For our third date, we met at the same restaurant and ordered the same things. It was his turn to read from the book of his life. The chapter he chose was titled, My Marriage, My Wife -- and Why It Didn't Work Out With That Bitch.
It was a lengthy chapter; I had plenty of time to think like a semiotician -- i.e. to study the text and my response to it.
The eHarmony vintner's described how his ex-wife went ballistic when he declined to pay for her smog check. He told me that their son's teachers found round about ways to let him know that they got it; while he was an upstanding parent and citizen, she was a piece of work.
Listening, I suspected that he was oblivious to his part of the demise of the marriage. Further, I could not ally myself with any man who sided with a teacher over his child's mother. Obviously, he had no boundaries. He was, perhaps, even a misogynist. He looked to me to cosign his hatred. I could not. Further, he had barely any awareness of the laws of karma or climate. The toxicity of his feelings for his ex were surely a cloud of pollution inhabited by their poor son. His lack of nuance made me think he was a Republican. I don't mind this. I like debate. Yet it seemed to me that he withheld this key piece of his personality, and that was calculating.
By the time the bowl of berries arrived I was utterly clear and perfectly certain the eHarmony vintner was not for me. He signaled for the check and put down a credit card. He took my valet ticket. We walked out to the parking lot. Our appearance there signified to the valets that we wanted our cars as two of them immediately started running away from us, keys in hand.
Without a word or a murmur, the eHarmony vintner slowly leaned towards me and pressed his forehead to mine. We held the pose for about ten seconds. He looked deeply into my eyes. At first I was bewildered -- then, sort of bewitched.
That evening, I received a text. My first from the vintner.
I so wanted to make love with you this afternoon.
There is Roland Barthes and text. Then there are texts and the promise of sex. First and foremost we are beasts. Emma Bovary knew it and Ishmael was obsessed by one. Surely Barthes knew it, too.
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