h2>Dating : Little Red. Snake.
Posted on June 15 2017
Little Red observed an unusual crowd outside her favourite greasy spoon. What was this about? There were lights, cameras and noisy Americans wearing jeans and sneakers milling about the place. Paying them no heed and elbowing her way into the cafe’s interior, she took a corner seat and observed the action while waiting for Stavros to serve her. Stavros was a jovial but unsanitary fellow who, thankfully, only took orders. His wife cooked. The wife had a bum deal. Both rotund and hirsute, the cafe’s owners had been flagged by W.O.L.F. but she’d seen no evidence of lycanthropy in either of them. During her scouting expedition, she’d had a full English, then bubble and squeak, which was a new and joyful experience, and then a cup of deep brown tooth-achingly sweet tea. Her up-regulated metabolic processes meant her calorie demand was enormous and fat met the demand nicely. Empty calories meant nothing to her; youth was on her side.
Why does cheap, toasted, buttered white bread at a greasy spoon taste so good? She could eat it all day. And those fatty sausages that oozed carcinogens? Delicious. She was overjoyed by her discovery of brown sauce; it was a salve for all sins. Little Red understood that these foods were lethal to the general population, but her body was far from general. Being of the ectomorphic persuasion, her muscles being drug-induced, she had gone way beyond her genetic limits, as all lycanthrope hunters needed to. It wasn’t just that she needed to go beyond the physical strength limits of a 5-foot tall, size-six frame, she needed to have a certain surety of ability, a level of skill that gave her the confidence to walk in the world of lycanthropes with ease. There was a certain comfort in knowing that your strength and ability go way beyond anything the world can throw at you, and in this respect, she was much advantaged in life. She knew that many people had been able to develop a certain style of flexibility and resilience in behaviour, even a level of strength too, but this hormesis was only sufficient to overcome average burdens. Most people’s resilience was naturally found wanting when put under severe strain. Human capacity was not limitless and all bodily systems had a natural rate limit. Very few people found the edge of this rate limit. The human capacity for endurance up-regulated to a certain extent but was finite. There was a reason why stoicism was the dominant philosophy of war and taught at West Point. It helped to give a certain nonchalance and disregard of hardship that was a useful model of thought for the military. Dominant for centuries, Roman centurions were given the Enchiridion as a life manual, volunteer gladiators were the most popular and decimation caused centurions to fight ruthlessly. Roman citizens required stoicism to stare down the merciless face of the emperor. Luxuriant soil renders soft fruit. Immigrants find the peoples of their adopted country self-entitled and weak, unwilling to prove their forbearance. It has always been thus. Little Red was a natural stoic and not in need of inculcation in this regard.
There was a fellow seated at a table straining to eat his way through a giant plate of fried food topped with peanut butter and lard. He seemed extremely bothered by his plate and put on a good show for the camera, but between takes, he looked very ill. This was Man v Food, a titanic battle between a stout fellow, his stomach and a coronary heart attack. He looked like he was losing. The trick was, apparently, to eat very fast in order to fool the stomach into believing that the volume of food entering it was small. The problem was that fat is very sating, meaning that the brain signals fullness rapidly. Once you enter the zone of fullness after about one-fifth of the food, you’re working against your hormones. As any man will tell you, this is a challenge. There is a great difference between resistance and a wall. A man is able to resist an attractive woman, but the wall of going against your natural sexual proclivity is not easily overcome. Gay for pay porn is just plain weird. Amylin is one such wall. Just because you are able to eat a 14-inch pizza and a tub of ice cream does not mean you can eat a 20-inch pizza and a tub of ice cream. Food is logarithmic, not linear; you just can’t go beyond a certain point without vomiting. Thus, your natural capacity is limited by the size of your stomach, not your ability to overcome amylin. The Romans knew forbearance was insufficient with regard to food, hence vomitoria. They inherently understood the limits of capacity more than they understood the limits of pleasure, but they strived to find those limits anyway. Did their capacity for pleasure change to match their new boundaries? Little Red wondered about that because she found a person’s thresholds raised to match their new limits. Is hedonism a drug? The morality of hedonism has been argued since the Hellenistic period. She watched Adam Richman suffer his indignities; he didn’t seem to enjoy them. She saw more morality in hedonism than she did in restraint. The desire to push one’s boundaries is man’s natural inclination; the desire to restrain natural urges is largely a product of church and law, the one tied to the other. This made the restraint, at least the level of restraint urged by church and law, more a function of control of the majority by a minority and, as she knew, the minority can often serve their own interests to the exclusion of all else. Societies disinclination towards hedonism was therefore no longer a heuristic attributable to what’s good for the tribe, but a model of what the elite, who operate on highly extractive policies, believe is going to be good for them. The elite has no interests in the wider good; power, control and wealth remain captive at the top. Even when the elite offer salves for palsies, caused by these same elites, it is done in order to prop up those elites. De Sade was right: even the seemingly altruistic has the self as beneficiary. She watched the gross display with interest. Adam Richman’s desire for wealth and fame overcame his desire for health. Hey, he’s an American from Brooklyn. When have they ever been concerned with health?
He finished the challenge with a bilious glance at her cleavage and headed to the bathroom. The fun over, film crew milled around pointedly packing up, clearly keen to move to more salubrious surroundings. Little Red saw a familiar face sitting in the corner. Much like spotting Richard E. Grant on the tube (there is no one that tall or skinny with that hair), she knew with certainty that it was him. Hormones raging, she stood up and directly and obviously went over to his table.
“I thought you were dead.”
“Yeah, I get that a lot.” He looked her in the eye. “Do you mind? I came in here for a bit of privacy.”
“Plissken, you were on the set of Man v Food. You call that privacy?”
“It was an accident.”
“Just like I accidentally bumped into you?”
“No accident. You look like a stalker.”
He smiled, then looked at her. “Do you know what it’s like to be stared at all the time?”
She gave him the look.
“I guess you do.” He briefly looked at her cleavage.
She smiled and sat down opposite him without asking. “Do you want a coffee?” she asked, breaking a lifelong rule of not buying men drinks.
“Is it better than this terrible tea?”
“Then I’ll have tea. I thought the English knew how to make tea?”
“They do, but only at The Ritz.”
“I’m staying at The Ritz. It’s not much better, but their cakes are amazing.”
“I can see how much cake you eat.”
“What can I say? I’m not filming at the moment.” He winked. So Americans did self-deprecation after all.
She gestured to Stavros, who came over with a notepad and took their order. He was gone for a minute but quickly returned with two teas.
“UHT milk? What the hell is UHT milk?” Plissken looked at the small pot of milk disapprovingly. “Don’t you have cream here?”
“We do, but the Prince of Wales doesn’t leave any for us commoners.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. What a royal pain in the ass.”
They both laughed, then sat in silence for a while.
He spoke first. “So, what do you do? S&M?” He was referring to her leather outfit.
“Yes, that and killing werewolves.”
He laughed, but uncomfortably. Her humour was strange.
“But, seriously, what are you doing in Peckham, in a greasy spoon?” she asked.
“When I’m not filming, I like to do what common people do. If I told you I find L.A. fawning and tiresome, would you believe me?”
“So you escape?”
“Exactly so. Something Seneca said about wearing rough clothes and being satisfied with a meagre fare. You build tolerance. When Hollywood turns against you, it can be pitiless. I’ve done well. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life trying to climb back into the L.A. cesspit if it expels me. I have wider ambitions.”
“Snake Plissken, the philosopher.”
“Exactly. I grew up in Connecticut. It was a shithole. I was a kid; I had no power. The only thing I could do was accept things as they were.”
She interrupted. “But you didn’t. You got out.”
“You’re damn right I did.”
“So you’re a contradiction of the validity of acceptance?”
“No, acceptance need not imply inaction. History is marked by men of action who accepted things just as they are or were. They simply didn’t hold on to what they could not change.”
“They had the wisdom to know the difference?”
“Yes, and they were better men for not attempting to be Sisyphus. They exerted effort towards things they could change and let the rest take care of itself.”
“Because it will, despite what you do.”
“Then your acceptance of me interrupting your cold tea was not marked by even a tiny bit of resentment?” She searched his eyes.
“Er, well, I thought you wanted my autograph. I hate that. You never have time off from fame.”
“Ah, poor you, such a burden. The adoration, the fame, the private jets, the beautiful women, the constant cocaine! such a burden.”
He smiled. “You’re right. It’s actually not that bad at all.” He searched her face. “I wonder, would you let me buy you a cake at The Ritz?”
“Absolutely, I would. What took you so long?”
He held out his arm to her. She took it.
“I think we can catch a bus from here,” she said.
“Sod that. Let’s take the limo.”
“What about rough clothes and meagre fare?
“Forgive me, but I have temporarily forgotten what Seneca said about travelling.”
She laughed. “You know that Seneca was a multimillionaire who wanted only for people to consider negative visualisation so they could motivate themselves. He wanted to scare people into productivity.”
“I don’t know, but whatever it is it’s working. I ain’t ever going back to Connecticut.”
The limo pulled up curbside and they were on their way to tea and cake.
In the next instalment, Little Red clears a minibar, pulls down a shower curtain and finds a nemesis in a marble floor.
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