As I left my home this morning on the way to work, how could I possibly have anticipated our encounter? I assumed it would simply be another Monday, another dull start to a week of mindless drone work and perhaps – just perhaps – some clever and creative breakthrough with my writing. But you had left your home too, hadn’t you. On your way to work, perhaps, or possibly on some random errand. Did you know, too, that our paths would cross? That you would foolishly risk your very existence just to illustrate to me that I am one of the most stunningly attractive men in the universe?
Certainly that’s the only explanation I can think of for why you nearly sideswiped me as you merged onto the highway this morning. I mean, there was no one – NO. ONE. – behind me for, near as I could tell, almost a full mile. Any normal, sane, courteous non-moron would think, “Hm. I shall simply let off the gas just a smidge and fall in behind this fellow rather than attempt to speed up to pace him before I try to cut him off.” So the only thing I can think of is that I am far more attractive than I give myself credit for and, upon stealing a glance at my profile, you felt compelled to do anything – even risk mutilation and fiery death – to get a closer look. It’s the only thing that makes a lick of sense.
You were driving a Prius, for fuck’s sake, whereas I was driving a truck. A much larger vehicle with bark-&-sap-encrusted scrapes running down the side and dents in the body. A vehicle that says, “Not only don’t I give a flying fuck about my ‘carbon footprint’, I also have little regard for hitting large, nearly immovable things with my vehicle – and you are neither large nor immovable.” Still… like a moth to a flame you drifted inward.
You were not distracted – no cell phone to your ear, no beverage at your lips, no yelling at your dashboard radio. I could even see your eyes click to your mirrors and register my presence before you locked your gaze forward and punched it, goading all four of the hamsters under your hood. “Onward, Fluffy, Brain, Moloko and Mister Whiskers! Onward! I must not lose sight of this Adonis!” I just know your very heart must have cried out these words.
Or perhaps it was something deeper. Perhaps it was nothing so shallow as a base physical attraction. Perhaps my very soul shone like a beacon for you. You knew, as you careened brainlessly toward me that I was different. That I could transition easily from gutting an elk to holding a tea party with my daughter, from killer to nurturer. A creative savage, a warrior monk, flitting from ascetic to epicurean on a whim, from discussing technology to theology, listening with equal pleasure to Corelli’s sonatas or Korn’s “Freak on a Leash”, comfortable in all worlds. “Surely,” you thought, “this is Heinlein’s ‘human’ idealized – changing diapers, planning invasions, butchering animals, et al!”
How could you resist being pulled into my orbit? Hurling yourself at me, quite literally.
Sadly, though, I could not allow it. I am a married man, with a family that depends upon my presence, fidelity and income. I will not lead you on and can return neither your infatuation nor your passion. I tried to slow down and wave you in but, stunned by my rugged, masculine pulchritude and the blazing inferno that is my soul – the morning sun gleaming more brightly from my bare scalp than from the cup of coffee I sipped as this drama unfolded, the pendulous parenthood-and-late-night-writing-inspired bags beneath my eyes flapping in the wind – you were still too blinded by your desire to notice the obvious-to-anyone-who-hasn’t-performed-a-self-lobotomy gesture and so, hamsters frothing, could do nothing more than pace me as the onramp ran out. And so I goosed the gas so slightly and left you in my wake.
It could never be, Prius driver. My heart belongs to another. I’m no good for you. We are from different worlds.
Plus, you know, you drive like a fucking asshole.