In that very class where first I noted ex-Mildred, Clarissa sent me a teasing, pleasing text message:-
does it easy to find a suitable
I took the chance to flirt back:-
finding a girl as beautiful, sexy and unforgettable as the one I met on Friday night is extremely hard.
And as I tapped this off to her, another arrived:
Ok together with your sweet girl. i will find u later with a handsome guy.
The next morning I messaged her:-
Last night I dreamed of you... all night long, my Clarissa...
Normally that’s a lie when I say it. In this case it was true. I remember it clearly because it was a sexy dream, one in which I was just about to realize all my hopes; but just as I reached that moment I was woken by a text message from Tulip.
To this, Clarissa replied `
That filled me with joy, for I took it to mean `killing me with conflict’ – that is, that she was thinking of me like I am of her, though a less pleasing interpretation would be that she meant I was a ladykiller and the she saw through my shallow moves.
But still I tried to play it a little, replying ‘Killing? O, if only I could change that double `l’ to double `s’…’ And she, quick to take up this little linguistic game, said ‘u mean kidding? I know!’
This flirty tone to our relationship carried on online. A month or so after we’d got to know each other, she’d told me how she did not like to sleep alone (her husband being elsewhere on business.)
Me: yeah, i am sleeping alone these days too, and i'm not too happy about it either!
C: why not find a girl friend
C: besides.... i would be thinking of you even if i did have a gf
C: it doesn't matter at all
C: as I am not an MBA
Me: i know, dear Clarissa, i know... i would not make the rude suggestion that you were!
Me: but i hope u could be a good friend at least!
C: Don;t we?
Me: we are... but.. friends should spend time together, and, alas, u are too busy for that! what a shame...
C: know I am afraid of u
C: afraid of ... I think u know
Me: well... i guess... so maybe it is better we are friends more by msn than in person (of course I did not mean that at all, but one must know when not to push too hard)
Me: but... it would be nice
C: i know u r a "killer" but I don't want to be killed
C: I need a peaceful life
B: yes, i do understand, Clarissa. but in fact i am not really a `killer' - it is only when it comes to you that i find it hard to control my thoughts.
C: sweet man
This promising conversation ended there, since Tulip called me, following up her sms (more of her, later, too); but that was a good enough place to leave our online chat. This kind of conversation can be kept brief, hanging, for that makes it more piquant, more stimulating.
Keyed up to the pitch of needing feminine company, the day after this conversation I idled through a few contacts in my address book.
First of all, I called up Joy. Joy had studied at
Lecher though I am, the single sexiest quality in a woman, for me, is intelligence; true intelligence – not merely book-learned repetition - shines in the character, and it takes very few seconds for it to be obvious. Just a minute or two of conversation with Joy when I first met her was enough to captivate me – her breezy self-confidence, her brisk, pugnacious, teasing manner of talking to me. And so I’d set myself after her and, course concluded, we’d met for dinner.
Yet splendidly bright as she is, full of life and character, over dinner I saw that that life seemed to have little of emotion in it. Bracing she was, but also unyielding, wrapped in ice. I do not mean just with regard to my trifling desires, but rather that she was held back, reserved, as a way of life.
This is not quite to say she knows nothing of emotion, for she is aware of it and its complexities. But only in a logical way; she knows it, even understands it, some – but does not feel it. She is too rigid, intellectual.
Well, flaunting my ease with these things – or crassness, perhaps – I asked “Have you ever been kissed?”
“Of course I have!” she said –“Here,” pointing to her cheek, “and here,” to her forehead. I laughed out loud at this and in the ensuing conversation she told me that she would have to date a guy for at least two years before letting him her lips.
Partly it’s so absurd as to be laughable; partly it’s sad. This cocoon of bullshit, of lies; it’s what leads to sure marital sadness, as Chinese woman too often goes from chaste virgin to being badly, coolly and rapidly fucked by her cold fish husband – as she unwraps the gift she’s seen glittering in her mind all her life and finds a cold, cooked, congealed potato therein. Ah, yes, a ‘generalization’ again. But what shall I say? I can only write of what I see, what I am told.
But (to get back to my search for a date) there was no reply for her. So then on a whimsy I text-messaged Holly, also a long-term background interest of mine who I will add to the growing list of women to write about in more detail.
In brief, for now, Holly caught my eye in class primarily because she reminded me of a girlfriend back in
Holly’s manner too reminded me of this past girlfriend, though of course that was likely more my need than her reality, me just seeing what I wanted to see. But the way she was slightly ill-at-ease (for the first time I invited her out it was with a general group of friends), the air she had, like that ex-, was of being in a milieu foreign to her… I don't mean to suggest any lack of social skills, not at all; more that she reminded me of how this ex- had once told me about going out with ‘wild young things.’ It was perhaps just that she found the party a little boring but something she felt she ought to enjoy – though would have preferred a quieter, calmer place. Her slight air of detachment, of observation… it was redolent, reminiscent of my life with that ex-.
But I got no reply from Holly, either. Of course, I could have called, rather than messaged, but that is not quite such a good way to flirt; for Holly would have been at work and thus would have been forced to respond to my call professionally not personally, for offices in
So then I sent Sweetie a message, and soon enough one arrived back from her. She was out of town. This was perhaps just as well, for I had neither seen nor messaged her for a few weeks, and to get together with her tonight purely because I wanted a woman would have been so obvious indiscreet as to have made her ha me.
And that many attempts was enough for me, so I went to Paulaner bar to take advantage of their afternoon special on beer, where, at half price, it is only surprisingly expensive rather than outrageously expensive and where (it being the afternoon) silence reigns; for in the evening Thai and Philipine bands sing, the noise is overwhelming and the crowds of easily-fooled locals, out to be seen, cram the place.
Later that evening, however, Clarissa called me, high and happy, at a party somewhere; and then again later, on her way home, , she called again, the party over and she on her way home; and this seemed to me a good sign, for it showed she again was thinking of me. Sure, maybe she just wants the flattery I surely provided, but even were that true it would still prove connection, frisson; she would not have been thinking of me, called me, had I not some impact on her.
Sure, I rolled out such seductive words as seemed fitting; she was after them, telling me she was sure I did not really care about her (for this was still relatively early in our relationship) – and what was that but a chance to tell her just how potently I did feel about her? How I thought of her every day? Pressed her for dinner, and she liked it but would not commit – because, to judge by the call and our online conversations she was enough interested in me for that putative dinner to undo her self-control; and, thus, while she was separated by a phone’s distance, she knew to hold to that gap as hard as she could.
And indeed she told me she had to go home to her husband – her mention of him both a barrier and an offer. A barrier because it was to remind me he was there, she was his; but an offer because, in going home to him, she showed she was thinking of me.
More, she put him there, obvious, to show he was part of the equation; that no matter what might happen between us, she would remain married to him. And that suited me just fine. I did not want to love her, exactly, but nor quite was it just a matter of sex. Yes, sex was my goal, true, but sex with at least some emotional anchor to it.