Saturday, May 28, 2016

About the Difficulty of Making Good Choices

(2016 version)

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.  The choice was made.

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 OK?”
“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 a common sight in this city. Flu season after all. 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 when it’s downright balmy. Overalls are always adorable but the overall effect – I hope it’s OK 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 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 very 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 and nodded like he was checking off a list. Yes, it was Thursday morning. Yes, this was Tokyo. The sun was out and so were the high society wives, along with their ten thousand dollar dogs. He never stopped smiling.

The other man may or may not have been smiling. He kept 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.  I agree.”
“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 assume. 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 what I want is to fuck you down on the floor. So we can really have at it.  I want to fuck you in the shower and over the arm of a sofa and in a public park. I want to spank your hairy ass.  I want to wrestle you.  I want to pretend to be an intruder.  Then you can be an intruder and I can be a cop.  I want to be pirates together.  I want to be buck naked with the blinds open and the sun streaming in. I want you to make me beg for it.  I want to make so much noise that nearly deaf punk kids will knock on the door to complain. I want to choke on your cock. 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 rudimentary knowledge of men, or dogs, will not require much elucidation.

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