Kim Farleigh

 

 

 

Being Selective

 

Eva’s milky, satin skin glowed translucently.

 

“We went out for four years,” she said.  “At first, he was funny.  But he hates work.  He just watches TV.  His parents just pay for him.  I need someone ambitious.”

 

“Where is he now?” I asked.

 

“Don’t know.  And I don’t give a shit.”

 

Contribution aids group survival, the root of ethics.

 

“Women believe they’re selective,” I said.  “What does that mean for you?”

 

“Women say this when they want to get rid of a man whose silly.”

 

“They also say it when they like a man.”

 

“Some men are better than others.”

 

“So what does better mean?”

 

“You know it when you speak to someone.”

 

“Many women aren’t interested in speaking to many men just by looking at them.”

 

She laughed.  Chuckling substitutes thinking.  She said: “It isn’t just physical.  My first boyfriend was fat.”

 

“Did you meet him at school?”

 

“Yes.  When we were four.”

 

“Had you met him in a bar when you were twenty-four, and he had still been fat, would you have started going out with him?”

 

Embarrassed contemplation eclipsed chuckling.

 

“No,” she admitted.

 

“Women,” I said, “reject men they could fall in love with.  Selective people speak to everyone to find people they can admire.  Has any woman ever told you that they want a man who likes classical music, ancient history and exotic travel?”

 

“No,” she said.

 

Selective women all want the same man.”

 

The light revealed dark freckles in her white face, her green irises like sensuous jade.

 

“If you’re ex-boyfriend became rich what would you think?” I asked.

 

“I’d never find out,” she replied.  “I’ll never look him up in Facebook.”

 

“You might if he became famous.”

 

She smirked.

 

“I’m too indifferent towards him to think about it,” she said.

 

“If he became rich, he might look for you,” I said.  “Then you’d care.”

 

“He’d be a different person then.”

 

“And probably dangerous.”

 

The silence lacked tranquility.

 

“A woman goes into a chocolate shop,” I continued, “and the one type of chocolate she wants is sold out and the shopkeeper says, ‘There are ninety-nine others,’ and the woman says, ‘I’m selective,’ and the shopkeeper says, ‘No you’re not; you don’t like chocolate.’”

 

“Maybe some women don’t like men,” she said.

 

“How many men say: ‘I don’t like baseball.  I’m selective’?”

 

“But some men,” she said, “don’t like women.”

 

“Are they saying: ‘I’m selective’?”

 

Her laughter was now genuine.

 

“If men don’t like something,” I said, “they say: ‘I don’t like it’.”

 

“Men and women use language differently.”

 

“Some women use language differently.  Selective women use comprehensible language; they’re in successful relationships because they care about other people’s ideas, about what’s happening in the world.  They’re not living in cave maintenance, waiting for hunks to return from hunting trips.  Intelligent men get bored with women who don’t care.  That’s being selective

 

 

 

 

Kim Farleigh has worked for aid agencies in three conflicts: Kosovo, Iraq and Palestine.  He takes risks to get the experience required for writing.  He likes fine wine, art, photography and bullfighting, which probably explains why this Australian lives in Madrid. 68 of his stories have been accepted by 64 different magazines.

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