The Pickup

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A story of a guy who hopes to gain confidence with women. In the process he gains a social circle of associates that serve as "wing-men" of sorts. Something of a cross between Hitch and Ocean's.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - The Pickup

Submitted: March 18, 2012

Reads: 220

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 18, 2012



I used to be an average chump like almost every guy out there. I still lived with my parents, never went out much, and was never invited to anything; my “career” as a bookstore clerk was going nowhere, my social life was non-existent, and most upsettingly, I was still a virgin. No woman would go near me. If they did, I’d clam up and eventually they’d lose interest. One day something finally clicked in my brain and I decided to change my life. I was fed up with being a nobody, someone who never experienced life because he was too afraid to live it. So I quit my job, took what I had in savings, and moved to the city.

I took notes. I took notes on everything. From how I dressed, to how cool guys dressed, to even how I looked in comparison to them. I’d sit at a café and just people watch, all the time taking notes on how everyone interacted. I kept all my observations in my leather-bound notebook that I got when I was younger. It held a lot of meaning for me as it was the only gift I had ever gotten from a girl. But I’ll say more on that later.

I took to reading. I read with a hunger. I’d devour books from cover to cover to uncover all they contained and I diligently read between the lines to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. I wasn’t reading fiction, I didn’t want an escape. I wanted to be part of the world, I wanted to confront it, not run and hide. I read everything I could on psychology and philosophy, anything I could get my hands on to uncover the intricacies of the human mind. I read self-help books like I was a man with a mid-life crisis or maybe a woman going through a bad break-up. The clerks at the bookstore dubbed me “Mr. Confidence”, or MC for short, because I’d always be buying books to build self-esteem.

I hit the gym. I did everything to improve my self-image. I sought to remake myself to be more attractive to women. I never used public transportation except when it was getting late or I was exhausted. I jogged everywhere. I pushed myself more than I had ever done before. I lifted weights at increasing increments and increased the incline on the treadmill and kept it up until I was sore. I hated myself and I used that hatred to fuel my drive to become a better me.

I filled out my resume and went job-hunting. I decided not to spring at the first job that peaked my interest. I had a solid college-level education and had convinced myself that I deserved better. So I cast the lines out there and took my damn time to reel them in. There was an offer at a brokerage firm that I shot down. They were offering an internship for minimal pay. They promised upward mobility but I didn’t want to be pigeon holed in some dead-end job. I ultimately struck out on my own and became a day-trader. I had made connections during my time in the city and sought advice from an investor friend of mine. His name is Vince and I ran into him one day at the gym.

“I’m going to be your mentor,” he said, “I’ve seen you around a lot here and your determination is unparalleled. But you aren’t doing everything a hundred percent.”

“What?” I said totally exhausted from a workout.

“You see for maximum result in your workouts you’ve got to push the burnout effect.”

“What’s that?” I replied, honestly intrigued.

“The burnout effect is keeping your breaks short and your repetitions quick. The more you compact your workout, the more you burn in recovery. You’ve got to play it fast to get the results you want.”

“Ok, thanks,” I said turning away, thinking the conversation was over.

“But tell me about you,” he said putting his arm around me as if he was taking me under his wing. “What drives a man to reform his life?”


“I’ll tell what’s behind every man’s motivations: women. Plain and simple, it’s women isn’t it? Don’t answer that; of course it’s women because women are appealing to the eye, they smell nice, they're pleasant to be around,” he said this all the while guiding me around like some lost kid.

“That’s all crap, women are nice to be around because there’s a chance us guys can score with them.”

“That hasn’t been true with me.”

“That, my friend is where I come in. I’ll give you the secrets to putting the peg in the hole,” he said with a sleazy smirk.

“No thanks,” I said, trying to escape his hold, “I think I’m better off on my own.”

He responded in turn by putting me into a headlock, “See here friend you better play nice, I’m trying to help you but first you’ve gotta let me help you."

“Alright, alright, I’ll hear you out,” I said, breathing a sigh of relief after he let me go.

“Great! I’m Vince,” he said extending his hand.

“Oswald,” I answered, losing my hand to a vice-grip.

“Ozzy, nice to meet you!”

“It’s Oswald,” I replied.

“Look pal, girls won’t even look at you if you go around saying your name is Oswald. You’re going to get called Waldo and end up with a red and white striped cap; but nobody will be looking for you because they couldn’t care less!” he exclaimed.

“Alright then just keep it simple, call me Oz.”

“Ozzy it is,” Vince said, again with a smirk. “So I see you’ve been working on your outer image, but what about your inner game, hmm?”

“What do you mean?”

“Inner game, buddy; the voice inside yourself that’s supposed to say ‘Hey I’m a confident alpha male who knows what I want.”

“All that my inner voice says is 'I’m Oswald, take me as I am.'”

“That’s your problem right there bud, you need to work on self-respect before others, especially the ladies, will ever respect you.”

“And you know all there is to know about attracting women? What makes you any better than any other sad sap out there?”

“Assertive, I like it,” he shot back with a look in his eyes, “Thing is I’m not like every other chump out there. I’ve mastered the art of seduction.”

“Oh really and what’s made you so confident with yourself?”

“Practice and success, plain and simple. But let’s talk about this over a few beers, say around 8?”

“Well I don’t usually...”

“Confidence is all about getting comfortable with new situations, how can you grow familiar with something if you’ve never gone out to experience it? Seriously, here’s my card. Meet me at The Pulse on 5th and main, ring me up and I’ll come out to let you in alright?” Then he smacked me on the back and left without another word.

© Copyright 2017 Russ Hammond. All rights reserved.


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