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The Very Idea
By Despard Murgatroyd

Look at me. I am on the second floor of Borders Books and Music, shuffling nervously around the Fiction section, at 7:04pm on a Wednesday night. I am wearing brand new dress shoes, gray and black striped slacks (with faux-gold pocket watch chain clearly visible), and a light blue dress shirt, opened at the collar. Look at me. I am the most obviously single twenty-two-year-old male in the western world. I might as well be wearing sandwich boards proclaiming the fact. I am on the prowl. I am off the charts.

Look at me looking.

In the store for only three minutes, my heat-guided pupils have already located several young women I would have jubilant sex with. They are all probably under the legal age for Pennsylvania-style intercourse, but that doesn't matter to me. We both know I am not going to have real sex with them anyway. Real sex, no. Eye sex, definitely. My eyes are lucky. My eyes have been around the block. My eyes have plenty of sex. Just look at them. Their tans are a perjury; their precious breasts energetically poke out from beneath their shirts like reluctant Klansmen attempting to claw their way out of their sheets after a moral awakening. If their jeans were not applied to their legs and rear ends with a paintbrush, then I am the lyingist bastard that ever wrote a word.

I am done with these girls relatively quickly. I have a want for what they have to offer, but I have no need for any of it. I do not care about them, because they appear false to me on the outside. They cannot be true on the inside. Impossible. I try to imagine having a real conversation with any one of them. Also impossible. Even my vivid, oftentimes colorful imagination cannot fathom the required parameters. Could any of these silly little flits be counted on to survive an entire dinner with me, consisting of appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee/tea? Conversation? What would they discuss with my mother, the finer points of Maybeline versus MAC? Could they raise my children-tenderly and patiently negotiating the little ones' neurotic, paranoid wants and needs? More pressingly, could they tenderly and patiently negotiate my identical, though more deeply entrenched wants and needs? No, I quickly decide, as I take one last mental photograph of the taller one's ass. Click! Mmpf. Like a McIntosh apple.

After devoting just four minutes more to pretending to look for books, I have forgotten all about the three breathing Barbies. Take note, you mean world, you; I have found a suitable life-partner. Look at her. She is sitting, cross legged, on a bench by the Periodicals section (Borders does not call magazines "Magazines." Borders calls them "Periodicals" because they're "Borders"). She reads her magazine -- excuse me -- periodical so intently and I can only catch her profile as I pass, deftly wedging myself behind the shelf containing the International Newspapers. I am sly. Tonight I do not trip. Tonight I have skill. I sashay inconspicuously by her again, this time I am able to process more details. She is wearing a tight -enough -to -see -a -bit -of -the -old -you -know -whats -but -not -tight -enough -to -see -too -much -of -the -old -you -know -whats shirt. Lavender. Nice. A long khaki skirt covers her mid-to-lower section(s). Also nice. There is a conservative but noticeable slit in the skirt that reveals a bit of leg. The bit of leg, from what I am able to quickly ascertain, is fair and smooth and shaved and, consequently, should be touched. I am willing. I notice that her shoulders are inverted and hunched as she sits and reads. Her posture needs work. But, then again, so does mine. Perfect. Grand, even. Perfectly grand. We could work on our lousy posture together. It could be a collective process. Learning and whatnot. We could do joint physical therapy. And have sex. As I look at her curved spine, I picture our children. They will be humpbacks by their Bar Mitzvahs (I am pretty sure she's Jewish too) but, look, what are you going to do? Kids are bastards; they'll always find something to make fun of. If it's not your humpback, it's your sneakers. Kids are always on you for wearing the wrong kind of sneakers.

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