Monday, January 23, 2006

Feminine uniqueness

Indeed I have not thought of James in years. I do not know what put me in mind of him, unless it was some desultory correspondence with little Theo--a gentleman further outside my usual social circle, it is difficult to imagine.

Dear James--we met in Freshman English, and instantly recognized one another as kindred spirits. Immediately thereupon, we started trying to change each other. He encouraged, nay, pressured me intensively to become a member of the "greek" system, i.e. to join a "sorority," insofar as this would make me a sociably acceptable companion. In my turn I nagged him incessantly to de-pledge that ridiculous fraternity, and embrace his true calling as a homosexual thespian. Neither one of us succeeded in our campaigns, thank the powers that be. James and I maintained the kind of insouciant, utterly uncommitted association that is eternally restful to look back upon.

Wandering around with James, on the random occasions that both of us had the time, I slowly became aware that within James' world, there were three kinds of women. There were women you married, women you slept with, and "Pretty Lady. She's really cool." I often wondered whether or not to be offended by this; after all, I do not consider myself an utterly unattractive female. However I decided to let it pass, having no desire, myself, to become either James' wife or his concubine. As I have mentioned, he gave off a distinct aura of unconscious homosexuality, and I prefer my men to be of the 'casually fling you into the loft' variety.

Be that as it may--I also noticed, during our friendly wanderings, that every bland, boring fellow in town seemed to be a friend of James'. They were all wearing dun-c0lored Izod shirts, and they were all named Dave. If I heard it once, I heard it a hundred times: "Dave! Hey! I want you to meet Pretty Lady. She's really cool." I never saw any of the dun-colored Daves again, to recognize--I can only speculate as to what they thought of me, or if they thought at all. I rather imagine not.

I have no idea what became of James. Pre-law, pre-med, pre-going-into-Daddy's-business, it was more or less the same. The spark of creativity I distinguished in him is, most likely, going to fan the flames of a backyard barbeque with the kiddies, or manifesting in a unique way of decorating his office. I can't even Google him; or at least, I can, but the name "James Cowan" produces roughly two million hits. Best to leave the happy memories unsullied by a sordid, current reality.

But when I think of those three categories of women, it brings a wry smile to my lips. Yes, indeed, darling James, there are a few of us out there who are uncategorizable; we are the ones who are truly watching. We have no agenda; we love you for yourselves. We know you in ways that the cookie-cutter girls never can.

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