung desperately and obviously to the hope that someone, Mr. Right maybe would notice them and sweep them off their feet on the spot. There. At the neighbourhood bar. It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad and common.

She was watching for something specific. Something that she wasn’t supposed to see. An intimate private moment that should occur unnoticed by most patrons. Something that you would only catch if you were looking for it, as she was.

She wanted to see the seduction. The moment when a huntress catches sight of her prey. When Artemis finds her ultimately willing victim and reels him in, powerless before her. She wanted to learn from this woman. To see what it was that made her so confident and special and so exquisitely irresistible.

It seemed impossible that such a moment would occur in such a prosaic locale. But perhaps she might find some other comic interludes that she could use as well. Perhaps a reverse how-to?

To be clear, she wasn’t looking to spy or be intrusive – she was merely wanting to learn. What made these women different? Was it in their words? Their look? Their walk, or their smile? She knew that this wasn’t something that could necessarily be taught or absorbed, but perhaps there was something she could take away from her observations. Something that might resonate, and change her in some subtle way for the better.

She hated herself for her caution and silent observations. She wasn’t a part of the world, simply looking at it. Wanting desperately to become something that she wasn’t – a huntress like the women she so envied. But more than that, she yearned for what becoming such a being meant – that she was wanted, coveted, thought of in a completely carnal and deliciously inappropriate way. She wanted an escape from the mundane mediocrity of her life. The constant self-censorship and prissiness. The never ending parade of self-doubt and unrelenting concern about propriety and so-called professionalism. She felt trapped in a suffocating world of her own construction. No one was judging her – not really, yet she couldn’t escape from the tyrannical voice inside her head haranguing her to care about mundanities such as skirt length and email language.

She wanted to be the kind of woman who could induce a man to follow her with just a look. The kind of woman who wouldn’t hesitate to put her tongue in a strange man’s mouth. To “accidentally” rub her finger across his chest. His leg. His crotch. To watch his cock harden in response to the barest whisper of her touch. To be the kind of woman whose body compels men to stare after her – without regard for subtlety or coyness.

She occasionally dreamed of running away to another life – one where no one knew her, and where she could be as wild and irreverent as she chose. The thought of such freedom was simultaneously intoxicating and terrifying – seemingly coaxing her to bite into its fruit.

Incapable of taking such a leap, she chose sublimation. She channeled her frustrations into writing and social experiments. Thrilling by her standards, but tame on most other people’s scales of such matters.

She was done, she had taken all she could get out of this evening.

The bar-tender may have flirted with her on her way out – hard to tell. She found it hard to trust such a thing, as they tend to do that for the tips. But he hadn’t served her, so there was no reason. When she got into her car, all she saw in the rearview mirror were tired eyes. Impossible that she could have thought that she looked OK, and flirt-worthy. She had worked a long week, and it showed all over her face.

She lasted an hour and a half in the bar. Not bad for the first time out, and she accomplished quite a bit in a side project- an unexpected benefit. Being at home always provides a plethora of distractions from such things. Perhaps she’ll find that these forays out into the world might be less painful and dull than she feared. If at the very least, she finished up her other work, then anything else that transpired on the actual social-experiment-side would simply be a bonus.


Petal said...

Brilliant...absolutely brilliant piece of writing! loved it :)

Aurore said...

Darling, while I've never conducted such an experiment, I often feel the same way. Afraid to push the limits and venture outside my comfort zone.

I feel like we need to get dolled up and venture out somewhere :)

The Panserbjørne said...

This was just excellent. I love the idea that it's being done as a social experiment, sublimation of true desires and urges.

I also loved how realistic it was -- how our girl didn't magically go from mouse to Artemis in a single night, but instead spent the evening musing, watching, slowly progressing inside her head.

I look forward to seeing how our protagonist continues to explore her boundaries and thrives under the attention she'll no doubt get!

-- PB

forgingahead said...

New reader here. You produced an excellent bit of writing here. I am drawn into this woman's story and hope to learn more about what makes her tick. I can identify with some of her thoughts. I am not one for hanging in bars looking for a hook up either, but sometime think I need to do it anyway!

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