She bent over the table holding the cue stick in her right hand, balancing it over the little hump formed by her gloved left fingers. She closed her left eye, eyeing the cue ball lining up with the blue striped one and the corner pocket. Satisfied with the collinearity of the stick, cue, ball and pocket, she thrust the stick to play a neat stroke. The cue hit the blue which rolled to near the pocket, swerved around, hit the rail and returned. She looked up with a gingerly smile and quipped, “Damn!”. I loved this girl! Not as in, ‘loved’ loved. As in, admired loved. She had quick wits, a sharp tongue and an uncanny originality that never seemed to grow old. Also, she had terrific long legs!

I twirled my stick in the chalk and moved to the other end of the table. I was deciding between the orange solid, near the pocket but away from the cue, and the brown solid which was near the latter and away from former. She walked around to near to consider my quandary. “How do you feel about incest?” she queried. May the dear reader not blink at the abruptness of this primer. We often used to come up with ‘surprising’ conversation starters. The usual is for the mediocre. It’s more interesting to speak about the unconventional, the tabooed and the disconcerting! I always considered these strolls out one’s comfort zone into weird terrains great fun. And she was good game, not to mention often the lead.

pool1“As long as they don’t make kids, am cool. Kids if they happen in consanguinity as with incest show birth abnormalities.” My opinion was build on the medical consequence of such acts. A comparable scenario from plant reproduction has a more concrete label for the phenomenon I described, inbreeding depression. The depression is not psychological, as in sad-depressed. It is a genetic decrease in vitality and survivability. Something I came across in my reading. I decided to hit the brown solid, the one closer to the cue. I would have greater control on the stroke. I positioned myself for the shot while she thought for a moment and replied, “Ok, biology apart. How do you feel about it? Isn’t it weird. Sex between brothers and sisters?! I sure am uncool with it.” I held my breath and took the stroke. The cue hit the brown, which rolled slow and stead to the pocket, and came to a halt a whisker from the pocket. I let out a ‘sigh!’.

I took a step back from the table and looked at her. She had a gorgeous face with black eyes and natural brows. She had her hair pulled back. I particularly liked her nose. It just had the perfect proportions with a straight septum, the lower end making an angle of one-twenty degrees, and the nasal-alas forming flat slants sharply merging laterally. And the tip, that dear tip of her pretty nose was rounded forming an ellipse with its major axis lined with the long of the septum. If I were da Vinci, I would paint her nose on Mona Lisa. I got a grip and said, “Well, ‘weird’ is a concept I don’t subscribe to. It’s scientifically untenable. Attraction to a person is inexplicable. You just like a person, like that. One can consciously try to reason it, but then, what are the chances that your stated reason is ‘the reason’ indeed?! Now given that premise, I don’t see why if two people, related if be may, if attracted need hold back. Only don’t make kids. If you want them indeed, well just adopt. One more kid from orphanage would be happy to have a real family.”

It was her turn to take the stroke. But she turned as toward enquiringly. “Take the stripped yellow the far end. Though take care to avoid the 3.” She nodded and moved around while responding to my earlier comment, “Your position is too utopian and divorced of emotion.” I cut her in, “Divorced of emotion, oh come on! I am choosing for respecting the emotions of the involved parties. Who’s else if-is of relevance. Of the by-standing society. Well, they sure need get busy minding their own business”. I noticed her gauging the distances and angles. She presented a sight of intense focus. A swift strike, and the sound of the clash of balls was closely followed by the hollow tumbling bass of the striped yellow going down the pocket. She let out a gleeful chuckle. Her eyes sparkled! I do very much love this pretty girl, all beauty and substantial brains. Her next stroke though was a hopeless fumble. Yet the thrill of the previous pocket had her upbeat. But by now I was tired. We had been on with the last five balls for the last quarter hour. Though only three more remained, I was more willing to shoot myself in the head rather than slumber a moment more over the table.

As if reading my mind she ventured, “Shall we call it quits. It sucks!”. I was glad. Well, more than glad. She had just saved me from my bullet. I happily acquiesced. I replaced the sticks at the stand while she took upon herself to get the balls out and arrange them in the rack into a neat triangle. We turned from that green boring torturous table, it still beats me why we often come to it, and walked away, together. I wanted to hold her hand while we walked. But then, it seemed inappropriate. As about our little conversation about the appropriateness of incestuous flings, well, it faded with table now in background.

Before anyone gets bright ideas, we aren’t related. As in we both do belong to the same species, the Homo sapiens, but don’t share any near ancestor we know of. Only the hypothetical ape-woman Lucy. And walking on along, we soon found ourselves another queer crazy primer to talk over. A curious thought occurred to me. “We talk about things to learn more as about, or so because we just liked something to talk to the other, an act that had us both together in it. A togetherness we had come to appreciate, admire and may-probably looked forward to.”pool2