I never picked up a woman in a bar, or anywhere else for that matter. For years I went to bars every weekend, praying something would happen, but I just got drunk and stared. I stared at the jukebox lights, at the bottles behind the bar, at my own reflection in the mirror behind the bottles, at whatever increasingly creeped-out women happened to be within eyeshot. It hadn’t been much different earlier, in high school and college. It’s something of a miracle that I ever escaped virginity. Once in a while I shoved poetry at women, but this only worked once, in China, with a woman who didn’t have a very strong grasp of English.
Maybe I should have, as I am learning to do now, looked to my baseball cards for guidance. This 1975 card would have been a good place to start. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision Don Stanhouse in this same pose in a 1970s nightspot, his bent right elbow not faking a follow-through but leaning on the back of a pleather booth filled with tipsy secretaries.
“Hey ladies,” Don Stanhouse croons, neck medallions dangling, “how you all feelin’ tonight?”