Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Difficulty of Making Good Choices.

After much deliberation, after contemplating and delineating their desires and expectations, as well their weaknesses, histories, and needs, along with the possibilities and limitations of their current situation, they decided not to become lovers. Because, despite their physical attraction to each other, they recognized a physical relationship would not likely lead to happiness, not for themselves and not for others, at least not in the long term. This was the choice that they had made and they had made this choice carefully. This was the right choice.

They were still friends. Of course. And so they met for coffee. As friends do.

“Great to see you again.”
“Great to see you, too.”
“Thanks for meeting me.”
“My pleasure.”
“I think – is it okay to talk about this? I think we made the right decision.”
“You’re feeling well?”
“And you’re -- comfortable sitting out here? Not chilly? You don't want a table inside?”
“No, it’s lovely out here. So bright.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Of course.”
“Personal questions are okay?”
“Well. Ask me and I’ll think about it.”
“Why are you wearing a face mask and a scarf and galoshes and industrial overalls and a motorcycle helmet? It’s a warm day – and you are not riding a motorcycle.”

“Just felt like it.”

The café was a little expensive, the coffee incredibly strong. They sat sipping it now.
“A face mask is certainly a common sight in this city. It’s flu season after all. And as for the winter clothes, well, plenty of people believe that winter begins on a certain day and so they wear their fur trimmed coat and snow boots even if it’s downright balmy. Overalls are always adorable but the overall effect – is it okay to say this – seems to me, frankly, outlandish. I’m not hurting you am I? You know I never want to hurt you. The motorcycle helmet seems particularly superfluous, since you came here on the bus --”
“I’m comfortable.”
“That’s what matters. Are you comfortable?”
“I’m not comfortable at all. Physically. But I can say that I have a certain spiritual comfort as well as a hard-headed pragmatic satisfaction.”
“You’re quoting my letter.”
“I agreed with your letter.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”

They sat together in silence for the next few sips of coffee. The man who asked questions bobbed his head around, nodded like he was checking things off a list. Yes, it was Thursday morning. Yes, this was Tokyo. The sun was out and so were the high society wives and their ten thousand dollar dogs. He never stopped smiling.

The other man may or may not have been smiling. He had his visor down.

“You’re okay?”
“Yes! I’m completely okay,” said the voice inside the helmet. “Of course I’m a little sweaty, but that’s to be expected.”
“Good, good.” He went on nodding at the air. “Listen, I don’t want you to feel like I’m pressuring you – because I totally respect you and your decisions and those decisions, we both agree, don’t have to look anything like what other people are deciding but – are you sure you don’t want to remove something?”
“Of course I would like! But no, absolutely not. Oh, hell.” There was a muffled sob from inside the helmet.
“Oh honey – I mean, dear friend. Does this have anything to do with what we decided?”
“I completely agree with what we decided. It’s definitely the right choice.”
“It’s good to hear you say that.”
“And sometimes, when you make the right choice, you have to accept, it’s going to be a little awkward sometimes. For example, now.”

Another long silence.

“I am very interested in what you are saying. Please -- continue.”
“We made an excellent choice. A mature thoughtful and ethical choice. I will sleep better. Eventually. I presume. In the meantime, there may be, as I said, some awkwardness.”
“I think I see what you’re saying. You mean, despite the choices we made there are still residual feelings which – point in another direction.”
“Something like that.”
They nodded to each other, one hairy head and one motorcycle helmet. The natural opening was lost; the moment passed. Their coffee was nearly finished and what was left was cold.

The man in the motorcycle helmet lay one gloved hand on the other man’s thigh. The other man looked carefully at that hand.

The voice behind the visor said, “I want to fuck you in bed. But only to start. Really I what I want is to fuck you down on the floor. So we can really have at it. I want to spank your hairy ass. I want to be buck naked with the blinds open and the sun streaming in. I want to beg for it. I want to cram your cock down my throat. I want to feel your balls resting on my beard. I want to put my tongue in your asshole. I want to drink your hot spunk.”

At tables all around them, Japanese ladies did not turn to look. Immaculate in linen, in the style, still, of Audrey Hepburn, those ladies did not turn and did not look. Perhaps a particularly sharp eyed observer might have noticed the muscles straining in their delicate necks. Perhaps they might even make an appointment later with their acupuncturist. To help them manage the discomfort accumulated over a lifetime of not turning. Because these were absolutely first-rate ladies, the kind who do not ever look.

Their dogs had no such qualms however. Naturally. The dogs were positively riveted, straining at the end of their leashes. Those little dogs were absolutely interested in finding out what happened next.

But anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of men, or dogs, will not require such elucidation.

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