bowl
Author's Choice


bowl
Audio


bowl
Books & CDs




Tales by Category

bowl
Latest Tales


bowl
All Tales


bowl
Psychological


bowl
Social / Political


bowl
Media


bowl
Philosophical /
Spiritual


bowl
Hmmm . . . ?




bowl
Copyright & Use Info


bowl
Permissions



      

THE CHIMERA

    Once the Chimera had a hard time filling out the compatibility profile of an online matchmaking service. 
    The sections about profession and education and hobbies and income were easy enough, but when it came to supplying a physical description, the Chimera found itself stymied. With the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent, how was it to answer in a way that didn’t put off prospective “e-mates”? 
    The Chimera had some experience with less exclusive Web sites, most of it unsatisfactory. The “perfect matches” lined up for it proved to be something of a trial, as they invariably turned out to have only one thing in mind: kinky sex with the first Chimera they could find. Their assumption that it would be an eager partner in whatever acts their fevered imaginations suggested to them had become as tiring as the actual contortions required. Most of these encounters ended up being shorter than the appointments with a chiropractor afterward.  
    And the one speed-dating party the Chimera attended was a disaster. Not because of the difficulty it had maneuvering about in the press of other romance seekers without injuring a few of them but because even before the bell rang to change partners, all the Chimera’s prospects had bolted for the exits in fright.
    It couldn’t be that hard to find love and acceptance. But this profile, promising to bring “enduring harmony and fulfillment,” seemed no more likely to succeed than any of the ones before it had. None of the long list of “adjectives to describe yourself” matched how the Chimera felt, either overall or about any of its parts, and the word limit set for defining “your ideal relationship” wouldn’t suffice even for a beginning.
    What chance was there of convincing any potential “life companion” out there to accept the Chimera for itself on this basis? The moment it tried to introduce even the least of what it had thought and felt over the years, it must appear as nothing but a jumble of contradictions. Faced with a baring of the soul that defied their understanding, who wouldn’t back away in alarm from what looked like their worst nightmare, a monster, their lover from hell?
    This triform body, seemingly at odds with itself, only hinted at the deeper contours of yearning, doubt, boldness and hesitation, desire and denial, wounded pride, self-disgust, exultation one instant and swift collapse the next, dread, ecstasy, shame, and wild hope all roiling within. And if others experienced even a fraction of this turmoil themselves, little wonder few fancied being reminded of it by the Chimera’s lion-goat-serpent travails. 
    The singles world was scary enough without having to face your own demons all the time. Keeping them hidden away and cutting a confident, easygoing figure was the wisest course in matters of the heart these days. You couldn’t be too careful when it came to finding that “match made in heaven.” Safest, no doubt, to trust short-answer questionnaires and the assurance that computer algorithms could guarantee you a lifetime of felicity. 
    When the Chimera’s own computer match came back, it contained a single entry, beginning with “Hi hottie! Rick Bellerophon here, and I got this feeling you’re just what I’m looking for.”