The Bazaar: Chapter 10

So Much for Promises

What do you want to go down there and get shot at for? Robyn had asked.

I’m not doing any shooting, Fulton replied, rather self-righteously, offended by the insinuation that everyone in a failed state was necessarily a brutal thug. I won’t be anywhere near any shooting. They want me to work on computers.

You promise?

I promise.

So much for promises.

Fulton suspected her concern had less to do with his physical and emotional well-being than her chances of conceiving. Robyn needed his penis and testicles intact long to fulfill their evolutionary purpose, something he’d deliberately been avoiding since her sister’s wedding set her biological clock ticking down to doomsday.

No that Fulton didn’t want sex with her.

He had always found Robyn attractive. Granted over time the specific nature of the attraction had evolved. When they were younger it was simple sexual exuberance: uncontrollable lust resulting from serious hormonal imbalances. Over the intervening years it became more restrained. More carefully considered. Practically intellectual.

Perhaps her features had become more defined. Perhaps there was more wisdom behind her eyes. Fulton had always found older women more attractive than younger women.

Why?

Young women were attracted to older men out of pure evolutionary instinct. Salt and pepper hair signaled evolutionary fitness: you’ve survived long enough to go gray, ergo you were likely genetically fit enough to produce healthy offspring. From an evolutionary perspective there was no reason for Fulton’s sexual preference. It was totally counter-intuitive.

He should have seen the issue of offspring coming.

Millions of years of evolution had effectively embedded a time bomb in the mind of each human female. When the bomb went off (typically by the early thirties, depending on hormones, etc.) the female suddenly made reproduction her number one priority. In doing this evolution defeated modern contraceptive techniques without ever even anticipating them. Fulton couldn’t help but admire the elegance of it all.

Perhaps life was a miracle after all.

That’s what he thought watching Lela the narco die on the synthetic tile floor, her left foot jerking around as if in the throes of an epileptic fit.

Perhaps life is a miracle after all.

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