[CLICK ON AUDIO BAR TO LISTEN INSTEAD OF READING. POST COMMENTS AT PAGE END.]
My belief in people is a little suspect.
A little company wouldn’t go astray. I’m a below-the-waist sort of guy but goddamn it when?
Couples are canoodling and I want in. Distraction. Sex. To muck around with ice-cream. Champagne for two.
I’m eyeing up everybody, this one and that. I hope it’s not the hippy with a tea-towel on her head. Or the anorexic bag of bones. Or the dumpy one. You see, they say you don’t get to choose who you love. I read it in a girlie magazine. Still, I must try and have a say, to control the outcome, quality control, to ensure that whoever it is, is cute. I mean, otherwise … no, not worth thinking about. Big Bertha and me – it’s not happening. I pray.
I’m looking at a girl worth a look. My target. Actually, let’s call her that. The Target. And the Target is hot. Only she won’t talk to me or meet my look. But get this, I ignore her ignoring and persist. Gushing. Maybe I’m simply lonely, me, a new stranger in town. Or maybe the Target thinks me married; I’m ripe enough. Or maybe my heart is burning too brightly and she’s feeling the heat. Or maybe it might just be as simple as this: that she’s the one and we both know it. See, love isn’t an exact science. Who knows anytime about it? Nobody! And although I’m 10 years the Targets senior I don’t allow myself understand sexual rejection. In matters of the heart parity is irrelevant.
The Target’s group are discussing the 6 students who drowned over Christmas when a freak wave plucked them off the beach at Meco. The stormy sea gobbled them up and only returned their bodies days later. Mystifying. 
I’m listening from the bar and the Target unawares of my longing. Enough, Mr. Man of Action! Hesitation is a cripple. And so I take action.
I intercept the Target en route to the bathroom but she sidesteps me, leaving me make eyes at the wall. So I hatch a plan and confess my feelings in a love letter and place it under an ashtray. When the Target returns I make earnest eyes at her. She slowly understands and picks up the letter and makes off to the toilet on another pee pretext. If only I could get my prick in the door! Alas no. I’m left sweating at the bar, imagining her in the toilet, smoothening out the letter, and holding it up to the light.
I’m compelled to write but am unsure how you will interpret this as you’ll either think:
a) I’m completely mad, or
b) that I’m brave and sweet.
Either way this letter will test the theory. And just as you’re not really blonde  I propose to show you that I’m not cuckoo.
A question: why did you move to the far side of the bar, so very far away from me? Fear not, I’m a barking puppy without bite. I only talk loud and silly but it’s only a castle wall to hide behind. You’re the same, except your castle wall is a physical one as you keep your distance.
All I want by this note is a chat. In return, I promise not to make a move on you. I hope this puts you at ease. You see, to me it’s obvious you’ve been hurt before but so too have I. 
The last time I wrote a letter like this I was in love with Fiona Grouters. I feel so stupid about it now that I’m blushing as I write.
I was 10 years old and Fiona moved weightless through the playground in a self-assured way, just like you. After the summer holidays, Fiona returned to her native Holland but I’d engineered an insurance policy and befriended her brother. It’s how I ensured I received an invitation to visit her family.
As I boarded the flight with a nametag around my neck and me but a child, I wasn’t in fear of travel but arrival. Her brother and family had no idea of the web I’d spun. Or so I thought. You see, weeks before my arrival, I posted Fiona a love letter complete with a childish drawing of us embedded in a love heart. It was then I realized that by emitting words in print there’s an eternally greater threat to oneself than standing in front of somebody and professing undying love. You see, writing is permanent. Evidence. Written words count!
For my weeklong stay in Holland I couldn’t bring myself to talk to my muse. I was mortified and shit-scared of Fiona’s parents who probably thought me a mad 10-year old rapist. I returned to Ireland defeated. Although I’m over that first flush of love I’m haunted by my cowardice and fear that that letter will resurface and show me up for being a stupid boy and scupper my plans of one day becoming President of Ireland.
So maybe our shared problem is our shyness. It would therefore be a pity if you now decided to talk to me and if I didn’t know it. But I have an idea – you could give me a sign that its ok to approach you.
Here’s how it works: if it’s ok to talk to you, you should say aloud to your friends that you prefer cats to dogs. But if you’d rather I keep my distance you should insist that you prefer dogs to cats. OK?
So, in summary: cats are good and dogs are bad.
Ps. Meow and I’ll come to the rescue.
And then, guess what?
At the bar, with my candle petering out and me itching my wick and prattling on and on to myself about lugging around this everlasting longing of mine and with my half-baked letter and my head boiling over, I pitch onto the street, slurring as I go:
And there’s more:
And in-between wondering if the dot-com is available I hear an animal sound echo in my ear and then I’m pulling at my shirt, fighting for air, and fighting to leave this reductive world because it’s so reductive what with the way it prefers to start at the end instead of with mystery.
My belief in people is a little suspect.
A little company wouldn’t go astray.
To follow the next instalment, insert email in the sidebar at the top of the page.
 The Target is a brunette but I made a joke that she overheard about brunettes having blonde brains and vice-versa. Ok, it’s a Susan theory I have.
 I did some research. I asked the barmaid about the Target. It’s so I can sound insightful so we can share some hurt. Keanu Reeves did it in “Point Break” when he lies to Tyler, the hot chick he’s after, by saying his parents died in a plane crash as he knew her parents had died in a car crash. This shared hurt got them together. Genius.