"Kiss me," she says.

And it's the only thing you can't do, because then she wins. If you let her set the boundaries, then she's in control. The only way to maintain control after, 'kiss me,' is to not. Then you win. You're in control.

So you leave; you walk out. The art of remaining unsatisfied. And that's why people can look at you and immediately know that you've got it more together than they do. Your mind is more active; for every thought they have, you have five. It's like chess when the guy who plans more moves ahead is the winner. And on a side note, you just have to wonder where Bobby Fischer is when we need him.

You have to plan for situations like this. You go in that room and she's ready to play all those games that women play. As a general rule, women are smarter than we are. So you go in that room and she's waiting for you to be the aggressive one so that she can make it your fault if things don't work out. So you go in that room and you know what she's thinking and with that smile on her face and gleam to her eyes, you know that she thinks she knows what you're thinking and that's when you play her game right back at her.

About the longest sentence I've ever seen is the opening to A Tale of Two Cities, but there's something about the way Dickens writes that just instills you with this confidence that its probably grammatically correct. And he didn't even have some computer program underlining his phrases in green to let him know when he messed up.

It's all about those higher levels and how in order to follow someone through these twisted chains of pseudo-logic; you either have to be very quick-witted or very tired. It's like when you look back on something that happened earlier today and you realize that you had this wonderful opportunity to say this amazing thing and you missed it. Some people just have a gift and never miss; they make these things up on the spot. It's usually those same people that you hated in high school. They're usually not the real popular kids or the nerdy ones, but those quiet ones who when you look at them you can tell they're just waiting for you to open your mouth so that they can open theirs and make you look like an idiot.

When she asks me to kiss her and I walk out, she probably felt like an idiot. This is a prime example of the "best of times, worst of times" phenomenon. Dickens would be proud, and you can see Bobby Fischer in the back row silently cheering you on as you move to within one step of having mate in four. That's when it happens. Instead of moving queen's knight to king's bishop 3, and cementing her demise, she picks up the board and hurls it across the room.

"I always loved you," she says.

Three months ago everything that came out of her mouth was:

"You're my little brother's best friend."

"This age difference is too much."

"I have to make the dean's list."

"I was abused as a child."

"I don't know if I can love you."

Like I said, women are smarter than men are. So when it comes to these emotional battles, they have a decided advantage. About the only way to even the score is to spend the day listening to heavy metal, and get real pissed off. Then you take half a bottle of caffeine and some speed if you can get your hands on any. The trick is to get yourself thinking two or three levels beyond her.

These confrontations are all about thought speed. You have to go in that room like you're walking into the New York Stock Exchange. You're an air-traffic controller. You're a stand up comedian. You're wired as hell, but that's okay. This is not a distance race; you don't need the endurance; the race is decided in the first three steps.

"I always loved you."

How do you respond to that?

"Bullshit." Calm, arrogant and you keep walking right out through that door, and into the world.