I shudder at the thought that so many lives could have suddenly
turned so much more complex. I’m grateful no one suggested anything
more than coffee.

But what if the, er, topic had been raised? I’m pretty sure I’d have said no.

I mean, I think so. It would have been a hasty calculation:

fear vs. hunger,
superego vs. id,
Jimmy Carter vs.
Bill Clinton.

The best bets are always hunger/id/Clinton, but the fear
of complexity is vivid for me. Plus, long ago, I refused two very
appealing carnal offers, so I know I was at least twice strong enough to speak the words, "Now that’s a delicious offer, but no thank you."

Right. Twice — out of probably 3,000 yesses, career-to-date. (Now that’s
a hasty calculation.) And I’ve spent many a minute second-guessing
those two situations. I’m haunted that I left, uh, money on the table?
Flesh in the bed?

Back at Gitane, the topic would have been awkward.

Or worse. You know, the grubby reality of the aftermath. I was unfaithful once, long ago, just after college, so I know that the aftermath can begin with the ringing of the telephone while we’re still in flagrante delicto.