Unloving you

I know there is no emoji for Unlove. Maybe one is supposed to click repeatedly on Love till it goes sour & blue like Roquefort cheese? In any case, Unlove would be an emoji that women would use more often than men, since women seem to fall out of love faster’n men fall in love.

I’m waiting for the trolling.

And still I shall dare to claim that men are sensitive creatures.

May I continue? Have you stopped laughing? As I know you will, because this is a serious matter. Back in 1968 Tom Jones sang a song by the title of Delilah and the world went gaga. The song was about a crime passionnel, a crime of passion. A man kills a woman in a fit of jealousy – how that is any less deplorable than honour killing, I shall never know. As regards the song, I find the text too chilling for me to quote from it at any length, just google it and you’ll get the case history. She is spending the night with a lover while he watches the ‘flickering shadow of love’ on her blind from the street outside. The lover leaves at dawn and our Samson agonistes – which has nothing to do with agony, by the way, but simply means “a contestant in the public games” – well, this particular contestant goes and puts an end to the whole shindig with his knife.

Well, that’s how ‘sensitive’ men can/could be, since the stone age, to be exact, or from the stone age till today, or till last Tuesday, to be even more exact, when a 27 year old man went into a haircutting saloon in Düren, Germany, and shot his wife in the head before putting the nozzle to his own temple and blowing his brains out. The wife survived, thank God.

Had the wife pressed the Unlove button? Had she simply told him, “I don’t love you any more”? No, apparently the Samson in the song didn’t have a clue until he was walking past Delilah’s window – just out for a stroll and not stalking, mind you – when he saw the infernal light. So Delilah was being unfaithful and had been caught in flagrante delicto, as they say. But I very much doubt this version of the events – as related by Samson – because Kasia, who is a psychotherapist, once told me that women usually start looking for a new partner after they’ve left the old one, whereas men leave their old partner because they’ve found a new one. And the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ take on a very different hue in the case of men when we consider the male predilection for women half their age.

Kasia doubts, in short, the whole ‘happening to walk past her window’ business and maintains that Delilah had already jilted Samson, which is why he was stalking Delilah, as simple as that. That is when I tried to tell Kasia about male sensitivity, making her laugh till the tears came, as the Germans say. The Germans – the men – also drink till the doctor comes, but that is neither here nor there. Whereas it is not often that I can make Kasia laugh, or cry, let alone both at the same time, so we’ll let it stand at that – but the point is that we men do not have an Unlove button, as I was trying to tell Kasia, God or Mark Zuckerberg having forgotten to give us one. We do not have too many emojis either. Like dogs, we have to express all our sentiments by growling, or barking, or whining, or snarling, or wagging our tail – have I left out anything? Oh, and we cannot sweat, that is why we pant, which women often mistake for passion.

Kasia, like all women, has around a thousand emojis to talk to her husband (that’s me!) without saying one word. The ultimate emoji is the woman’s face, I declare. It’s like a logogram, as with chinese or japanese characters – and about as readable to us men. It’s not just that women make faces about as numerous as Han characters, what they say – the audible emojis – may have a completely different meaning depending on the tone. It’s like Kasia saying, “Yes, yes, you are right”, which means that I am wrong.

Otherwise ask any zoo keeper. Are lions sensitive? Are tigers sensitive? All large and dangerous animals, animals who can hurt you if rubbed the wrong way – are they sensitive? They are short-tempered – apart from being short-sighted – and irascible and unpredictable. But are they sensitive? I claim that they are and the best proof of it is the missing Unlove button – or even the double click on the Love button? Must try that one out.

All in all, women remember their old loves, men never forget them. Men cannot unlove. They carry their old flames in the dark dungeons of their heart till their dying day: the girl who used to walk barefoot from room to room with the grace of a kathak dancer (which she was learning); the girl who used to walk up to the crowded bus stop like Cleopatra looking for Mark Antony among the camel drivers at the Cheops pyramid while Caesar lay cold and lifeless in his Temple at the Forum in Rome – otherwise there might have been another crime passionnel! And then the girl ogled steadfastly from afar for a whole undergraduate year who carries the blush, together with the ogler, to this day; lastly, the girl who used to wait for the worst kind of verbiage – I’m talking about the love letters of an ongoing novelist or what my mother used to call my ‘epistolary literature’ – in any case, ‘she’ used to wait for them as if for rain. It’s that waiting emoji that has survived. The letters have gone where they should.

And does Kasia mind? Not in the least. She is not jealous of all those ‘foreign’ princesses and queens who held sway before her reign. It’s hardly a kingdom, more of a duchy, I’d say – but nothing is grander for a woman than to hold sway over a man’s heart, which is like the Vatican filled with not just two popes but any number of popes and all of them women.

There is no Unsex button for the man either, it seems, otherwise why should W. Somerset Maugham write in his autobiography “The Summing Up” (1938) that sex was about the best thing he had experienced in his earthly existence (not his exact words)? He was 64. Gabriel García Márquez wrote his “Memories of My Melancholy Whores” (2004) when he was 77. The story? A 90 year old journalist seeks sex from a young prostitute who’s selling her virginity to help her family. In any case, the nonegenarian finds not sex but love. Sensitive, eh? Sensible, too. See, men don’t think of anything but –

Love, what else? Even when they are ninety.

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The naked truth…

…is that the naked ape seems to have a problem with his own nakedness. Sorry, it’s not his nakedness but her nakedness that everybody seems to be bothered about. Society, religion, culture, everywhere they’re stubbing their toes, big & small, on this one, all-important issue of what & how much or how little a woman can or should wear. Among the 5,000-odd mammal species on earth we are the only ones who are effectively naked, which means without fur. And the only thing that’s hindering our progress is the lack of a proper dress code, it seems.

Six to eight million years ago we began to get rid of our fur because we came out of the virgin (!) forest to live in semi-aquatic regions & open savannahs. We retained some of our fur, such as on the head, as a protection against the sun, whereas the rest of the body hair was retained presumably for sexual purposes such as enhancing pheromones.

The moment we’d got rid of the fur, we started ‘borrowing’ the skins & the fur of other, far more clever animals to make up for our lack of – and why just skins & furs? Fig leaves, borrowed feathers, the barks of trees, we used everything to hide our nakedness because – yes, because nakedness got irrevocably & inextricably entangled with sexuality & sexual selection, where we again have to diffentiate between the state of nakedness and the quality of nakedness – what?

Shut up? Okay, I shall.

To begin again, the sight of nakedness arouses sexual desire – about the first programme that Evolution wrote. A smooth, hairless, unblemished skin is taken to be a sign of health. The female wishes a strong & healthy male partner in the (subconscious) hope that the progeny will inherit the genes of the father. The male prefers a healthy female partner so that she will be able to carry, give birth to, have enough milk to feed and generally rear the child – including running away from other predators, both animal and human! – with greater speed & agility.

And then came property, power & authority, on the one hand, and inheritance, succession & primogeniture, on the other. The male wanted to hand over his territory & his possessions to his own progeny – hence the nature & duration of the bond between the male and the female, or marriage, in other words, began to play a role. Not just a role but the most incisive & divisive role in mankind’s attempts to control & regulate the nakedness of womankind.

From the cuckold to the cuckoo’s egg, what causes all the Misery for Man? It is the sexual attractiveness of the woman which is like a private birthday bash announced on FB that has gone public & viral through an inadvertent post by – Evolution, who else, eternally worried about not getting enough bees to pollinate its flowers. Bees pollinate flowers and human beings have children even in the midst of war, drought, famine & the bubonic plague, if necessary – that’s something Evolution should have known.

Clothes can enhance or diminish the sexual attractiveness of women. We see two schools of thought here: women are all for clothes which enhance their sexual attractiveness, even to the point of removing some/most/all of the aforesaid clothes if deemed strategically necessary and/or effective. Men are also for clothes which enhance the woman’s sexual attractiveness – but only in a one-to-one situation; one man, one woman – or maybe one man, more than one woman, why not? – but always one man, if you get what I/we mean. Otherwise we – by which I mean mankind – are in favour of restricting the disturbing & harmful & excessive attractiveness of women. If evolution made a mistake, overdid it, in a certain sense, then it is up to civilisation to exercise damage control – since there is no way of ensuring (a) that women will be born entirely without sexual attractiveness in the future and (b) get their fashion tips from the nearest nunnery.

Somehow it brings us back to Adam and Eve. ‘You need three fig leaves while I need just one,’ Adam was teasing Eve. ‘Let’s go the beach, there I’ll wear just one – it’s called a figini, I believe,’ Eve was telling Adam. ‘From fig?’ ‘No, from figure, something you won’t have much longer if you keep eating like a pig. In any case, I need a proper suntan,’ Eve declared. ‘You know what suntan means in Sanskrit? A child, or a son. Wonder how they make one?’ Adam pondered. And then he turned serious again: ‘Let’s go back to the Garden of Eden and chop down all the fig trees. They are the root of all evil, I’m convinced.’

‘Now, that sounds like human logic,’ God remarked en passant & sotto voce to the snake.

‘No fig tree, no leaves. No leaves, no…’ Adam had continued.

‘Yes?’ Eve said.

‘You’d look rather nice in a figini, you know.’

‘I know.’

‘You do?’

‘I asked the Tree of Knowledge.’

‘What did the ToK say?’

‘‘I’m off. Just google it, will you?’’

Mika’s blog (4): Once upon a time…

Bibilical first human beings Adam and Eve were queueing at the Immigration counter before checking out of the Garden of Eden. Adam held their brand new passport – just one – in his hand which said: “Human, male, sinner”. Eve had been entered in Adam’s passport since she was made out of his rib. She’d be applying for a separate passport when they arrived in the other world, that was the plan.

God knows how long it would take for Eve to get a new passport, the snake had said and they hadn’t dared ask God. But the snake had heard that it might take anything from a few million to a couple of hundred thousand years before Eve got her own passport. After that even Eve hadn’t had the heart to talk about voting rights or equal pay – Adam was laughing already, so she had simply kept the thing about gender equality to herself. Would be occasion enough to ask the question and give Adam something to laugh about in the millennia to come.

And then we might think of Mary and Joseph, those ultimate refugees whose travels took them from Nazareth to Bethlehem (80 miles), from Bethlehem to Jerusalem (6 miles); from there to Egypt (40 miles); and from Egypt over Judea and Bethlehem back to Nazareth (106 miles). That’s a total of 232 miles, a distance a commercial jet would be able to cover in 25 minutes and the rocket-powered X-15 of the NASA and the U.S. Air Force in just three, yes, just three minutes, for instance during its record Mach 6.7 flight sometime during the ’sixties.

Imagine Mary and Joseph aboard the X-15, the fastest military airplane of all time. Jesus would have had exactly three minutes to be born, Christ! No wonder they retired the X-15 in 1970.

Mika’s ancestors had been around during all such biblical wanderings, Mika claims. Eve had hidden her Mika – still very young, a cuddly little thing with paws almost larger than its head – she’d hidden Mika carefully amongMika2 her spare fig leaves but they discovered the stowaway anyway. Adam had to explain that Mika was not a pet but provisions for the journey in the sense that they intended to eat Mika if they felt hungry during the trip, a perfectly valid explanation in those days. The Immigration Officer was asking whether Mika – everybody in Mika’s family has always been called Mika since Adam – and since Eve, come down to think of it (about time somebody did). Well, the I.O. was at least clever enough not to ask for Mika’s vaccination papers, there being no vaccination nor diseases of any kind in the Garden of Eden.

How did people – and animals – die in the GOE? I was asking Mika.

People? There was only Adam ’n’ Eve, Mika said, as if he was talking about Rock ’n’ Roll. As for the animals, they died of boredom, if we are to believe Mika. Apparently they just curled up and went to sleep, telling the others not to wake them till Eternity – or until Eve had given Adam the apple and they’d put on their fig leaves and things had generally got interesting.

For example, soon after their arrival in the sinful world, ‘Adam knew his wife Eve intimately, and she conceived and bore Cain’. Abel came along by and by. Cain became a farmer while Abel became a shepherd. And then Cain killed Abel – so not just sex but violence and Hollywood was born.

“My ancestor had naturally attached himself to Abel – he was actually the first sheep dog in the world, we turned into hunting dogs later,” Mika recalled with some pride. “My ancestor was regularly getting all those succulent scraps from the ‘fat portions’ Abel was offering to the Lord. And then that grain-eating monster Cain not only killed Abel but chased away my ancestor,” Mika would have shed a silent tear if he could, but had to be content with drooling instead, whether for his ancestor or for the succulent scraps, I am not in a position to tell.

“And what about Mary and Joseph? Did they have a Mika with them too?” I asked.

“No, but you know the place where their child was born?”

“You mean the manger?”

“The child wasn’t born in the manger. Mary laid him there after the birth,” Mika corrected.

“And your ancestor?”

“The manger was the feeding trough for the cows. My ancestor used to lie on top of the fodder and have fun snarling and growling and scaring away the dumb critters. But when Mary came, with the child…” Mika broke off, which is unusual for him.

“Yes?”

“The cows were avoiding the manger because my ancestor was in it, but Mary thought the manger was empty.”

“Which it wasn’t?”

“Mary saw Mika at the last moment and got a scare because Mika bared his teeth, like this,” Mika bared his gums. He looks like a baboon when he does that. It is not a pretty sight.

“And then?”

“Mary called Joseph who said something to Mika so that Mika got up and sprang out of the manger. Went out of the stable altogether and sulked outside, which is why he missed the photo op at the Christmas crib.”

“What did Joseph say to Mika?”

“‘D’you want me to tell the world that you were the first dog in the manger?'”