I’ll never forget it, the time when I drove for miles out of town to see a girlfriend—that invited me out there—and ended up spending three days watching television, walking around town by myself, and feeling salty in general. Why? She had a dude in town that she was messing with. I found this out by talking to the dude—bros gotta talk—when I saw him and figured that something was off about the situation. I ended up driving home after cussing this girl out, and although we’re still cool, I will never forget it. I can laugh about it now, but at the time she was the devil to me, and I always wondered why she bothered to invite me out there when it was obvious that our thing was over.
Recently I added a similar situation to my newest book “Re-Wired“, and it was a lot of fun reliving that odd situation through my fictional loser’s eyes. I had to write 50,000 words in November for a writing contest and to accomplish it I chose a subject that I know all too well: men losing their minds in the pursuit of women they cannot have. Once upon a time I was that guy, and I have seen so many other brothers take that same doomed path when there is someone in their corner wanting to love them.
For Re-Wired I chose a Sci-Fi setting in future Seattle, where a College kid—who is terrible with women—ends up building a hot android girlfriend. He made his girl, and she is everything that he could ask for: beautiful, supportive, adventurous, and loving, but he cannot get past the fact that she is a machine, and one that he built. So he continues to pursue real women and creates a situation where he meets someone who doesn’t love him as much as he loves her, while his unhappy—and rapidly becoming human—android girlfriend stays at home, looking for a way to win him back.
“ROBOT LOVE IS QUEER!”
While we don’t all have the means of creating a perfect Android version of Tika Sumpter, many of us do have a “friend” that is in our corner; one that is beautiful, supportive, adventurous, and loving. The problem with us is that we neglect that friend in pursuit of the “strange”—that mysterious beauty that every other guy wants. It’s not exclusively a male thing either, and we have written about the friend-zone here more times than I’d like to admit. We pass up the people who love us for all of our negative and positive quirks, to pursue others that we will have to win over, convince, and appease. On the outside it seems crazy, but I have been guilty of it myself.
In my story the android—with her quantum-adaptive CPU—learns to become human in every single way. So the rejection, loneliness, and the neglect of her maker/lover becomes a problem. It leads to some really scary situations that reflect a lot of what happens in real life. Hurting people hardly ever leads to happily ever after, and normally when we get burned, we try to rebound to the person in that friend-zone, only to find that they have moved on.
When I drove home from that wasted trip I was absolutely devastated. I had wasted vacation time, I was angry that this sweet girl that I thought I loved was playing games with me, and most of all I was mad at myself. She was someone I chose to go back to when there were so many more genuine opportunities at home. This is why I am a strong believer in playing your cards instead of looking at someone else’s hand. It was one of the best lessons I learned in life, and all it cost me was a couple tanks of gas and a few points on my license.
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