Drew was fixated on the statistics page of his WordPress account. Six people had read his blog today. Fourteen people in total had read his last blog post. It was posted 34 days ago. Drew kept telling himself, “I am just doing it for the joy of writing. The more I write, the better I write.” It was true, to an extent. The more Drew wrote, the better he was at writing. But why did he need to get better at writing? Drew couldn’t kid himself; half the fun of writing is having people read what you write. And enjoy it. Praise it, even.
Drew was disgusted in himself. He felt no better than a two-bit reality television star, starved for attention, fortune and fame. Where did he think this would actually lead? Would he be discovered by The Australian and offered to write a weekly column? Could he become a feature writer for Vice Magazine? Would he be offered a contract to publish a novella by Random House? Or could he follow in the footsteps of Ricky Gervais and Lena Dunham, writing, directing and starring in his own offbeat television comedy? Discovered? Right. He hadn’t even been Freshly Pressed on WordPress yet, and he had barely mustered up an average of 20 readers a day. Discovered? Puh-lease. Drew knew that it was hard to be discovered when he hadn’t written a new post in over a month. Drew could feel his readers slipping away as the days went by without another post. But, he couldn’t help it; Drew had been stuck on the same three sentences for weeks. He didn’t know how to progress as he had run out of ideas. Drew saw this coming over the last few posts. It started when Drew increasingly wrote himself into his stories. Lazy writing. At least according to that creative writing guru in that Charlie Kaufman film. Drew buried his face in his hands. He breathed deeply. In and out. In and out. His breath became louder and louder. Soon, it felt like there was another breath in the room. Another presence. Breathing over his shoulder, tormenting him during his pathetic anguish.
“The Chronicles of…”
Shock. In one swift move, Drew sat up suddenly, reached over to his mouse, minimised the window displayed on his computer screen, and sharply spun around. Drew hadn’t been imagining the presence. It was him. Standing over Drew, awkwardly invading Drew’s personal space.
“Hiiiiiii. Can I help you?”
“What were you looking at? Are you writing something?”
Drew could feel himself melting into a sticky mess all over the carpet. A guilty mess that would stick like glue. If only he knew.
“No, no, no. I was just proof reading something for a friend of mine. It’s nothing.”
“Can I read it?”
“Noooooooo. I’m not meant to tell anyone about it. It’s still in very rough form and she is very particular about her writing.”
“Hmmph. Fair enough.”
Drew internally sighed with relief. The cover seemed to have worked, however Drew needed to keep the conversation momentum going to keep him from revisiting his thoughts.
“So what’s news, mate?”
“I was just wondering if you had the book on damages in here. I think Connor called it Lutz.”
“You mean Luntz’s Assessment of Damages?”
Drew emphasised the ‘n’ in Luntz and then blushed, immediately regretting the condescension in his tone. Why couldn’t Drew just be nice? Drew stood up, reached for the shelf above his computer and picked up the little black book.
“There you go. Is Connor writing an advice?”
” I’m drafting one for him and he is going to settle it.”
“Oh that’s great. I’m sure that Connor has you covered, but if you need any help, don’t be afraid to ask.“
“Will do. Thanks!”
He turned to walk out of Drew’s office. Drew winced for half a second, then heard somebody using Drew’s voice to call out.
He turned around and faced Drew, looking somewhat startled. Drew visualised rolling eyes at himself. Someone hadn’t used Drew’s voice. It was Drew’s conscience taking over. Drew had always acted quite coldly towards him and Drew’s Conscience felt it was time that Drew made a bit of an effort.
“Sooooo… ahhhhh… much on tonight? Busy week ahead?”
“Not too busy. I don’t think I will be working late.”
“No, I meant… got much going on outside of work?”
He looked Drew over for a moment with suspicion, as if searching for a trap. Then, after seemingly putting his mind at ease, his concern transformed into a gentle smile.
“Well, I have a date tonight.”
“Really? You always seem to be on dates. Is this that girl you met at that ball?”
“Oh no, I haven’t seen her for ages. She left for Sydney, remember?”
Drew were flushed with the rosy red of embarrassment.
“Oh of course. Sorry. So who is this girl then?”
“I met her last Friday night at The George.”
“Cool. Where are you taking her?”
“Halo down on Barrack Street Jetty.”
“Well, she is quite a hot little blonde. And she’s in human resources. Gotta take her somewhere special.”
“Well, she must be special if you’re seeing her again? I didn’t think you were the dating type.”
“I’m not really. But you can’t always seal the deal on the first try.”
“She was a tough nut to crack. I told her I was an artist and that I would draw her naked sometime. It was so obvious she was a Titanic type.”
Drew burst out laughing. For all that everyone had said at the firm, Drew really had to hand it to him. His methods might be strange, if not a little shady, but he seemed to get results.
“Apparently. You just gotta show them you have a special talent and that always gives you an in.”
“Right. Can you actually draw?”
“What are you going to do when she asks you to draw her?”
“I’ll have sealed the deal before that happens.”
“Confident. And if you haven’t?”
“She won’t ask.”
“And if she does?”
“I’ll make some kind of joke out of it. Or I’ll just move on to the next one.”
“The next one. Wow.”
Drew stroked his chin, contemplating the morality of his “Game”. The entire concept unsettled Drew, for reasons he couldn’t quite put his finger on. It seemed underhanded. Exploitative. Creepy.
“What if you like her and want to see her again?”
“I doubt that will happen.”
“Why not? If she’s as attractive and intelligent as you make her out to be then she sounds like a catch!”
“I’m just having fun at the moment. I’m not looking to settle down yet.”
“Does she know that?”
“Will you tell her?”
“In case she does want more.”
“Drew, we haven’t even had a proper date yet. If I seduce her, we’ll have sex. If she wants more, I’ll stop seeing her. “
Drew couldn’t help but admire the simplicity of his logic.
“Does this ‘Game’ stuff really work? I mean, it sounds like it relies on all women being, well, kinda stupid.”
“You can’t dispute the results.”
“I haven’t exactly tried it myself, for obvious reasons, so I don’t have anything to go by.”
“Well it works for me.”
“So you think women are stupid?”
“Well no. But many of them think the same way and have the same desires.”
“Don’t you think The Game kind of, tries to take advantage of women? ‘Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen.’ That’s the basic concept right? It’s clearly targeting and exploiting the kind of women who have low self-esteem.”
“Not really. It’s more like being a salesmen. It’s all about knowing how to talk to your audience to convince them that you have a product that they want to buy.”
Drew was at a loss. Everything about this just didn’t seem right, did it? However, he seemed to have a response to all of Drew’s inquiries. Coherent responses. Logical responses. Responses that Drew not only understood, but was possibly accepting.
Drew seemed to be losing a battle of wits. Could Drew possibly accept what he was saying? Was he using some modified form of The Game on Drew that made Drew doubt his own self-worth? Or was he using some kind of Scientology mind trick, speaking with subliminal messages, forcing Drew to bow down in submission.
No! Drew had a tumour! The toxic cells were multiplying in his head, swelling his brain, erasing his powers of reasoning, poisoning all forms of rational and creative thought. This was why Drew could not write his blog post. This was why Drew was suddenly mistaking his crazed manifesto as some logical text. Drew could feel the cancerous cells expanding his brain, tightening in his skull. Tightening. Tightening. Drew felt like his head was about to explode.
“But… don’t you think you are being a bit of a… chauvinist pig?!”
Drew whimpered, frightened by his own rage. What had Drew done? Drew wanted to apologise, but was interrupted by him, who was surprisingly unfazed by Drew’s exasperation.
“There is just something about it that is so… calculated.”
“We all need to use what we can to our advantage. Hot women use their looks. Smart people use their intelligence. Sociable people use their charm. This allows men who don’t have natural talents to build on their game.”
“The end game being a one night stand?“
“People who read The Game aren’t the only people who want one night stands. If women didn’t want them, they wouldn’t have them.”
“But not everyone disguises their motives.”
“I’m not disguising anything. I’m just getting their interest.”
Drew folded his arms and sighed. Drew didn’t like it, but he couldn’t dispute it. He was making sense. Irrefutable sense. And Drew had come to accept this and perhaps even respect his reasoning.
“Fair enough. Well good luck, I guess.”
“I don’t need luck when I have game. It’s just a shame that every game has a loser.“
He flicked his head back and laughed maniacally as he walked out of the office. Drew groaned in relief. He had almost fooled Drew into believing that he wasn’t a creep. Drew would have been disappointed in himself , had he not also been Drew’s sudden source of inspiration. Fueled by the flooding of healthy new material into the wells of his brain matter Drew spun around in his chair and voraciously typed 1786 words, completing his latest blog post.
This is the Chronicles of Creepy Pants.
Stay Tuned for Episode 28.