The slice of pizza was dripping cheese. It’s buy-one-get-one-free at dominos today, thus this pact of momentary friendliness with this random stranger. You had walked into the campus eatery which has a dominos kiosk. It’s a lazy Saturday; the sun is dipping down the horizon, and your body aches from the bout of basketball from a moment before. You came alone, as you often find self, and while intently running the topping varieties and flavor-types against their stated price, you felt a gentle poke. Assuming it as just another strained muscle sighing, you ignore it and continue with your mental computation. The poke, a little more strong and lingering, recurs. As if to assuage the actomyosin fibers of the modest bulk in your right deltoid, you try to rub the region when long spindly fingers, soft, squishy, definitely feminine, get caught between your hand and your shoulder. You turn your long lugubrious post-match body to behold a pretty thing.
May the feminist readers not rise up in arms. The ‘pretty thing’ reference is not out of insensitive objectification, nor because of haughty demeaning arrogance. Rather, it’s just a gentle colloquial quip within, over a random fellow living ‘thing’, in plain purposeless assertion of the fact.
So returning to the narration, yes, she was pretty. Tall, svelte, with a healthy glow of soft nutmeg, her black locks sported what they call a layer-cut. Yeah, I have had ample feminine company in a once remote past when I was more socially involved to know what a layer-cut is. I am fond of its patterned break in symmetry. Her lips were moving as I was busy observing, admiring, and probably withholding a possible spike in heart rate that inevitably happens when a guy beholds a pretty girl; I know, petty biology and stuff. Breaking self from the trance, I tried to force focus on the words that those moving luscious lips were forming. As it started to make sense, though with a definite delay (blame the slowing of cogitation the palpitating heart had brought forth), it seemed she was suggesting we share the price and order a pizza, as we will then get another for free. Seemed a sane deal. I said sure, and soon we found selves sharing two pizzas, both non-veg, and a bottle of coke at the open-air theatre that forms a comfortable retreat just beside to consume the sustenance, with a black starry sky forming the canopy.
No, it was no love at first sight. I have no faith in the concept of love. It’s an endearing artifice, an artifact of biological evolution, a lie if you may in plain simple terms. And also no, we didn’t have sex right after pizza. We were too full for some physical action. All we did was share a moment of our existence, and left carrying within us a little of the other. For, ideas communicated through conversations that get entrenched in memory accrue real physical change in one’s neural connectome. Put differently, while you are talking to someone, you are making change in their brain. Amazing isn’t it. And that is precisely what we did that night, making and breaking connections in the others brain.
“I think it is a flawed premise to blame a guy as being superficial as because he likes a girl for her looks”, she said. Yes dear readers, it was the girl’s dialogue, and not this guy’s, as you might be bound to believe. While given the fact that she did have good looks and I did like her, her statement seems a motivated assertion well placed in context, patronizingly placed if to be put blunt and frank. But then, she followed her assertion with a reason that appealed. She said, “When you think about it, introspection is an illusion. While your like for certain things and dislike for some, your inclinations if you may, though totally real, your conscious consideration about the reason for those likes and dislikes needn’t be. And as it turns out, aren’t indeed. You might like an apple. But you do so because it smells good, tastes good, looks an alluring red, feels crunchy in texture, or just because of its oblong spheroid shape, is always a guess. Your stated reason for why you like an apple, needn’t be, and as it turns out, often quite isn’t, THE reason for your liking an apple. Now given that such introspective considerations are illusions, what wrong is in it to say you like a woman just because she looks good. Chances are, you like her for some reason else, but her looks is what you consciously think as to be the reason. Or rather, at the other extreme, you may think you like her because she is well-natured and open-minded, but your like stems from your inherent appreciation for her, let’s say, body odor. A totally sane contention wouldn’t you say.” And as if for dramatic effect, she smiled a broad beaming smile, and bit into her pizza spewing the cheese from within, a drop of which fell on her skirt. She wiped it with the tissue, and had a gulp of coke.
Beauty with brains is an enormously captivating company. But then, I did score in the top 0.1 percentile on the IQ scale. Her smarts gave me a high. And I couldn’t help myself joining in. “Your premise and the reason as for holds. But you oversaw a caveat in your chain of logic. One’s self-image. While the introspective reason for your inclinations may sure be an illusion, assuming you remain honest to self, your reason for those inclinations conjure your self-image. While your like for apples sure might be because it’s crunchy to chew, you think you like it because its nutritious and keeps doctor away. Thus, you build a self-image of prioritizing a rational reason motivated by prominence to nourishment over a petty feeble reason as about its crunchiness. In human terms, you think of yourself as a person who likes a woman because she is well-natured and open-minded, even if unknown to self the real reason might have been her body odor. So, your conscious image of self, which affects your decisions, is different. Thus, rather than neglecting conscious censuring as about the virtuosity of your reason for your likes and dislikes, you totally overseeing them as they might, and probably are untrue, and giving-in to primal instincts demotes your position as a civilized being. True that it’s a lie, this conscious censuring, but the lie consequents a good, your sense of self-respect. And this latter comes a long way in your making pro-active socially-conscious decisions.”
I was looking up at the stars as I went through my turn for monologue. This is the trouble with heavy arguments. To completely make sense as a stand alone assertion, one needs to quote the caveats and define the context, and that stretches it into a laborious monologue. But then, the argument that’s put out results to be robust. She knew it, and she knew that I knew that she knew it. She had been lying beside till then. She sat up, and leaned over, hiding the stars with her pretty face bordered by her locks, and her eyes glittered. I smiled an understanding smile. We understood the other. It’s not often to have someone understand your ideas. Yes, there is a lot of noise about people understanding you, as a person. But they forget that a person is but a bundle of ideas, notions, concepts and contentions. And to truly understand someone is to understand their thoughts. A means vital to this is to converse. Here, we had, and we did now get the other. She bent down and we kissed. Our kiss tasted of cheese. Can one ask for more in life.
And well, more did happen. About we not having sex right after the pizza, well I did not lie. Though I might have misled you. We did make love, though not ‘right after’. It had to wait till the break of dawn. We both went for a jog. Hot, sweaty, we had a bath and spent the greater part of next morning in bed. After a nap through noon, we were sharing coffee in the eve again at the eatery, by the open-air theater when she quipped, “You know, your argument about conscious censuring despite the illusion of introspection, it has a fatal flaw. That of motivated reasoning. That is, reasoning is not a purely objective rational process. While possibilities can be conjured honestly, the process of annotating to them a probability of occurrence, is a vague step that can be quite easily biased by one’s motivation depending on personal qualms. Given we cannot divorce the human in us, our reasoning in vague terrains as in the case of introspection is quite often motivated toward the conclusion most appeasing to one. Thus, the censuring despite the illusion is again rigged as because of this motivated bias in reasoning.”
Well, one might argue that recital is too long to be a quip, but then it was well rounded and a resilient stand alone opus. I just had one statement in reply, that I did put across quite unceremoniously. I said, “Will you marry me?” And she, well, crinkled her eyes and burst out into a good-natured laugh. She looked into my eyes with her dark black pearls for eyes and asked, hopefully in mocking jest, “Why not, but pray what is the reason for this like as your might surmise?”