Brian ducks down to get through the small door, steps into the court. Mike is already warming up, lazily bouncing the ball off various walls.
“Hey, how’d the date go?”
“Alright… I guess.”
“Yeah. What’d you do?” Mike lines up to serve, really launches it.
Brian dives for the corner, sneakers squeaking, thwacks it high in return. It bounces off the back wall. “Point. …coffee.”
“Dude! Coffee? That’ll kill ya right from the start.” Mike twirls his racquet in one hand as he bounces the ball idly. “Sitting with coffee’s like a job interview – hard to charm a woman like that. He serves: tight in the corner. You’ve got to take her out, DO something, anything”
Brian dives forward to make the return: “Like what?”
Mike takes 3 strides to meet the ball: “Whatever, mini-golf, finger painting… it doesn’t matter. Trick is you want to be doing something you can talk about so you don’t have to just talk. You get having fun, any chick will like you more if she’s having fun. Otherwise you sit there and have to answer The Questions”
“The Questions?” Brian reaches high, slams the ball tight in the bottom corner, Mike dives deep, fans the swing.
“Your serve. Oh you know, those questions chicks always ask: past relationships, future plans, hopes and dreams. It all gets in their head quick, you gotta distract ’em with some shiny for a while first. Keep it chill.”
Brian serves, they volley for a while, nothing but the sound of breaking shoes, thwunk of ball, grunts of exertion.
“Bry, I’ll give you another insider tip, free of charge.” Mike wipes the sweat from his face on his shirt: “You always want to tell the pretty girls they’re smart and the smart girls they’re pretty.”
“Nah, that’s backwards.”
“Oh no, my friend it’s not. That’s the trick of it!”
Brian winds up a sweet serve, leaves Mike scrambling. “Point.” When he catches his breath he continues: “The pretty girls get compliments on their looks all the time, you want to stand out? You say something about her brains, she doesn’t get to hear that much, she’ll remember.”
Brian starts a lazy volley as they talk. Mike continues: “Same thing with the smart chicks, you can be sure they’re smart enough to know they’re smart, what they don’t get to hear much is that they’re admired in other ways too.”
Mike scrambles to the back to catch a wild ball, gets the return as he bounces off the wall. It flies past Brian. “Mm, your serve…” he says.
“….What if she’s smart and pretty?” He asks as Mike gets the ball from the front of the court, lines up to serve.
“Smart AND pretty? Dude! You’re pooched!” High lofting serve off the top, heading to the back of the court, Brian hustles for it. Mike continues through his return:
“See, a chick like that has heard every sweet comment on her looks and is smart enough to see through all the lines. A chick like that, she knows she’s hot, she knows she’s smart. A chick like that you gotta do your homework, really pay attention. What she wants is to be really seen, ya know? She hears about the smart, she hears about the pretty all the time. You want to hook her? She’s gotta know you can see past all that and genuinely dig the person she is. Ooof!” Mike hits the wall hard chasing after a shot.
Brian wipes the sweat from his eyes while Mike catches his breath, rubs his shoulder.
As Brian bounces the ball preparing for his next serve Mike continues: “And a chick like that, you can’t bullshit, she’ll see right through it. You’d better be real…. Aw, Christ! Your point.” He tosses the ball back to Brian, he catches it in one hand, while tapping the racquet on his thigh.
“You got a chick who’s smart AND pretty?”
“Mm, yeah, I think so”
“Cool …don’t fuck it up.”