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The Opportunist

(J. Buck's, Clayton)

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The issue is whether either of the two girls he's "dating" will discover the other. So far, so good, but one of the two is beginning to get attached, and it's making him nervous.

Has it dawned on him yet that he's a complete asshole? I ask.

He laughs.

No, I mean it: Did you ever think you might end up hurting somebody's feelings?

It's all about me, he says. He smiles as he says it, or maybe it's just a shadow of a smile. He describes how everything a person does is motivated by some selfish desire, no matter how selfless it might seem on the surface. But no worries: We all end up dead anyway.

"Don't you think it's possible there's more contentment in just being a decent guy?"

"Isn't contentment selfish?"

"Selfishness produces pleasure maybe, but not joy."

"What's the difference?"

I try to come up with an answer, but I'm against the ropes. Dying a little. The best I can do is counter that I'm crushed by his display of human ugliness. That my head hurts.

It is what it is, he concludes.

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