“Ha! She thinks she’s so clever!” I exclaimed as I paced around my diminutive apartment kitchen. There wasn’t much room to pace but, appropriately, there was even less to pace about. I was sure that I had everything completely calculated. My lips pressed into a gloating smile, I about-faced every time I ran out of floor but marched on nonetheless.
           For on this historic day, Wednesday August 5th, the year of Our Lord 2019, I had outsmarted my witty redheaded coworker, Gloria, into thinking... that she had me thinking... that I was thinking... that we were going out this weekend only as wingmen. The problem on my end was that Gloria was not only witty and redheaded. The two qualities reinforced each other pretty well in my mind. The problem was that she was gorgeous as well and the latter was only reinforced by the two former qualities.
           “‘I’ll be your wingman’ she says. ‘Good women are hard to find’ and ‘I’ll help you look good. I’ll talk you up’ she says. Ha!” I muttered triumphantly. “She must think I am pretty dim to not see through that.”
           Slouching, I stared pensively through one of the ornithological paintings which my mother had given me to hang on my apartment wall. To an onlooker it might have appeared that I was intently studying the outline of the Blue Cormorant perched on the illustrated marshland. In reality, if this entire pacing and self-talk ritual hadn’t indicated it already, my extended period of staring, not at but through the picture only proved that I was eagerly anticipating my non-date ...