Wednesday, November 07, 2012

PLAYA, PLAYED

"When I saw you, I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew," the Italian journalist (and sweet little Pisces man) Arrigo Boito once wrote. Such a touching sentiment, until you realize the power wielded by the one being loved.

You smiled because you knew. The romantic in me wants to believe the smile is tender. The cynic sees the shark's teeth and counts fingers and toes.

Falling for such a smile is dangerous, especially when one fancies himself a playa (and is called that by the person flashing the smile). A playa does not allow himself to be mesmerized by a smile; he is not knocked off balance by such a simple display of affection.

He is not easily played. He's not supposed to be, at least.

But this playa overestimated his game. He thought he could deploy his mad skeels and safeguard his soul — pretty much proof that he was a playa, because only an idiot with an inflated sense of self would think himself immune to the charms and wiles of a woman with a fetching smile.

He knows better, now. And like Bukowski (a world-class playa, right up there with Einstein), he finds himself frightened by good women, because he has seen the awesome power of a little dark girl's smile paired with kind eyes, and he knows how much of his soul is left, and how much he wants to keep.

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