Dear B.:

Yes, I know, that can't possibly be your initial, but I figured you didn't want your name all over this page anyway, in light of some of the things that are going to be said. Here's the premise: there are people wondering about the identity of the mysterious person identified in these parts as She Who Is Not To Be Named, and to some of them, the conclusion appears inescapable that the unnamed one is actually you.

Now you and I both know this isn't the case. But here's the scary part: with only minor changes in the history of the world as we know it, it could have been. There are differences, yes, but the similarities are striking, and the differences don't count as debits. Both of you are, shall we say, somewhat right of center; both of you used to live closer to where I do; both of you take your faith very seriously; both of you, I believe, work at creating an illusion of asceticism that doesn't always function at full efficiency.

And, of course, neither one of you would have me on a bet, but there's nothing particularly remarkable about that.

This does not mean that there's going to be a sudden shift in my, um, loyalties. It strikes me as the height of folly, or at least a substantial waste of serotonin, to dump a woman who isn't interested in me in favor of another woman who isn't interested in me. But I thought you ought to know. And if I say something that's even farther off plumb than usual, well, I'm having a difficult time of it these days.

And yes, I know this is the first of April. That's not the kind of fool I am.

The Vent

1 April 2003

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