The Siren's Song, Part 1

(by uciboy2001@yahoo.com, 31 January 2004)


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The Siren's Song
by uciboy

PART I

As I stood at the check-out counter, ready to ask the clerk for two cartons of
Virginia Slim 120's Menthols, I began to browse through the tabloids.  The
headlines were what you usually expected:  "Elvis' Body Found in Iraq,"
"George Bush Descendent of Alien."  But then one caught my eye:  "Modern Day
Siren Ensnares Sailor, Eats Him."  I chuckled to myself as I looked at the
black and white photo of a hideous half-bird, half-human female creature
munching on a skeleton.  Obviously some poor editor had come across a picture
from "The Adventures of Ulysses" and decided to print it.  Ulysses, you'll
remember, filled the ears of his crew with wax to block out the Siren songs
that lured so many sailors to their doom as they crashed their ships upon the
rocks.  As I looked at this picture, I knew, of course, that this was fantasy
- because in reality sirens look nothing like this.  Indeed, they are as
beautiful and deadly as the songs they sing.

No doubt by now, dear reader, you think I am deranged, possibly even mad to
suggest that there are such things as sirens.  I can assure you, however, that
they ARE out there, but their songs are masked as they feed on our passions
and lusts, luring us into their traps all too easily when we let them....when
I let them.

*******************

My story begins not more than a year ago.  I was 23 and a recent graduate of
UCLA's Teaching Credential program.  With plenty of optimism about changing
the world one student at a time, I secured a job at a West LA high school
teaching English.  I was renting a small apartment in the city, but was well
on my way to saving for a home.  Family members and friends had often accused
me of being too anal in structuring my plans for life - and they were
absolutely right.  I was a goal setter.  Feeling that the building blocks for
career and home were now in place, it was time to turn to an area that my
studies had too often forced me to neglect:  a love life. 

But meeting women had never been easy for me because of the three requirements
I set for myself:  First, I had always found older women more attractive then
younger women.  Why?  Because older women are more experienced and more goal
oriented.  Too many of the women that I knew in high school and college didn't
have plans beyond what day they were going to wash their hair.  I wanted
someone who didn't just know what they wanted out of life, but were already
working to achieve it. 

Second, I wanted to meet an Asian American woman.  This is more complicated to
explain, because I don't completely understand it myself.  It's not an Asian
fetish in which I seek to dominate a submissive Asian woman.  Indeed, it's the
strong willed and outspoken Asian American woman that I've always been drawn
to.  I believe, also, that growing up in neighborhoods where I had a lot of
Asian friends no doubt shaped my own personal standards of female beauty
(though it was often the older sisters and mothers of my friends that I
fantasized about).

Finally, she had to be a smoker.  I discovered early in life that I was
erotically drawn most to those Asian women who smoked.  It was more than just
an act of sex appeal (though sex appeal had a lot to do with it), but it was
also a symbolic smashing of that stereotype that Asian women are weak and
submissive.  Indeed, the fact that they were willing to smoke in public showed
a boldness that excited me sexually.

With these requirements in mind, I had decided to take the plunge into
Internet dating.  What better way to meet people without any further
commitment if things went poorly on a first date?  It was also a wonderful
opportunity to fulfill the requirements I had for a mate:  older, Asian, and a
smoker.

To make a long story short, I had little trouble finding women who met those
requirements.  The trouble was finding one interested in taking a 23 year old
teacher's e-mails seriously.  After at least 20 different solicitations that
went no where, I received an e-mail in response to my Yahoo ad from a 37 year
old Asian woman who did not state that she was a smoker.  She also wrote that
she was the mother of a pair of 16 year old identical twins.

Relieved that someone was interested in me, I replied to her e-mail and we set
up a date at a coffee-house on Sunset Blvd.  I didn't know what to expect as I
sat at a table outside of a Bohemian coffee-house, waiting for Naomi to show
up.  I knew only that she was Japanese and had been living in the U.S. for
over 20 years or so.  As she did not state in her e-mail to me whether she was
a smoker or not, I hesitated about pulling out my pack of Saratogas (say what
you will, it's a great cigarette for a man or woman.)  After all, I didn't
want to scare off the only date I had been able to secure in case she was an
anti-smoker.  

As I looked down at my watch, wondering if she would even show up, a sweet
sounding voice said to me, "Steve?  I hope I'm not late."

When I glanced up, I saw a middle aged woman dressed in black slacks, a blue
buttoned shirt, and a maroon buttoned sweater looking back at me.

"No, no," I replied, "you're right on time."

I immediately sought to assess her physical features.  She had medium length
black hair that drooped down to her shoulders; high cheek bones and a light
complexion for a Japanese woman; her brown eyes were soft and her nose small;
she wore only a little make-up on her cheeks and lips.  She was, to put it
bluntly, rather ordinary looking and I wondered immediately whether there
would be a second date.

"Would you like a cup of coffee?" I asked as I stood up, ready to go inside
and purchase her something.

"Don't worry," she said with confidence, "I'll get it."

When she walked inside, I decided that making a good first impression really
didn't matter to me if this was only going to be one date.  In short, I really
didn't care what she thought of my smoking - and so I took the Saratogas out
of my coat pocket and placed them on the table.

When she came out and took a seat, she immediately looked at the Saratogas
resting near my coffee.  "Are those yours?" she asked with a gleam in her
eyes.

"Why yes," I said suavely, "would you like one?"

Naomi gave a devious smile as she nodded her head.  This could be interesting,
I thought to myself as I handed her the pack.  She pulled the long 120 out
slowly and brought it under her nose to smell the mentholated tobacco.  "I
haven't smoked in 16 years," she said before placing the cigarette between her
lips.  "But they were long ones like these.  I thought it might be interesting
to go on a date with a smoker again."

Intrigued by her comment, I reached over with my lighter and she moved her
head towards the flame, turning the tip a bright orange in the evening's
twilight as she puffed hard on it.  When she inhaled the smoke, she closed her
eyes, clearly feeling the effects of the nicotine saturating her lungs.  But
being out of practice for so long, she couldn't help but let out a little
cough - yet she still managed a pretty good exhale after so many non-smoking
years.
 
The cigarette had a magical effect on Naomi in my eyes.  This ordinary looking
woman was now transformed into a sexy and sophisticated Asian smoker.  Hard to
believe that it had been 16 years since she held a cigarette between her
fingers, because clearly she had the confidence of a life-long smoker.
"Perhaps there would be a second date after all," I thought to myself as I lit
my own Saratoga and breathed in heartily.

In fact, the first date went very well.  She told me that she had immigrated
to the U.S. to attend college and received an accounting degree.  Before
graduating, she married an older Japanese businessman who worked and lived in
downtown's Little Tokyo.  But by age 23, she was both widowed and pregnant
with twins.  She did not explain to me how her husband died (and I didn't feel
it was appropriate to ask on the first date).  Nor did she talk about her
twins at all - which honestly surprised me.  Most mothers want to talk about
little else but their kids.  Instead we talked about our common interests in
music, movies, and, to my great pleasure, chess.

In a rather bold move, I asked her why she was out on a date with a 23 year
old.  Her eyes smiled as she said with some embarrassment, "Maybe you can call
it a mid-life crisis, but your ad sounded like you were a pretty nice guy."
She held the cigarette shoulder high and said in her best Lauren Bacall
imitation, "Besides, I like younger men."

That was a good enough answer for me, and so we spent several hours at that
coffee-house on Sunset, talking, playing chess (I always kept a small set in
my car), and smoking late into the night.  When I asked if I could call her
again, she smiled and replied, "Please do."  We then exchanged phone numbers.

I drove home feeling good that night, but not in love.  To be honest, despite
some common interests between us, I feared that I was more attracted to
Naomi's smoking than I was anything else about her.  But I felt confident
enough to at least pursue a friendship with her - with the hope that things
might blossom into something more.  We were clearly comfortable with each
other, and that was a good start.

END PART I


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