Friday, October 28, 2005

Last moments

…on the Union terrace, to close off the season, our small group gathers.

A gull. What thoughts does a gull have? Students, why do they row boats? Why do they leave mattresses on the lakefront?

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The chairs, packed with every and any kind of person in the summer, empty now. Except for her and her loved one.

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I am late. The sun is not a presence anymore. We go inside. Freaky wild! Portends of things to come. Tomorrow night. On State Street. The Mad City’s wild night: Halloween.

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One man’s hot stuff is a woman’s freezer section at the local grocery store. The back of it, where they keep the Ben&Jerry’s ice cream.

Thursday evening. It’s late. Can’t do much of anything anymore. Long day. Feeling spent.

I’m talking to a guy who claims female adornments don’t influence attractiveness.

I don’t much care if women dye their hair, wear earrings, etc etc. It’s not what I look for.

I don’t buy it. This is the kind of la la thinking that goes on in this town of overgrown hippies and Farm & Fleet frequent shopper card-holders. Only when the heat is on, their eyes follow the racy numbers rather than the androgynously dressed gray-haired unadorned types.

Okay, you’re on. I tell him. Let’s see how you react to the photos (where people post their photos and subject themselves to what would seem to me like an excruciatingly humiliating experience of being judged on their degree of hotness). I want to see if we are in agreement as to who is really hot. Or not. I bet we agree, I bet we both pick the classy types, tastefully dressed, with beguiling features and great hair.

We turn to the computer screen.

First photo flashes. It’s a woman. She is so palpably unattractive that I have to think some mean types sent it in for a laugh. This rating thing is ugly. Nonetheless, hot she is not and so I vote with a “1” (scale 1 – 10). My friend gives her a 5.

A five? What are you thinking?? Her hair looks like oil, of the dark, car engine type, has been poured over it, with no strand left behind. And a sweatshirt? Who sends a picture of herself to be rated for hotness, wearing a sweatshirt?
It’s insulting to give less than 5. It just hurts their feelings
(average scores are posted with the photos).

Okay mr-do-gooder-overgrown hippie, I thought we were playing this game honestly.
Fine. Let’s move on. Here’s a guy. I can’t rank a guy for hotness. So I’ll just give him a 7 because he has a friendly smile.
A friendly smile. He looks like someone I’d want to sell me shoes. Three. At best a three.

A picture of miss hot stuff in abundance, spilling over, you know, in your face, suddenly appears. She’s leaning forward to entice the audience with her cleavage. She has painted hair (“dyed” is too generous a phrase) and eyes outlined with a one-inch thick black liner.

Nine, my friend says, but I know he is holding back. His mouth says nine, his racing heart says 10.

You are so full of crap! She is a slut and she is coming on to you in the most obvious and disgusting way!
Yeah, I know, but she looks hot. Like she wants to be spending time with me.

What kind of time? Are we talking about quality time?
I’m saying she is hot.

He is right. She has an overall score of 9.8. America agrees with this two-faced hippie boy who talks gray hair and no make-up and trips up the minute a glossy number is flashed before his lust-filled eyes.

We go through 50 more photos and we could not be more apart on every single one of them.

Except for the photo of this hot, really really hot looking guy who looks vaguely European with his dark hair, his trim body (is it my imagination or is he just wearing shorts, I mean the ones that are supposed to go under something else?)

Ten I say. Undeniably ten.
my friend agrees.
I thought you couldn’t get into finding men hot?
I’m looking at him through your eyes.

The game deteriorates. The realization that these are real people looking for real dates overwhelms me. I look at my huge long list of ones, twos and my friend’ s more generous fives and sixes.

Nice people, all nice people (except the dude who bears a striking resemblance to a serial killer. Because of course, I know exactly what a serial killer looks like). Just not hot. Or maybe I’m just not primed for hotness. Maybe the command should have been: rank these in terms of their averageness. Because really, in essence, we are all rather average.

My friend looks at me and says: when you play this game, you cannot ask the person you’re doing it with what number they would assign to you. So don’t ask me, okay?

That told me gobs, right there.