What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Part Two: 'Tomorrow’s Happiness Begins Today'

Since last week’s discovery that the beautiful girl in my philosophy class likes to spend time with the campus nerd, I have devoted countless mental calories to devising a way to be noticed by her in a positive way. Most of my ideas involve great heights, flame or Marxist propaganda (that was Reginald's idea, actually) and none of them are very positive. But because I haven’t risked any of them, a relationship with Carrie remains a possibility, albeit a distant one. By the same token, she still hasn’t noticed me.

During one of the breaks, I followed the nerd into the restroom and got a good look at him while at the wash stand. The nerd was looking at his own comely features in the mirror and adjusting his dry, keratinized hair with an air of vanity and self assurance. I sized him up while letting the tepid water flow easily over my outstretched palms.

He was small. Maybe 5’7” or 5’8”. His shoulders had an inward slump that spoke of more hours in a virtual world than a weight room. He did not look athletic, but had a fashionable pair of jeans that made turned his unshaped body into something mildly resembling the masculine form. He weighed between 120 and 130 pounds; a meager presence in the large restroom. His was the body type that made a small “poof” when entering the water in “cannon ball” form. His voice when we exchanged pleasantries was flat and high pitched. His diction was heavily weighed by a Castro Street lisp that severely detracted from his manliness. His shirt was nondescript, black with some artistic white designs. He was exactly the kind of guy you could look at and then forget a moment later.

But Carrie hadn’t forgotten him. After class they were walking together with a closeness that befits lifelong friends, not college freshmen two weeks into their first semester of higher education.

Maybe, I thought, my feelings were a banal jealously, a perception that this girl was somehow a prize that I could beat out the other guys to “have.”

But no, a quick examination of my priorities revealed my intentions were pure. This girl was fresh off the farm, a naive and innocent presence on a hardened academic surface. She didn’t know what she was getting into or the ideas the nerd might be getting into his nondescript head. She needed protection. My protection.

The nerd, on the other hand, was probably a battle hardened player with more love tales than Alexander the Great had war anecdotes. He probably made a lifestyle of getting women to fall for him and then crushing their uncorrupted hearts. His was a utilitarian existence and it was my lot to save one more victim from his grasp.

Then another thought hit me like the cold water of “polar bear club:” Why do women, especially those as beautiful as Carrie, get involved with the emasculated and uninteresting? Why don’t women always find the strong, handsome men’s men, the real alphas of the pack and leave the weak to their ugly counterparts?

Maybe you women in the audience can help me dissect this and provide a little light on this very complicated question: why do relationships like Robert and Stephanie happen? (Note that I did not just say that).

Anyway, at class yesterday, I was trying to think of something to say to Carrie, some way of starting a conversation. My position in class makes it awkward to lean over and make a casual remark, so I need to have something substantive in order to justify the effort of communicating. All the obvious things (weather, parking situation, cafeteria food) seemed too trite and a question about her experiences in college so far might seem contrived. I thought about asking her opinion of Fred Thompson's candidacy, but weighed the possibility that she had no idea who Thompson is and the eventual embarrassment my explaining might produce as sound arguments against such a query.

I sat at my desk, scribbling possible questions on the palm of my hand for a long stretch of our professor’s discussion of Leviathan and Thomas Hobbes. In the end, I just left without saying anything, biding my time for a future encounter.

At lunch after class, I discovered my fortune cookie was broken into small pieces. It had suffered some violent settling in transit and was now a collection of fortune crumbs. I was disturbed.

Now would be a good time to defend the use of fortune cookies as a moral and life guide. Mommy G pointed out that there are several far better ways to get life advice and cautioned me against putting my faith in a fortune cookie. The implicit message in her caution is that superstitious tools like fortune cookies can cause more harm than good. Mommy G is, of course, right - Mom's rarely aren't - but I do think there is some limited role a tiny slip of inked paper with a quaint quip can play in our lives and occasionally in our decision making.

When the suppliers of fortune cookies for the Chinese restaurant sit down to start chopping out their advice, they look inward to some discrete location around the belly button, in search of enlightened humor. When they don't find lint, the nuggets of truth they pull from their hidden troves are wrapped in a slightly sweet sugar and wheat based product and baked. Fully baked; through and through. Anyone who puts that much effort into getting a secret message into a diner's greasy fingers deserves an ear. In some small way, fortune cookies are, then, a message from God himself; a sovereign protected correspondence with the Almighty. Our Maker guides these bits of molded dough into our hands and, after a salty meal with plenty of soy sauce and conversation, communicates through the fortune.

I mean, if Leonidas listened to the dieing messenger at Marathon, I'll read my fortune cookie.

Fortune cookies are life's way of laughing at itself; what they lack in verisimilitude they make up in jest.

OK, enough verbose summations; my fortune cookie read:
TOMORROW’S HAPPINESS BEGINS TODAY
Goodness! My meteorologist could have told me that. All those tiny China-men were waisting their time. Still, perhaps I could have been more assertive in the Carrie situation. Then again, maybe these dough wrapped messages are full of it, clichéd verbal sophistication notwithstanding. Yes, that was a drug reference.

10 comments:

you can call me batman said...

interesting. I have a few comments on this one. First, (being a girl, I know these things) yes, whoever it is that you like DOES know that you exist! and second (much less profound... if you could call the above statement that) do you check for spelling and grammar errors? because if so you missed a few.

LDer said...

Remember, sometimes girls will ignore guys they like to see if they'll leave or keep steady.

Halo Trujello said...

That's how they make fortune cookies?

I already don't eat fortune cookies...but now I'm not going to even more.

Jesse said...

if he is the kind of guy you forget about immediately then how come you had so accurate a description of him?

Anonymous said...

Jesse: he is trying to size the guy so of course he notices everything.

FCN: I say you talk to her. Don't worry about if it will impress her or not u just need to get to know her 1st

Mommy g said...

Actually, I'm really interested in watching this one from the side lines. I KNOW you KNOW all the right things to do and not do; I just want to see what you WILL do. Sometimes the best thing a cyber parent can do is give a test and watch the outcome. (Then beam with pride or get out the wooden spoon.......)

A City in Germany said...

ROFL @ Mommy G's comment. I wonder which FCN will end up wit this time...

Grace said...

"why do relationships like Robert and Stephanie happen?"
Pretty girls learn at a early age hot guys are usually egotistical and dull.
Note: she might not even like this guy, you're jumping far ahead into the world of circumstantial evidence.. (which is not very wise,)

Guitarbob said...

hm, you should build her a cake or something....

you can call me batman said...

how about, I don't know, TALKING to her? (it's kinda helps if you're trying to initiate a relationship...just sayin')