A bunch of fives

Mr Invisible is sitting next to Mr Invisible. Next is Mr Invisible, next to him is Mr Invisible, until finally, me: Mr Invisible. Five Mr Invisibles out for dinner together, all of us skipping the starters, going for the thirty-two-ounce sirloin, because wolfing down two pounds of red meat is the route to abs like Logan. Those abs are so defined, surely the waitress can see them through his shirt.

The other invisibles are taking copious notes on their Logan branded leather pocketbooks – his stance, his smile. The way he corners every attempt to get past him. In my notebook what I’ve mostly written is the number seven hundred, followed by many question marks.

Logan struts as he returns to our table. We spent an hour that morning, leaning how to pimp our walks. We also learnt how to buy expensive shirts, designer shoes, and just how terrible our haircuts are. Logan is teaching us the art of seduction.

He takes his chair. He waits for his audience to grow quiet in expectation. Then he tells us the waitress has a boyfriend. He tells us she has a kid, and she’s working extra shifts to save for a bike for his birthday. He waits for the shock of this news to dissipate across the faces of his disciples. Only then does he unveil the folded piece of paper complete with her phone number.

Logan is our God. He is training us in the ways of the PUA – the Pickup Artist.

I’m too chicken to ask Logan to dial the number.

After dinner we shall hit a club. Logan says he is going to teach us how to neg women. He boasts he gets ten phone numbers a night, and sure, maybe we’ll only manage ten percent of his luck, but that’s one more phone number than either me or any of the invisibles ever manage.

I’m not sure that’s worth seven hundred dollars.

What I’ve learnt so far: Logan is an eight out of ten, and we are a bunch of fives. Logan is pretty. He is charming. Logan has easy access to that secret room in life where the guys are confident and have no issues pestering women till all their resolve is beaten away. Oh yeah, and another thing - you take five guys to pester women for long enough in the park eventually the cops show up.

Seven hundred dollars for a running lesson?

Logan leaves his jacket in the restaurant. It’s a chance to send one of us back inside for one last pester. I can’t help the grin when he picks me.

The art of seduction is all about confidence. It’s about having the balls to pick up Logan’s jacket, to paint my face with a smooth smile, and then stroll blithely through the kitchen and out the back way.

Into the smelliest dumpster with Logan’s jacket and me the other way, leaving behind Logan and his cabal of sex pests in training.