010010101 PICK UP by Christopher T Dabrowski
English translation by Monika Olasek
That was supposed to be THE DAY—the day to prove himself and all the others that he was able to pick up beautiful girls. He wanted to get out of his shell and overcome the shyness that had been eating him for ages. He was fed up with sitting alone in front of a computer. He was bored with virtual flirts on the Internet. He was nagged by the awareness that the time was passing by and he still didn’t know how it was.
He was marching along the main street. There was only one thought in his mind, ‘I’ll do it. I must do it!,’ as if he wanted to silence the underskin fear; the anxiety that no matter what he would do, he was doomed to failure. For sixteen years he had been hiding a major pessimist in his rickety body. He had to get rid of him as fast as possible. That was the day!
He was scrutinizing the crowd, looking for a suitable candidate. Suddenly, he saw a comely female.
It would be great to synchronize my joystick with her mouse, he thought.
Her hips were swinging as she walked. ‘What a casing!’ he sighed. He scanned her image immediately to run a thorough analysis. She was sun-tanned, with blonde hair flying in the wind, ripe breasts, long, shapely legs, tiny waist—a very attractive interface; a real ideal.
The time had come! All he needed was just a proper access code to log in, he thought feverously. He might even be the sole user. He hoped it would not turn out that she was already taken. He felt a wave of heat. Blushing—not good; either the graphics card was going mad or the processor was overheating. He had to calm down, as long as she was still far away; otherwise a critical error could occur and it would be all over.
He took a deep breath, started an anti-stress filter and reset himself. He had to act quickly. She was getting close. After the system had stabilized, he decided to find information about picking up girls in the database. Two days earlier he had read a great book about it and had copied a lot of helpful advices onto his hard drive. He was searching his memory; claster after claster, folder after folder. The beautiful stranger was only a mere twenty metres from him.
Maybe the data was at a different partition, he thought.
He felt as if that tension made all the connectors burn out. There it was! He found it! It was... compressed. Jeeesuuus, how could he forget about the unzipping! I won’t make it, a thought of despair shot through his logical circuits.
He made it! Now he just had to synchronize the coordinates, come closer to her and say something. He chose a password. He straightened his back—he had to look confident. Now a little adjustment of the sound card—he did not want to sound like a teenager during breaking of voice; his voice had to be deep and sensual. He blocked the girl’s way.
‘Hi! I’d like to meet you,’ he started with a light tone and presented his keyboard in a wide smile.
‘But I don’t. Beat it!’
That was not what he had expected! The guidebook said that “self-confidence, a right stance and a proper tone guarantee a success.” He was crushed—he had no idea what to do. It was supposed to be different! He didn’t have a link to an advice on how to cope with such a situation. With every long, passing second there were less and less chances that they could be compatible. A failure! He felt his ears burn. Her eyes were full of contempt. He was like a computer attacked by a Trojan virus.
She was laughing at him. Louder and louder, till she cried. He ran away. He could not stand the tension. He had never been so humiliated—he almost burned from shame. Enough of this picking up! He would never be popular with women—he had to accept it. He took a desperate try and he was defeated. Enough! He returned to the world of computers, Internet, programs and games. He sank deeper into his shell of unapproachability and was soon traversing the vast binary lands. There he was an invincible lord and master.


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