Saturday, October 03, 2009

Story Time

Their "story date" as Umang referred to it, was at a park close to Sheila's house. It turned out that he enjoyed long walks just as much as she did and the weather was perfect. They had picked up a couple of Cuban panninis for lunch. Umang insisted on paying for that and "a drink of her choice". She had gone with a bottle of lychee juice, he got a beer. She told him about the first time she had met MJ.

When she was done, he asked "I can't wait to find out what happens next. Do I have to wait till the next time ?

"Typically, I would end here. But you have only a few more days and we may never meet again - so I'll make an exception." Sheila smiled as she brushed off the leaves from the empty bench. Then she told him about the next time MJ came back to her life.

"Did you guys meet that time ?" Umang asked as he handed her a sandwich.

"No, we did not. Instead, I let him weave in and out of my life several more times over a period spanning four years. I learned lot of things about him during that time. I learned for instance that he had lost his virginity at nineteen to a twenty six year old Ukrainian woman. After they broke up, he dated an assortment of women - typically older than himself."

"He had had short liaisons with married women just for the heck of it. In short, MJ had been there and done that. There was nothing new or interesting about a woman's body to him. He had no interest in her mind or spirit because he had never learned to appreciate those aspects in any woman. He did not get the concept of romantic love unless it quickly turned physical."

"Are you saying he had never fallen in love ?" Umang asked.

"His first experience was a purely physical one - for the longest time that was love to him - it was the only kind he knew. He sought it over and over again with other women but it never quite felt like the first time. On one hand this woman defined perfection on the other she stood for everything he did not want to ever see repeat in a relationship. Over time he came to realize that he was looking for someone with whom the emotional connection was far stronger than the physical one. I was probably that woman to him" Sheila explained as she wiped the last crumbs of pannini from her lips smudging her lipstick in the process.

"That's a good thing isn't it ? A guy like that not looking for sex but for real love " Umang commented as he watched her refresh her make-up in the mirror of her powder compact.

"That's what I thought too. But it turned out that he was depleted and exhausted from his many sexual encounters to the point that the idea of a conjugal life terrified him. In a relationship he could bail the minute he was bored but in a marriage he had no choice. He often said "After three nights in a row with a the same woman, I am ready for a new face". That is not really a winning recipe for a marriage. So, we had this unique dilemma - he thinks I am the one for him, he wants to marry me but he is not able to move forward because he is absolutely sure he will get bored with the physical side of it and that will end the marriage very quickly. Why start something that is sure to end. I found him charming enough to be okay with this rather unique predilection and his even more unique solution to it" Sheila paused.

"And what might that be ? " Umang was curious to know.

"He wanted me to be absolutely free before and after this hypothetical marriage that would take place sometime in the future. I needed to keep him interested in me by having many sexual relationships. Apparently, it would bring out the most feminine in me, renew his interest in me time after time and wonder of wonder bring us closer emotionally. For the most part I humored this crazy idea even though I had no intention of being any part of it. It took me a while to realize that he was dead serious about it and what's more it was a show-stopper in as far as being able to turn relationship into marriage" she explained.


"Just out of curiosity, would this be an open marriage then ?" Umang asked.

"Interestingly enough, no. He would stay home and wait for me to come back from my forays in the world outside. He already had the freedom to do as he pleased, why bother getting married to continue the same lifestyle. His need for this emotional anchor was real and strong, he just did not know how to make it happen. In his mind he was making me an offer I could not refuse - I would have the best of both worlds. He could never understand why I would find this proposition unacceptable" Sheila answered.

"What happens next ? " Umang asked.

"We have a chance to meet for a few hours one evening. This is close to five years since we first met. He had become a pale shadow of his former self, physically I did not find him nearly as compelling as I once did. I almost wished that I had never met him again - at least I would have a memory to treasure."

"Suddenly it dawned on me that we may both have been infatuated. He was looking for someone to idealize and I just happened by at the right time. He never had anything to offer me except in his imagination. I loved the challenge he posed by being so difficult to reign in emotionally. I loved that he was completely honest about who he was and what he wanted. Yet this time I felt very sorry for him - I knew that delaying the goodbye any longer would only prolong the pain" Sheila said.

"So you guys broke up ? Hey, I did not ask but did you want try the beer ?" Umang wanted to know.

"No, I am good with the lychee. With MJ you can never fully break up. He refuses to give up on someone he feels connected to at least a little bit emotionally. He has overdone sex to the point it spoils everything for him a relationship that he sees potential in. Yet, never having experienced romantic love, he has no idea how to engage a relationship without expressing affection physically. The relationship of significance instead of progressing over time as one expects, suffers from the most painful stasis. He will not let go because he thinks he will be able to figure the way out eventually. He wants you to wait until then even if you are not able or willing to stay in touch regularly or do any of the things that people in a relationship do" Sheila replied.

"What about you ? Are you able to let go ?" Umang asked.

"That is not the point of this story" Sheila smiled. "The story of MJ's early defloweration and the downward spiral of his love life since that time is a parable for all guys who are considering losing their virginity young and in a rush. It is getting dark, we should head home before the bugs start coming out"

"Are you taking me home ?" Umang smiled hopefully.

"No, you go back to your hotel and think about what you heard today. Call me sometime." she replied as she waved him goodbye.


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