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The Year of Living Dangerously
Shadow Zone

Note: This volume has been edited beyond recognition.

Saturday September 20, 2003

The book, "Superflirt," has been interesting because it substantiates the studies done by Timothy Perper (see Monk's Guide to Dating). There is more than sociological curiosity at play here. I have come to understand exactly why certain people like myself are so clueless when it comes the babe situation. Most of it has to do with individual psychological makeup. Let's take a look at the ol' lavahead. For pure physical attractiveness, he'd rate two on a ten scale. That's because of the fact that he's an ethnic minority, he's short, and he looks like General Noriega. His personality will rate about the same because he has applied the principles of the eunuch-like behavior and the Data-like personality, both of which are the exact opposite of the body language proscribed in "Superflirt." Then, add in the patented Stoneface for good measure. Overall, it's a lost cause. Guys in the same position as the ol' lavahead should give up. It's going to be a long uphill battle. Of course, everything is starting to make so much sense now, I am just overwhelmed. I can't believe that I've been this stupid for such a long period of time. In fact, the general advice given in the AskMen forums is now completely plausible. But, first, I must discuss one discovery that has me really wondering.

Strangers approaching strangers. This has never sat well with me, whether it be because of upbringing or not. It's always seemed either rude or presumptuous to approach total strangers, especially babes, and initiate a conversation. Only a few social settings seemed appropriate for this. Most of the losers believe that it is inappropriate to approach babes except under those conditions. However, it has now become apparent that the opposite is true and is entirely necessary in an alienated society such as ours. In general, babes want to be approached. However, they want to be approached by guys they are attracted to. Losers tend to believe that no babes are attracted to them. It's a double-edged sword. First, a loser must do his best to improve his physique and appearance. However, that's not the hard part. What is more difficult is the psychological makeover. I firmly believe that Cox's suggestions for observing body language patterns and changing one's own body language are right on track. Changing to the eunuch-like behavior and the Data-like personality was easy, especially if one is already almost invisible to begin with. I've heard the suggestion of building confidence or feigning confidence over and over again, but now I understand exactly what that means. Aside from the ability to approach a babe, there is the real issue of looking confident, which really means conveying confident body language and engaging in assertive flirting patterns. Many of us have been hard-wired to never engage in any flirting behavior, and this has sabotaged our love lives. No matter how much we take a stand against this, perhaps out of "principle," there is no other alternative. Look at the track record of my brethren as well as myself.

If it's broken, fix it. This is where we stand today at a very embarrassing late age. The fact of the matter is that there have clearly been opportunities, the last one being the most pathetic. It was a lesson in totally scripted failure, the reason being I was unable to reciprocate flirting and body language. I responded as an eunuch. In reading the recommendations given in "Superflirt," I am almost certain that I will not change. And the reason is simple — losers cannot imagine themselves engaged in that kind of behavior. We envision ourselves from a neutral third-party position and we observe how foolish we look. This is the mindset that has kept us in the rank-and-file. I will be the first to admit that my most recent failure is a sobering lesson. And, it is only I who knows the true story. I will now also admit that I most likely provoked the game-playing with my own confusing behavior.

Naturally, there is one general rule — babes always let guys know if they are interested. Thus, failure can be minimized when one is trained to recognize these obvious signs. I am fully trained in this area but, when it applies to myself, I absolutely refuse to believe it is even remotely possible that a babe can even be attracted to the oversized cranium. Therefore, I short-circuit the process immediately. In addition, I have the characteristic loser behavioral traits to insure failure. It wouldn't be so bad, but this has happened time and time again.

I took a hike up Koko Head this morning. Then, I went to the gym. I have been spending a lot of time in the park as well. I just cannot sit at home these days. I left for town at 5:45pm. I met up with Brad's group at Starbuck's. Then, we met up with Odessa's group. Gigi was there, but I did not have a chance to chat with her. There were 15 of us total. Dinner was excellent. The show was fun. We stayed at Dave & Buster's for the rest of the evening. Odessa's group went clubbing afterward, but I decided to go home. I feel much more relaxed now that I've done something.

Sunday September 21

Another day in the zone. Loser Zone, that is. I am on second bottle of the fake "Hammer," but I am feeling really good. I have screwed up big time, and I need to clean up my mess. I've talked with Rod, Caroll, and Kevin in Washington. Rod will not be in Hawai'i until the end of January. Caroll is supposed to be here in early November. And, I just called Kevin as part of my on-going effort to keep in touch with old friends. Since I am hammered, I don't have much to discuss. Actually, it's better this way. All I know is that I need to make some drastic changes. I've let too many things slide out of my control. Now, it's time to regain control. I have let the whole situation slip out of my control basically because I could not act like a real man. It's so pathetic. I should have gone to the club last night. I really need to go out dancing.

Monday September 22

An uneventful day. Shirley and I ate lunch at Taco Bell. By the way, that's about the only cure for a night with the "Hammer." I also told Shirley that I will take up surfing. When she has enough to buy a surfboard, then I will also buy a board. I also offered to give her $100 to help her cause. I am not sure if she is taking me seriously.

I was fatigued for most of the day. I barely made it through my weight workout at the gym. Later, I stopped at the Hawai'i Kai gym to do my cardio workout. The handmaiden chatted with me briefly when she came in. Shirley called after dinner. We chatted for a few minutes. I will spend the evening with my beloved iBook. I need to relax.

Tuesday September 23

I had to do my full workout at the gym in Hawai'i Kai. Rod called me while I was completing my cardio workout. He said that he would call when he found out any information about Big John in Convalescent City. Big John passed away on July 24th last year. Although he kept writing, I eventually lost touch with him. It was my fault. I have a little wine left from Sunday night. I will drink it and make a silent toast to Big John. Good-bye, my friend.

Wednesday September 24

Another uneventful day. Shirley and I had lunch at Taco Bell. We discussed the usual nonsense. After my class, I ended up on the shuttle with Bethany, one of my students who is also in one of Shirley's classes. We chatted throughout the trip and also during the walk to our cars in the parking lot. The bus strike is still going as you can probably guess. Later, I drove down to koko Marina to buy another bottle of the fake "Hammer." I need a drink, especially after seeing baby yesterday.

Thursday September 25

Last night, I drove down to Koko Marina and bought another bottle of the fake "Hammer." Shirley called after she got off work. We chatted for about an hour. Then, I popped the cork. I only had a couple of glasses, merely to calm my nerves.

An uneventful day. Shirley and I ended up at Taco Bell again. She keeps bringing up surfing and that we need to buy some boards, so she must be taking me seriously. Imagine that. Soon, we will be hitting the surf together. Ho boy! The bus strike is supposed to end next week. Maybe everything will return to normal.

My mind has been ready to snap. I keep thinking that I need to find a babe. Let's face it, though. I am in a real quandary. Most people guess that I am still in my early thirties. That's all fine, but there is no way that any babe in my age group is even going to look in my direction. Then, I don't even have anything in common with babes my age. So, what am I going to do? Well, it's a good thing I have some fake "Hammer" left from last night. Let us partake of the fine vintage now, shall we?

Friday September 26

The day was uneventful for the most part. After I finally returned home, I drove down to Foodland and bought a whole mess of poke and big bottle of the "Hammer." I had just talked with Shirley and that's what she wanted me to bring to the deck party. I arrived after 7pm, but not many people were there. I popped the cork on the bottle of "Hammer." Shirley and I started off the drinking festivities. Pseudo-professor John arrived close to 9pm. Brad, Kristen, Odessa, and Cory arrived shortly afterward. Several of us did a couple of rounds of tequila shots. I left at 11:30pm. When I arrived at home, I walked to the park. The evening was fun, but I just keep wondering about when I will really get my life going.

Saturday September 27

<>I did my usual hike up Koko Head. I also went to the gym. I chatted with The Bull for almost three hours this afternoon. We had a lot of catching up to do. A lot of things have happened in his life, much of it not very good. However, he has come out on top. We discussed numerous other topics as well. Well, I ended up at Barnes & Noble again tonight. I just can't seem to stay at home anymore. Pathetic, isn't it?

Sunday September 28

I did not want to hike up Koko Head again, so I drove to Manoa. I hiked up to Manoa Falls, but I forgot how short the hike was. So, I went to Ala Moana. I walked around Ala Moana Park for a while. Then, I walked around Ala Moana Center. Shirley called when I was in the Apple Store. She had just arrived at Erin's place to spend the day there. I left Ala Moana at 2pm. I walked to the gym when I returned home. That's pretty much my day. I can tell you that I did not enjoy the solitary experience. It only drove the point home that I need to find a chick. By the way, I was told that "babe" is out of date, so I will use "chick" more often. The stupid part is that "chick" was decommissioned once before decades ago. In any case, I will never be able to adjust to a life alone. I cannot see myself doing everything by myself forever. Why even be alive?

Monday September 29

I finally was able to chat with Caroll last night. She is not coming in November due to financial concerns. We also discussed a few phase of life issues. I was walking around the neighborhood while I was talking with her at 9pm. I saw Shirley drive past me, so I ran home. She had just left Erin's place. We only chatted for a few minutes.

Today was uneventful. The bus strike is officially over. I can't say that I really care. I actually began to enjoy commuting to Ala Moana and taking the City shuttle to town. In fact, I am still in that mode. I met up with Shirley for lunch. I keep telling her about how much I despise wage slavery. "I'm bustin' my ass for no reason at all," I told her. Then, I mentioned that all I did this morning was write up two memos. She laughed herself silly. I should also mention that the new Dean at the Asylum offered me the full-time equivalent of my current position. I would make an additional 15 AWUs, bringing my total annual income to 58 AWUs. I have not made a decision on this matter.

Tuesday September 30

I've been thinking about my discussion with The Bull the other day. "You need to make some decisions," he said. One of the items on the agenda is whether I should buy a place of my own. I've been thinking about this a lot now. If I purchase a place, I could do a "time-share" with it, as The Bull suggested. Then, it would be an investment. Or, I could move in. If I did move into my own place, then I would not be subject to any arbitrary rules like I am now. In addition, I could change my whole schedule. For example, I could go to the gym later in the day. Perhaps I could meet more people that way as well. In essence, it would give me more freedom. The only thing I worry about is that I may have to increase my wage slavery to afford this option. However, as a single guy, what else do I really have to do? I actually have a rather active life now, but I still have a lot of spare time. There are other decisions to be made as well, the babe situation in particular. However, I no longer know what to do about the latter. I find it extremely unlikely that I will hook up with anyone.

<>Another uneventful day. After the gym, I returned to the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. Pseudo-professors Robert and Dorothy were there. It was a riot. As always, I was talking about the babe situation. Pseudo-professor Dorothy and I were having a conversation straight out of a cheesy sitcom. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Then, I showed her the results of my Match.com personality test that I had taken earlier. Of course, she really liked the "Sex" section. Here's a quote from the report — "As you probably know, you have a higher sex drive than most!" Sheesh! Pseudo-professor Robert mentioned that he went to a symphony concert by himself this weekend. That opened up the dialog between us. We'll be including more cultural events on the activities calendar. The real purpose of the group activities became evident to me. We must discover new experiences and enjoy the company that we have. Pseudo-professor Dorothy also mentioned that she saw me on the local news last Thursday. This was when I was standing in line for the shuttle to Ala Moana. Pseudo-professor Robert said that his karaoke night was successful. However, the babe that he wanted to show up didn't, even though she had called and asked for directions.

Wednesday October 1

In the past week, I have had quite a few people either commenting about my physique or my age. At Shirley's party, her friend David told her that I was "buffed." He couldn't believe it when she told him my age. Another guy at the gym told me that I was in really good shape. Then, he asked my age. I told him, and he turned pale. At least I know that I've succeed in yet another goal. I am in better shape than I ever was.

I neglected to mention that Shirley called twice yesterday in a frenetic state. In the morning, she called about Pseudo-professor Ralph's idiotic homework assignment. Last night, she was upset that another of her professors did not give the class time to do work. "I'm going to have to waste my time going to the lab to do his assignment," she said.

Another uneventful day. Shirley and I ended up having lunch at Taco Bell again. I swear that I am going to turn into a fat slob if I keep eating there. Pseudo-professor Robert was there, so we joined him.

Thursday October 2

Our lives are made up of experiences. These are what we remember, what we cherish. Experiences are part of our soul, the very same soul that craves meaning while it exists. The pinnacle of all experiences is that between a man and a woman, even if it is short-lived. When it is to be the last of all experiences, it should be the greatest of all. That's the one we will always turn back and look toward. And, nothing — I mean nothing — can taint that vision. No matter how old we are, that particular vision will restore our youth for a brief moment. Yet, that moment will seem like an eternity. And, it really is an eternity because it is part of our soul and our spirit. I believe that it will complete the cycle of life. Therein lies the real truth, what is in my heart. That is what is below the surface of the banality of my life. The heart really is a lonely hunter. And, it is fragile and easily broken.

The Asylum is gradually becoming treacherous as I begin to exercise what little power that I have. Roach still has many loyalists in the ranks. This was the first day that I have seen Glen at the gym in a long time. We ended up at Jamba Juice after our workout. I also discovered that Pseudo-professor Dorothy is willing to sell her other townhouse. She said that it is located in Makakilo, and it is a four-bedroom unit with two parking stalls, and a pool. She is not sure, but she may let it go for $200,000 or so. And, it is not on lease land. She is currently renting it out. I am seriously considering the purchase of the unit and keeping it as rental property. Then, later, I could either sell it or use it to buy a nice place for myself.

Earlier, I had seen a sign in the Ross display window that said something about a 10 percent discount for senior citizens over 55 years of age. I almost lost my mind. I have only six years left before I am a senior citizen. Oh crap! How am I going to find a young hottie before then? I am significantly distressed. I am wondering whether I should go down to Foodland and buy a bottle of the fake "Hammer" as we speak.

Friday October 3

Last night, I bought a bottle of the fake "Hammer." It was actually better than the real "Hammer." I almost finished the whole bottle. Sheesh! Another uneventful day. Shirley and I ended up at Taco Bell yet again. No one in our group responded about any of the activities, so we are doing nothing together this weekend.

I took the bus to Kahala Mall this evening. I cannot just stay at home anymore. I need to be around people. I was in the music section, listening to a House Music CD. I was facing the entrance at the time. A hottie walked in. She was wearing a tight pair of jeans and she had a denim jacket on. She was probably in her late twenties or early thirties. Brunette. She spent the longest time looking in the classical section. She also asked for help from the sales person, so she ended up walking back and forth from the CD rack to the counter. She looked over several times. It was fairly obvious that I was looking in her direction. I also noticed that she did not have a ring on her ring finger. After she purchased a CD, she walked back into the book section. I finished listening to the House CD a few minutes later. I walked into the book section. As I strolled around, I looked down one of the aisles and saw her way down in the bargain section. My mind was ready to snap. As I was just turning back to walk the other way, I suddenly saw baby walk right past me within a few inches. Oh man! As I continued strolling around, I saw her at the end of one of the aisles. Then, she disappeared. All I could think to myself is how I wish that I could have met her. That also brings to mind that I saw one of my former students, Melinda, on the express bus this morning. She is a hottie. I am sure she knows who I am because I had to flunk her. It's really too bad that we cannot make amends, eh? Oh brother. I am losing my mind.

Saturday October 4

The weekends are killing me. I have absolutely nothing to do now that the group is defunct. The babes have plenty of other more exciting guys to keep them company. My brethren are most happy sitting at home and watching the tube or playing with the computer. I keep myself busy, but I am really tired of doing things alone. There's one thing the handmaiden told me that is really apropos — "Live like today is your last day." She's right, and I have been trying to do that. I am finding that most people have no idea how short life really is. However, those very same people seem extremely satisfied with mediocrity. As for the group, I think that it's time has come and gone. There is nothing to bond any of us.

I am also looking at my situation, and I am wondering why I have become somewhat desperate. What is really funny is that I knew a lot more babes when I was younger and much poorer. The primary factor may be age, but I have to wonder. Although I don't have a lot of dough, I am now better off than I ever was. I have a lot more to offer, but there are no babes for me. What I wonder is whether I really need a babe. If I apply "mind over matter," I am sure I can look younger than I am for a while. Even past the senior citizen mark. If I learned any lesson from Anonder, this should be it — independence is much better than any form of dependence. Why should I have to play games with babes who have nothing to offer except what's between their legs? Why should I play games with anyone at all? People can sense neediness and take advantage of it. The tables can never be turned in those kinds of situations. The only choice? Mummify!

An uneventful day. I went for my tanning hike up Koko Head. Later, I went to the gym. I also bought a four-pack of Guiness and consumed the whole thing. Tonight, I decided to go to Border's. I ran into Hamad there. After chatting with him, I figured out the reason why we really do not have a group. I have decided to cease any activities planning until further notice. In addition, I realized that I have been fretting over nothing. I also have been drinking all that booze for nothing. It's just my mind playing tricks on me.

Sunday October 5

I neglected to mention that I stopped off at Barnes & Noble on my way home last night. I don't really like Border's. Barnes & Noble is much more comfortable.

I have only had two calls on my cell phone all week, which now makes it an obsolete possession. Since our group does not exist anymore, I do not need to make calls. Brad and Odessa are the only ones who are still planning any events, thank goodness. At least I will still have a minimal social life. Shirley and I will remain good friends. My brethren will easily return to their previous lives. This will be a difficult process because I am in a race with time. I have 15 months left before the Big Five-O. That's when my life hits critical mass. Unlike my brethren who have many more years left to waste, I have essentially run out of time. My mind is now overloaded. What exactly am I going to do to get out of this mess?

I took the bus to Diamond Head and went on the infamous hike which was the first activity for the group. After the hike, I took the bus to Waikiki and transferred to another bus so I could get to Ala Moana Center. I was so hungry that I decided to eat a bento lunch at Shirokiya. I walked around the mall. I ran into Jeff, one of my former students. He's the sound guy for the Center Stage. We chatted briefly. When I returned home, I walked to the gym. I chatted with Caroll on the way to the gym. On the way back, I chatted with Shirley. I enjoyed the day, even though I had to spend it with myself. If I do this long enough, I may realize that I had better snap into action soon or I'll be doing this permanently.

Monday October 6

Time is ticking away, and I have nothing better to do than waste it at work. The day was uneventful. Shirley and I ate lunch at Taco Bell. It is amazing, but Shirley is probably my only really good friend here in Hawai'i. Mind you, I am very thankful to know her. Pseudo-professor Robert thanked me again for establishing the group activities because it helped him organize his karaoke night. He felt the same feeling of accomplishment that I once did when our group was in its heyday. The only excitement I had today was when one of my babe students at the Diploma Mill came to class and punched me in the arm (jokingly, of course). Then, she left. That's all she came to class for, so she said.

I am going to investigate the alternatives to meeting chicks (e.g., on-line personals and dating services) and report this to my brethren. These are desperate times. And, desperate times call for desperate measures. I am also drafting the official Plan B, which will go into effect as soon as possible. Plan B will outline my strategic plan until the clock runs out 15 months from now. Plan A has already failed. I am also contemplating finding a job that allows me to work on Friday and Saturday nights so I won't feel the need to go out. I want to work at Barnes & Noble or at one of the night clubs. Overall, I must stay active and I must put myself in social settings.

Tuesday October 7

An uneventful day. I am gradually finding more work to do in my new capacity at the Asylum. Frankly, the position is still a joke. My real job (as is with Ernie) is to act as a buffer between the Dean and the faculty. Although we are merely curriculum coordinators, our positions have now become much more powerful. I got a haircut this afternoon. It's the usual fade job which all the kids have. I ran into Darryln, one of my former students from th Asylum. She is now at the Diploma Mill. We ended up chatting for about 20 minutes. She went for a little walk with me down Fort Street Mall and back. Darryln is, of course, a hottie. Sometimes I wonder what people think, since I am always with some young hottie.

After the gym, I ended up at the faculty computer room at the Diploma Mill. I chatted with Pseudo-professor Dorothy. We discussed the condo that she wants to sell. She is going to provide me with the full information soon. I am very interested in purchasing the place, and I will probably continue to rent it out. We also discussed the usual nonsense. She said that she thought of joining up with It's Just Lunch, a dating service. I had previously done a Net search and discovered that there were many complaints lodged against the service. I saw Mark on the express bus this afternoon. We had a lively discussion for the duration of the trip. All I know is that time is ticking away.

To be continued ... Go to D.18

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