If I Could Meet Aristotle

Shutterstock, mishabender
Shutterstock, mishabender

If I could hang out with Aristotle I would take him to a tandem bike rental stand. We would ride a tandem bicycle down to the canal and we would point at swans as they pass by. I think I would have to be in the front because I don’t think he would know how to peddle. If Aristotle said he wanted to learn how to ride a bike, I would try to teach him, but I think I would feel weird in that position of authority honestly.

Afterwards I would take Aristotle out for ice cream. We would try all of the flavors, despite how laborious it would be for the person working, and I would watch Aristotle’s face especially when he tried “Tiger Tail” or “Superman.” I would laugh at whatever reactions he has because it would be unexpected to me no matter what. At the end of it all, we would probably just get chocolate or vanilla.

We would walk for a bit, licking our ice cream cones, until we decide to sit underneath a willow tree. I would ask him what he thinks of sexual dimorphism and I would offer to give him a massage. I would start at his feet, paying close attention to the details of his musculature so that he would believe I’m good at giving massages even though I’m really not. Once I sense that he is totally immersed in the massage, I would try to extract a secret or a piece of insight from his subconscious mind.

The sun would be setting probably at that pint, so I would grab his hand and pull him. I would say, “Hurry up!” and he would laugh and say, “Where are you going?”

He would run after me to the highest peak in proximity, an embankment off the Western edge of the mountain. There, we would admire the intense low frequency light of the sun, parallel to our viewing eyes.

I would say, “Wow, this is so beautiful.”

Then we would hold each other, platonically. As the sun would careen into the horizon, a pang of sadness- but also satisfaction- would arise from our core. After a respectful moment of silence, I would ask Aristotle if he was hungry.

I’m not sure what restaurant I would want to bring Aristotle to. Although I would want to hear his opinion on a plethora of commercial chains, I would probably just end up taking him to a high end Greek restaurant, honestly. I would order an assortment of traditional foods but I would warn him that it would probably be really different from what he’s used to. I might get excitable, looking at the menu options, and start talking about the absurd lack of standardization in the olive oil industry, and in the entire food and agriculture industry actually. Then I would realize that I’m being fanatical and I would get embarrassed. I would try to change the topic and then drink a glass of wine.

After dinner Aristotle and I would be feeling a little bit buzzed. Outside of the restaurant, readjusting to the sidewalk, I would become distracted by the sounds of a neighboring bar. I would get inspired by the commotion and convince Aristotle that he should study contemporary nightlife. Aristotle would feel a little apprehensive maybe, but I would try to persuade him by describing the potential anthropology field sites.

At the bar, we would encounter a lot of sloppy people and bad music probably. Aristotle might get a little confused or sad, but I would tell him that we’re only going to stay for a little bit. Maybe someone would even recognize him at this point, and ask to take a picture with him. I would volunteer to hold the phone because it would feel more engaging than awkwardly standing to the side while a total stranger takes a selfie with the person I came with. Aristotle would have no idea what was going on and I would have to explain to him that photography exists.

We would probably find out about a party or an event at a nightclub from someone in the bar and they would offer to bring us there. Once we would get there, they would probably offer us “hippie flips,” and Aristotle and I would look each other vacantly, unable to interpret each other’s facial expressions. By default, we would end up ingesting LSD and ecstasy at once, and as the crowd thickens in between us, and as the high starts coming on strong, I would call out to him desperately, “Just drink a lot of water!” before disappearing into a sea of intrepid ravers.

Tongue rings, glow-sticks, and leather underwear would punctuate the strangeness of my thoughts. Ultimately I would feel entertained, however constantly preoccupied by the question of “what Aristotle is thinking right now.” While drifting through the crowd by myself, I would eventually come to his figure again. I would be shocked to discover him urinating into a young teenager’s mouth.

“Aristotle,” I would say. “Aristotle,” and I would gently grab onto his arm and lead him out the backdoor exit, pursing my lips through an index finger.

We would stagger out of the alleyway and I would immediately hail a taxi. The taxi would deliver us us to a rich condo complex in the South. We would take off all our clothes and jump into the private swimming pool. We would laugh and splash around and make fun of each other. Then some unforeseen lights may flicker on and surprise us. A security guard would emerge from the abyss. The security guard would probably tell us that we’re not allowed to in be the pool and I would say, with consciousness dismissiveness, “But I’m a resident here.”

The security guard would probably say something about the pool’s hours of operation and so I would pretend to be shocked, saying, “Ohmigod, I thought it was 24/7.”

Aristotle and I would have to get out and pick up our clothes. Maybe on the way to the street, while passing the security guard, Aristotle would say something so clever that I can’t even imagine.

For the last few hours together, we would rest in a bed of flowers, in a Jewish cemetery. When the horizon would illuminate again, pink and purple from the East, I would start to cry because I would know that it was over. Aristotle would evaporate, like dew, in a process which would both dazzle and disturb me. “Goodbye,” I would weep, and he would turn into an infinitesimal fragmentation of rainbows.”Goodbye,” he would whisper, but invisible now. Inside of my mind, like an extremely realistic auditory hallucination, I would hear three or four sentimental parting words, though unable to distinguish if it was his voice or mine. TC mark

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