The next morning I woke up to New Year’s Eve. I was still living in a grotty one-bedroomed flat in Kennington, a rundown area that felt more like Lagos or Kingston than the land of my forefathers. My housing estate had been built in the 1930s and probably never updated since. There were metal security bars welded across all ground floor windows in my block due to the crime problem—any time I read about a fatal stabbing or shooting in the London paper it was a fair bet to be nearby. The only reason normal working people lived there is it’s centrally located and cheap—I could walk to my banking job in just thirty minutes. Never underestimate the squalor of London living conditions. Despite earning near £100k per year the punitive taxation, mass immigration, bureaucratic incompetence and creeping socialism of London life meant I lived in a shithole. And paid £1000 per month for the privilege.
This was far from the best time in my life. Working like a dog fortyeight weeks a year, having seventy percent of my income stolen from me by an assortment of taxes so that I could live in a squalid damp flat and sleep in the bed that I’d shared with my wife less than a year earlier. And I wasn’t getting laid.
I’d think, “Is that all there is?” I’d worked hard at school, graduated University top of my faculty, gone straight into a high-pressure high-achievement professional apprenticeship and then risen up the corporate ladder through dedication, talent, and a little good luck. Yet here I was, almost thirty-five years old, single, and living next door to a workshy immigrant family who had exactly the same apartment as me but paid for it with welfare funded by taxes stolen from me while I paid the full market rate. Just a week earlier the council had replaced the windows of every apartment except those of the people who actually paid their own rents. So the immigrants had new double-glazing and I had draughty single-glazing.
I’d done everything society asked of me and done it well. Yet here I was, living in squalor, alone, with no idea where it had all gone wrong. Dark thoughts filled my mind back then. The only faint light of hope in my life was this secret system of Game. Looking back it sounds silly to be so pessimistic but having your heart broken and then enduring a twelve-month dry spell will do that to a man. That’s where my obsession would come from, the driving energy that would eventually turn my life around.
New Year’s celebrations bore me. Being somewhat introverted, the idea of being at a party or a club where it was standing room only was not enchanting to me in the least. Neither were the obnoxious mark-ups on the cover fees and drinks in London bars. But, like I said earlier, I was new to this journey. I had become friends with some of the RSG guys and keen to cement it. They were the “cool guys” and I wanted to continue to broaden my social circle and be a part of their group. The longer I hung out with them, the more I could learn. In those dark days it was a lifeline, what felt like my one shot at happiness. My new friend (and leader of RSG) Jimmy had invited me out for New Year’s Eve with a group of the guys. So I went.
The plan was to meet up at a Shoreditch bar-club called “The Last Days of Decadence.” Shoreditch is renowned for its party scene, frequented by a diverse demographic, mostly hipster twats. Last Days is a throwback to the Roaring 20s prohibition era from the stained glass windows to the cherry wood bars it’s an exercise in old school indulgence, like a bar from Boardwalk Empire. It encourages retro evening formal dress. After a few stiff whiskeys I’d feel transported back in time, the perfect atmosphere for ringing in the New Year.
I sent Rakiya a feeler text to see where I was at with her. Men who are new to Game are usually shocked at the flake rate—the amount of girls who will give a phone number then never reply. Even now when I’m pretty good and know how to solidify a number I still expect at least half of the girls to flake. Back then it was closer to ninety percent so even though the energy and sparkle had been good on the street I wasn’t expecting much. I sent this: “Hey Jimmy. I just met this Nigerian girl. She’s cute and sexy but looks like one of those sex perverts you warned me about. Should I date her?”
She understood the joke and responded almost immediately.
“Hahaha, you should be careful! I recommend you run away from her.”
We pinged a few messages quickly and my spirits rose. So many recent interactions had been a waste of time but this one stuck. She had high interest. I also found out that she lived quite close to me. A few hours passed, and as I was showering, my phone vibrated. Wiping my hands dry on the towel, I reached out from the shower cubicle and checked my messages.
“What are you doing tonight?”
Fucking score! Not only was she fishing for a date invitation (an extremely strong sign of interest for a girl, due to them usually taking a passive role) but she was trying to spend New Year’s Eve with me—one of the few get-drunk-and-damn-the-consequences nights of the year. I was almost shaking in anticipation.
I replied something or other and she called. After some quick chit-chat I told her about the evening plans.
“That sounds like a lot of fun,” she told me.
“I think it will be. Why don’t you join us?”
“I’d love that,” she said. I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was excited.
“Great!” I told her. We arranged to meet up near the Imperial War Museum an hour later, then I scrambled to get ready.
Jimmy lived just a couple of minutes’ walk away from me, also in a squalid little two room flat with his mate Tomasz, also an RSG guy. It was funny to be on the inside and see how these guys really lived. Jimmy and Tomasz spent most of their time sitting around in their boxer shorts and watching DVDs on their laptops. It was as if they turned on a different persona when they walked out the door. We had a can of beer each, then I popped out to collect Rakiya. She was all smiles and warm energy, so I took her to Jimmy’s then we got a cab into town.
Last Days was predictably jam-packed. It was like stepping into the 1920s—if that era had also been popular for trashy tattoos, binge drinking, and obesity. It’s jarring to see a chubby foul-mouthed English woman swilling cocktails while dressed like Marlene Dietrich. That’s how my vibe was in 2009—whereas now I find beauty in everything back then it seemed like British culture was a festering sore rotting through a once-great nation. At least the music was good.
Rakiya was dolled up in a yellow dress and with her dark hair and skin she looked very cute in it. Like a big sexy banana. I’d noticed she was a bit chubby, but her smile and her youthfulness were nice and it was so long since I’d gotten laid I wasn’t being too selective. In addition, I’d never shagged a black girl, unless you count a quickie with a prostitute in Prague five years earlier. Game is great for satisfying sexual curiosity.
We shuffled through the crowds until finding the rest of the team. Jimmy brought along an older woman he’d been banging because she was a famous songwriter and producer in the US. Betty was blonde and slim but pushing forty and pretty haggard from all the booze and cigarettes. Not really a catch, you might say. Jimmy wanted to get his band signed while I got the impression that Betty was using him for the bad boy sex. Jimmy was a decent looking thirty-one year old guy. Imagine Liam Gallagher, the wild and moronic frontman of Oasis, and then turn the volume down a little. Jimmy was astute, talented, but also slothfully lazy and not willing to put out the effort to reach his full potential.
Also with RSG that night was Mick, an Australian raconteur gifted with the ability and wit to tell a story that would have the entire room spell-bound. Mick was always the life of the party. He had held down a wide variety of jobs in his twenty-eight years of life ranging from a croupier on a cruise ship, a ski instructor to faking his resume to land an accounting contract. That gave him fodder for quite a few of his tales. He was definitely an extrovert and very good with the ladies.
Tony was the other guy there. He was the grand old man of RSG despite being my age. We all looked up to him because of his experience and deep knowledge of the crimson arts. He’d been a Salsa performer and railed over three hundred women. Even then he was in great shape and projected a solid masculine presence.
An hour passed and whiskey flowed. A burlesque dancer was cavorting across the small raised stage wiggling her hips and showing skin. By my third whiskey her breasts had been freed from their velvet prison and she was dancing the Charlestone. I was walking Rakiya to the basement bar when Mick came over and grabbed me.
“Nick, do me a favour. I want you to use your pre-selection to help me pick up one of these girls.”
When women see a man out with a pretty girl, they look at him differently than if he was alone or with male friends. Deep in their hindbrain women have short-cuts to assess a man’s sexual market value and one is “since he was able to score this pretty young thing there must be something about him, something that I’m missing out on.” Thus, one great way to make women interested in you is to be seen with a pretty girl on your arm. We call this “pre-selection.”
Mick continued, “I’m going over to talk to those girls”. He nodded his head towards a group of three young girls standing against the bar. “Wait for me to open, then walk past with Rakiya and say to the girls, ‘Be careful of this guy here, he gets laid like a rock star.’”
I agreed, thinking of it as helping out a friend while continuing my learning process. Each time I saw Mick with a girl I went over and gave him this verbal pat on the back. More whiskey blurred my mind. Things were going great—we were swapping stories with the RSG guys, drinking, lots of ribaldry. Mick was copping off with some girl in a dark corner while Rakiya was pressed up against me all night, coming on to me. I’d already kissed her.
There’s a nightclub area in the basement that serves drinks and also has a stage where they do a bigger cabaret show. The toilets are just to the side of the stairs and, as we were coming down, I saw Mick. He was coming out of the women’s bathroom with a giggling girl close behind. She scurried off with a guilty expression, and he stopped when he saw me.
“I can’t believe it! I just got a blowjob in the toilets,” then he grinned broadly and said, “Cheers for the help!”