A friend of mine, also a classmate from the same class / school, who too knew Eli in his later avatar, called me up from Bengaluru this morning, after having read my The Mouse post. This is the same friend who had informed me in February that Eli had disappeared from sight.
Eli has not disappeared but what has happened to him is another story to which I shall come to at the end of this post. This post is to share another insight with my readers. The inspiration for sharing comes from a comment that my friend jokingly made this morning and the comments left in my post by Tammy. My friend suggested that I was the Mouse in the episode for not having gone for some fun and games that night. He hastened to add that had he been in my shoes, he too would have been a Mouse in that situation.
I have often asked myself why I did not go out with Eli that night. I have let imagination run riot with what could have happened had I gone with him. Sometimes, I have even regretted not having gone with him that evening. One of those events that will come back to generate similar thoughts again and again.
I have now concluded that the main reason why I did not go with Eli that night was fear. Not morality or loyalty to my marriage vows or fidelity, social standing, career or any such lofty ideals but just plain fear.
Fear that I may enjoy such an escapade. Fear what such enjoyment could result in, in the form of repetition and hankering. Fear of what it could do to my marriage, career, position in society etc.
It was not a carefully thought out response, but my instinct kicked in with the appropriate response for that stimulus. That instinct however was based on the basic cause, fear.
So, I rang up my friend and said that though he was being funny, I have concluded that I was indeed a Mouse that time. A more adventurous, tall man as Tammy called me, would have most probably gone for the ride crying whoopeeeeeeeee.
Coming to Eli, he had a stroke ten years ago that has left him partially paralysed. He now lives in Bengaluru where his wife has extensive family support. I don’t think that I will have the heart to go and see him in that condition when I go next to Bengaluru.
Would I have philandered?