Life Lessons

Game is an end in itself

Firstly – Many, many apologies. I am as you know, currently back at work. I took a two month contract in Gloucester to put some much needed pennies in the bankie bank. I have had my head down working and I have also had a lot of travelling. I may be able to blog about this one day but not today – I have found myself tied up in something very… interesting. I really can’t say much more than that. It’s quite the story. It hasn’t been resolved yet but if and when it does then things could get interesting around here.

So tonight I got home after a long meeting and I just logged into my jimmyjambonepua email and I found a huge list of nice emails from some of you guys. I’ll be replying to them all. Let me just confirm – I’m still here, I am just working out this contract. As soon as it’s up I’ll be having time off – and that means coaching.

As I’ll explain in a moment, coaching is very important to me. I don’t pick up any more and I am pretty sure I’ll spend the rest of my life with JJ. Kids, the lot. But I love game and I love ‘the life’ and coaching is a way I can stay involved, at least prolong the adventure a few years. So believe me, there’s a huge will within me to respond and get involved.

This contract I am currently on is awesome. I took over from some other kid who fucked up. Made a few changes and boom, touch wood, I have his department running smooth as a Swiss clock. I am a month in and I reckon I am up for an extension until about November. Soon as I have an end date I’ll announce it here and schedule in some adventure.

Another thing. I’ve been reading Bodi’s book. I’ll have to work on a post on here for that too. Lots of things I have to add to his observations. If you haven’t read his book, do so. Yes, he’s one of my best mates and you’ll be lining his pockets but his book is funny as fuck. I personally like his writing and that’s one of the reasons I started to hang out with him, I like how he makes his misery and hopelessness absolutely hilarious. I feel a bit bad about it, but it’s his fault, if he writes, I’ll enjoy. The scene in the nightclub toilets is just too much. It’s £20 well spent. I hope he doesn’t kill himself one day and I’ve spend the last five years falling about laughing at his trials and tribulations. That’s a weight I’d have to bear. My God… the guilt!

I think I’ll give him a call later, just make sure he’s alright. I’ll let him know I care and that way, if he does top himself, I’m absolved from any guilt.

I bet this is what he sees when he looks in the mirror

I bet this is what he sees when he looks in the mirror

I love how he rips old Nick too. ‘Skeletor, says I am a male 10’. Jesus, he’s an 8 at tops. Nick told me he’s not read it yet, but he’ll be reading it this Friday. Bullshit, I bet he pre ordered it and skimmed it for mentions of himself.

Here it is. If you buy it and you tell me hand on heart you didn’t like it, then I’ll let you have a free copy of my own book when it’s done.  Yes, I am writing my book too. I really am and it’s not just talk. I am 400 pages in. The problem I am having is it’s going to be long. I started in game in 1996. It’s a decade of pickup, rock bands, fashion parties, Euro jaunts and the occasional football violence and casual criminality. I think I get laid a few times in it too. It could be another year of writing the way it’s going.

It’s going to take a while for it to be right, but I’ll pack as much value in for as few pennies as possible. Whatever Nick and John can do, I can do better.

I’ve read both their books, Nick’s and John’s. It’s quite hard for me to read some of those stories and remember all those amazing times we had, long in the past now. I get a bit melancholy. Spurred by Bodi I’ve booked New Year in Malaga with JJ, Lee and Wisdom. Try to not let the old gang slip away too much.

Every now and then, a slice of the past is revived casually during the day. It’s a sad feeling at times, I’ll be honest.

A little anecdote from when JJ visited me last week. She took a photo of us both. She showed it to me and it was beautiful. (If Skeletor saw it he’d probably say I am a male 10 too. Definitely if I were paying him as richly as Nick was. ‘It’s obvious you would be classed the catalogue couple’, he’d say. ‘Now can I have my £50?’).

‘I like it, but the frame is ugly’, she smiled.

I winced, because, once upon a time, the primary meaning of the word ‘frame’ meant something completely different to me. Once upon a time, in that house in Hampstead, when I wore almost another man’s skin as it seems now, it was a word my friends and I used a lot. There is still some trace remnants of that man inside me.

I assumed firstly the reason it made me wince was just that the alternative meaning made the word distasteful. I realise now that it was just upsetting to hear the life calling me. A tiny reminder of the fun we used to have, the conversations in the Hemingway Suite, the joshing and the adventures.

It was that the little part inside me that I’d tried to kill three years ago was still there and chiming in. 100 memories flashed through my mind quickly before I could suppress them. ‘That was then’, I told myself.

If you had asked me if I could give up sleeping with other women for my girlfriend, then the answer would be ‘yes, easily, I already have’. I’m not so interested in notches any more. I am not at all interested in notches any more. She’s not keen on a swinging boyfriend and so monogamy is a no brainer for me. I’ll take 200 coffee dates with JJ over another 200 notches on my bedpost with random, albeit hot, chicks any day.

But giving up pickup? That’s a big deal. It’s a question that looms on the horizon for me. You think you have worked it all out, you’ve seen the marriage and monogamy trap for what it really is, you’ve pulled the curtain back on ‘love’ to show it as a delusion and then you meet literally a one in a million.

But giving up the life?

I travel to experience the world and part of that is the new people I meet. I can no longer just go to Madrid, I have to go to Madrid and hit the streets. It’s almost a genetic drive the same way a salmon swims up stream.

There is nothing like it. It’s the passion of my life. While I settle into the seat on the plane as I fly out, I KNOW that in the next few days there will be someone new in my life, a new friend, a new smiling face, who at this moment I simply do not know and who does not know me. Imagine that. On the seat back, I’ll know her name, her hopes, her dreams.

I am going to create destiny, history, out of thin air.

You land, leaving the airport you see flashes of what’s to come here and there. That girl waiting by the arrivals door, she must have been an underwear model. Is that the quality you get here?

You get to the apartment, bag down, fix a drink, unpack. Check the time. You’re not saying too much to your wing. You’re both keyed up. Time for ‘food’.

From the moment my fat feet hit that tarmac, I’m home. The street is my home, my trusty Converse pad around fresh plains. I’m looking for soul food. One there. One there. Destiny in the making. Silly heads full of hopeful dreams and feminine waffle. Pleasant natures all waiting to be rewarded with some manly company and a warm smile. I love hot, feminine girls and I can pick them like apples off a tree with a few well-tuned, well-honed phrases.

And then you’re off, you see someone. Your feet begin to move, pad, pad, pad – the sound that you hear so loudly in the infields, that unmistakable pad, pad, pad as a man grabs his will in his hands and simply makes shit happen. It used to be a moment of nerves, you’d be, for a few seconds alone and confused, you against the universe, it was a beautiful thing in those days. These days, it’s calculated and cool. Like a hawk swooping down on a mouse. Except you’re a force of good. A force of value. A force of love.

You stop her. For a few seconds she is startled so you have to calm her, you keep distance and quickly smile, half laugh, talking slowly with smiling eyes. She has stopped moving, she is listening, she is in the phase where she’ll either tumble into conversation or make it difficult. It’s down to you now, there’s a brief introduction and a slide into a stack. Before you know it, you’re in conversation, talking about a film. It’s plain sailing now, just a matter of time. The game is over, the rest is so simple. You enjoy the conversation, two days later you’ll be having coffee together.

You’re satiated and you part. You may not even call her, see what happens, see what other options you uncover. Pad, pad, pad, there goes that familiar sound again. Now your wing is in set. She’s nice. His body language is awesome and she’s laughing. It’s one step closer to being your town now. A real pair of rock stars. No one you see is unavailable to either of you; all you have to do is walk up to them. It’s a game. It really is a game. Each set is a little puzzle, some you win, some you lose, but the process of trying is exciting and challenging.

What else is there to do in a foreign city if you’re not working the streets? It IS what there is to do. Those moments from setting off to being in conversation, her legs crossed, your feet locked, are exhilarating. Like riding rapids.

Game is adventure and an end in itself; whatever happens, there’s always sex, but lads – sex is just a bonus by product of game. I am telling you, it’s a lifestyle, like being in a band was a lifestyle for me, but pickup is ten times cooler and 100 times more fun than rock and roll.

Taking game out of the equation removes half my reason for bothering to get out of bed in the first place. But I love my girl with a passion I have not known.

So it’s over to you guys, you’re going to have to come with me and do the approaches I can’t.

The Next Set

It’s been a brilliant week since we left Tallinn and came to Sofia. It’s been fantastic. A fun town and no mistake. So many stories to tell and lots of new friends. I rate Sofia as being among the best places I have ever been, for both pickup and simply just for fun.

I'll never get my 5 for the day at this rate

I’ll never get my 5 for the day at this rate

The last two days have been, for whatever reason, dry streets and dull sets. It sometimes is like this, game, it comes in peaks and troughs.

There’s a beautiful truth to game. No matter what just happened, today, this week, no matter how bad the last set, no matter that it’s been three days since you really liked a girl, no matter the only girl who thrilled you this week was the only one who didn’t agree to meet up, or the date you just had was boring, or you over escalated, or she turned out to be playing you, no matter all this… the next set could simply be the home run.

The next set can be the one that you end up going to the jazz concert with on the spur of the moment, she could be the one who ends up coming to meet you for pancakes on the square tomorrow lunchtime, she could be the one who escalates nicely over the next few days, the super cute 20 year old one who comes to your apartment at 2pm this Sunday for a six hour marathon sex session in which you tie her up, whip her and cover her in yoghurt. She could be the one who comes to London to visit you at New Year with her model girlfriend and you end up spending the weekend in a threesome making porn flicks with your best mate, she could be the girl you date for 3 years and love every mousie minute. Or even, she could be your wife. The mother of your children. Seriously. The next corner could deliver the mother of your children.

Every girlfriend I have had in the last ten years was at one point the next set. And they were no different from the last. The photo-shoot model in Manchester who I saw slip on the dance-floor. As she walked past me I grabber her arm, pulled her in and growled ‘you’re a clumsy bitch but I still fancy you’, ended up in my bed for a year. No different to the girl I opened 30 minutes prior who I just don’t even remember now.

It’s fantastic to think how there is no way of knowing. They all begin with an approach, an open and … that’s it.

These days, when I get on a plane, I always spend a moment with the following though.

‘I am about to spend two weeks in X location. I’ll open 30 girls. Five will end up on dates. One of them will end up in my bed. Once she does she’ll be in my life for a long time. She’ll become a part of my life. I’ll care about her. My life path will be influenced by her to some degree and she will be someone I make plans with and around. She will be important and cherished. And right now, I haven’t even met her. We’re strangers. But I am going to go out and make it happen. And a year from now, we’ll be close friends, unthinkable that we don’t have each other to lean on.’

They all start with that next set.

So tomorrow, I’ll hit the streets with Johan again. It might be a dry day, it may be three hours of so so uninspiring conversations. You glance up and down the street, where are the damn targets today? It’s been a couple of hours and not a sniff. The last ten sets have been grey bones. Can I really be bothered doing another?

The magic truth that can’t be taken from you is that the next set can be the whole holiday’s worth in one go, she could be the next fantastic three years of your life – or like me – that innocuous set on an average day in Zagreb could your entire future. And you won’t even remember the rest.