Indulges His Naughty Nature
I began writing in earnest after the young man left the big city to return to the place where he had grown up.
The young man had done much work preparing my existing writings for publication, but even more helpful was the continued sense of inspiration he had given me.
I had wanted him to stay, and then when I knew he wouldn’t stay, I had wanted him to leave me his contact information, but he insisted on leaving without a trace. He said he knew how to get in touch with me if he needed to.
I haven’t heard from him since.
And yet I hear his voice and feel his presence every time I sit down to write in the early hours of the morning after my socializing is complete for the night. After my research for new things to write about is complete for the night. After my experiments in human behaviors are complete for the night. Which is to say, after the indulgence of my naughty nature is complete for the night.
But when I sit at the kitchen table alone in the darkness in the hours during which he would wake and talk with me while preparing his food before indulging his working nature, I still feel his presence, and that inspires me to continue my writing. To improve my writing. Improve my expressiveness. Improve my communication with humankind.
The naughty girl helped too. They always do. But the young man never met my naughty girl. I met her soon after the young man left the big city after his year in the big city.
I found her sitting alone one day in the cafe where I usually eat my noon meal just after waking. The next day I found her alone too. The third day, I introduced myself. It usually doesn’t take me so long to initiate contact with a lonely girl, but I was currently indulging my naughty nature with one of the waitresses at the cafe, and she had let me know clearly that she would leave at the first sign of my wandering. That meant of course that it was only a matter of time, but I wasn’t ready yet for that time to end the first and second days I saw the lonely girl.
But the third day I was ready to take whatever consequences my current partner would dispense for my wandering eyes.
I approached the lonely girl and introduced myself. Her blank look demonstrated that she had not heard of me which could only have meant that she was new to the big city.
I asked where she was from.
She said she was from the mountains of our homeland.
I asked if she was looking for someone to show her around the big city.
She said yes.
So I did.
I forget now how things ended with my waitress, but I didn’t suffer any.
I showed the lonely girl around the city, and I showed her so much else she had never seen or tried in the mountains of our homeland.
And she indulged her naughty nature with me, which was funny. It was funny because so much about her reminded me of the young man, except that one point. He had a very limited naughty nature, but the naughty girl’s naughty nature quickly grew to almost equal my own.
That was fun. And I can say that was a significant reason I’ve managed to remain her partner for over a year now. A record for me. And yet the part of her that reminds me of the young man—her frugal, hard-working, maddeningly stubborn refusal to accept big city life as a sign of human progress—kept the young man alive in my mind and continued to influence my work in ways that my naughty girl will never understand.
To be clear, when I’m with her and our various partners when we indulge our naughty natures, I feel only her. I do not at all have feelings for the young man in that way. But I can say when I observe her ardent, naughty nature, that she is just what I imagine the young man would have been like if he had ever let his naughty nature loose on the world instead of only sharing it that one brief night with our neighbor’s gardener’s wife.
I do wonder sometimes if the young man might have indulged his naughty nature any other times during that year he stayed with me. But no one I know ever admitted to having been with him in that way—and most people I know are happy to divulge and embellish such activities if not outright lie about them. But in truth, most people didn’t even remember the young man. And yet he had indulged his naughty nature at least once, and I smile every time I see our neighbor’s gardener’s son when I visit home. I have, in fact, taken to visiting home more often just to see the child, and I can say that ever since I let our neighbor’s gardener’s wife know that I knew that the young man was the child’s father, I have had better luck getting her to indulge her naughty nature with me.
I have told my naughty girl about the young man and how much she reminds me of him—outside their differing propensity to indulge their naughty natures—but I have yet to tell her that the young man is the child’s father. I don’t understand why I remain silent as it has no bearing on our relationship—not even after we took our neighbor’s gardener’s wife overnight to our dirty little capitol city to indulge our naughty natures together. But I can’t help but keep that information to myself. As the threat of war continues to increase, I often fantasize taking my naughty girl and our neighbor’s gardener’s wife and the young man’s child away to the neutral land’s distant coast to live out the war in peace. I am sure nothing will come of it, and the war—if it even happens—cannot be so bad as everyone seems to fear. But it is a matter of imagination and fantasy that these three wonderful creatures mean more than anything to me, and they are the ones I would want to save in the event of war. And I am sure I feel that way precisely because all three have some connection with the young man.
My naughty girl is not terribly afraid of the war, although most people of her class in the big city have fallen for my father’s big propaganda attack on our enemies to the north, the land of snow and ice, and most people feel like war is inevitable. But I’ve reassured my naughty girl and explained how my father and his cronies are manipulating the media, and now she sees that nothing really lies behind the threats our enemies pose.
If the worse does come, I would like the young man to join our little party to the neutral land, but I am sure I will not be able to find him, and I am equally sure he will take care of himself and whomever he happens to be attached to at the time.
In the mean time, I write. I write better and more completely than I’ve ever written before—thanks to my memory of the young man and his talisman in the form of my naughty girl. I write and I feel close to him and I can say I’m falling in love with my naughty girl and can see a long future with her.
Now I only wish I could find the young man and confirm my suspicions about him regarding the stories my naughty girl tells about a boy she once knew in the mountains of our homeland who liked to hide in his fort in the rocks by the river when he and his mother lived for a time with the people he called grandpa and grandma.
To read more stories in the series, see the Becomes One Hundred Stories page.