A new young woman started work at the lycée. He dazzled her with his frayed paperbacks, his one-liners, his overview of Hegel. He took her to a restaurant, fed her oysters and then offered her a lift home to score the gooey goal.
Then, as he related to me later: "I said to myself - no, not this time. I simply saw how pointless it was. I was merely working to make three people unhappy. For what? A plea sure most familiar, and not that dissimilar to the conjugal. Underneath, once I had rubbed off the novelty I would find an inferior wife. Perhaps I had grown up; anyway the serving of pleasure and pain seemed wrong. And the morals: they're worth a mention."
Furthermore: "I could see she was willing. My vanity had collected its payment."
He dropped her off at the corner of her street.
"She was a little surprised I didn't try to come in. But she thought better of me for it. He's not like other married men her eyes said. He can enjoy a supper without anything more. You know what? I liked that. I didn't want her to find out that, like most men, I'm a life support system for a phallus."
[The Thought Gang]