"Meeting girls is like juggling. It takes practice," said Jimmy.
It was a glorious sunny afternoon, the last week of July. The temperature was in the mid-eighties and the ocean calm. A lazy wind fanned the beach, which was lined with people stretched on their backs and bellies, on blankets and beach towels, like sausages grilling under the sun. The ocean teemed with rubber rafts and body surfers.
"You're scaring 'em off," Jimmy said, plucking a cigarette from behind his ear. Deftly he slipped it between his lips, cupped his hands against the breeze and lit up. "I seen you talk to the girls at the counter. You come on too strong. Girls don't like desperation."
"But I am desperate," I conceded.
Jimmy dragged on his cigarette. "Just don't let 'em see it. Like when you juggle, you're working hard, but you make it look easy. Invisible, no? Same thing here. Just lighten up. You meet a nice girl. You ask her for a date, a night on the boards. You buy her a cotton candy, put your arm around her. Tell her she looks great. Make her feel like a million. A girl wants to feel like that, you know? Maybe you get a kiss at the end of the night. Maybe you cop a feel. But that's it. You don't get laid and she don't get no ring."
It wasn't until the second week of August that I had my first prospect—a petite, bouncy redhead named Janis, who watched me juggle on a Saturday night and stuck around after the show.
You'll have to read the novel to find out how Jason put Jimmy's advice to use.