“Wait a minute, that’s a little aggressive for a first move, don’t you think?” he says.
“I’m an aggressive player. What, do you think it was a bad move?” she says.
“A bad move? How could the first move be a bad move? It doesn’t hold up to bad move criteria. It’s just that most women I’m with are defensive. They like to build these, these sort of walls around themselves. They try to make it real difficult for me, you know, they want to make sure I’m man enough to infiltrate. So it’s different for me to see something so open,” he says.
“I like you.”
“It’s not about liking me. The other girls liked me, too, but that doesn’t mean they wanted to be taken. Obviously you are not like these other women, but for all I know you could be setting me up. I’ll wake up tomorrow strapped to a bedpost, clad in a g-string, and $600 poorer. Jesus, listen to me. It’s the first move and I’m already speculating that I’ve been drawn into a trap.”
“Are you going to move?”
“Well I’m not going to forfeit due to neurosis. There.”
“That was pretty aggressive, too.”
“Yeah, you should know that about me. I purport a weak exterior, but there’s a hulky, steroid abusing, body-builder on the inside just biding for the chance to rampage. You’re very beautiful, you know,” he says.
“It’s not your turn,” she says.
“I thought I’d get it out right away. It’s our first time, so, I mean, I wanted to say it right in the beginning so that we won’t be fumbling around with words worrying about how we feel. We’ll get along better if we can eliminate some of that awkward tension that fills in during breaks of verbal communication, and so, you know, we can just sort of relax and have fun, and if you have any confessions it’s best to relieve them right at the beginning so we know exactly where we stand and we won’t have to press each other for these things later when they might cause some damage.”
“So do you have any confessions?”
“I like you.”
“Perfect. That’s the perfect confession. I mean, I know you’ve already told me you like me, but now it’s official. It’s a confession.”
“Do you do this often?”
“Do what? Confess?”
“Play, I mean.”
“Oh, well, yeah, I guess I do. And I’ve had a lot of bad experiences, too. The last girl I was with fainted on me. Dropped cold in the middle of her move. I mean, aesthetically I know I’m not the most pleasing man, but I don’t think I’m worth a black out, and, well, if she had just confessed to me we would have saved a lot of time and a headache. And maybe an ambulance ride. Real blow to the ego, that one.”
“I think you needed it.”
“Well, hey, do you do this often? I mean, you certainly look confident.”
“Uh, yeah; actually I think I do this more often than I should. I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences, too, but I’m always hoping the next one will be better. I want to find someone who is good but not dominating, but it’s like I have a tendency to pick up on the bad players.”
“Hey, what? Are you knocking me in the middle of it?”
“No. No, I mean, ok, so the last guy I was with, it was a couple weeks ago, he was very nice and handsome and sweet, you know, but when we got to the table, he let me win.”
“He let you win? How could he let you win? Winning’s everything. Just ask the President. I mean, how flaccid can you get?”
“He said he liked me because he thought I was sweet.”
“That’s it? He let you win because he thought you were sweet?”
“Yeah. And the guy before that--”
“Oh, geez, don’t tell me.”
“He cried, right in the middle of it. Wasn’t embarrassed about it or didn’t try to hide it. He just cried.”
“My god, what were you doing to him? It didn’t involve leather, did it?”
“He said it was a very emotional experience for him.”
“Jesus, where do you find these bozos?”
“I told you. I really do pick out the bad ones,” she says.
“Well what do you think of me so far? I mean, besides the bad posture.”
“I’m pretty comfortable, actually. Except it feels like you’re moving a little fast.”
“Yeah, well, I’m sorry if I move a little hastily, but I’ve got somewhere to be later tonight,” he says.
“What? Why didn’t you tell me that before?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think we’d get the chance to be this far if I told you.”
“Well what did you expect to happen afterwards? You’d just leave the table? Leave me alone after this?”
“Well it’s our first time, you know. I thought that would happen anyways. I’m sorry, but it’s not like we’re married or anything. You can’t expect me to spend the night.”
“That doesn’t mean I don’t feel hurt.”
“Ok, look, I’m sorry. We’ll forget about it. It’s not that important, anyway, so if you want me to stay afterwards, I can stay. Don’t expect me to, though. Anyways, it’s your move. Let’s forget about it.”
“Only if you promise to slow down.”
“Alright, I’ll slow down. Do you still like me?”
“Good. I still think you’re stunningly beautiful, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for any other in the world. Where’d you learn to play?”
“Me? Oh, well, in high school, sort of. That was my first time. But I didn’t really get any practice until college.”
“Well you’re very good.”
“You think so? Yeah, I guess you can credit that to all the different men I’ve tried.”
“You know, you’re not making me feel any better about my chances.”
“I’m sorry. Where’d you learn to play?”
“Well as you know I’m very competitive. When I was younger I used to practice all the time on my own, you know, because I wanted to be perfect my first time. I really wanted to nail the first woman I met.”
“No. It was very sloppy actually. I was really nervous and I was sweating and I was trembling. I mean, I thought I knew what I was doing; she didn’t know what she was doing, either. Anyways, we ended up knocking the board over half-way through.”
“You didn’t finish?”
“Hey, don’t laugh at me. Was your first time any better?”
“No,” she says.
“See,” he says.
“But I never practiced.”
“Yeah, well, it’s a lot different than you’d imagine it to be. Do you remember what you imagined your first time to be like? And-and do you remember how different it actually was? You can’t prepare for this.”
“Do you still practice?”
“Of course. All the time. What about you?”
“Every once in awhile, if it’s been a long time.”
“That can’t be too often, then.”
“More often than you might think.”
“Sometimes I wish there wasn’t so much pressure on being a good player, you know? I think then that everyone would be more relaxed, if we could be satisfied by bad players.”
“I think it’s the idea of natural selection. The better players win over the weak players.”
“Darwin was a nut.”
“Why are you worried? You’re a good player."
“Of course I’m good player. It’s not about that. I just don’t want to come across a really bad player that I happen to like. I’d feel guilty.”
“Do you feel guilty now?”
“This is actually a very stimulating experience. One of the best I’ve had in awhile.”
“You sound surprised.”
“I am. It’s been a, uh, it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a good time.”
“Good. Are you ready?”
“What? What for? Ready for what?”
“Checkmate,” she says.
“Wow. You were wonderful,” he says.