Of goons and geeks

It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong.

Coco Chanel

Market Girls, Bangkok (c) 2011, Valerie RomaineThe San Miguel electronic bulletin board has had a recent thread discussing the ratio of men to women in the expat community here (estimates run from 1:2 to 1:20) and there’s talk of starting up a dating site (one may have previously existed but is currently inactive).

I don’t often think about entering into relationships anymore … except with two of the hottest characters on TV – fictional characters, as my luck would have it. It’s very likely that only I could be found admiring these two characters. The crushes? First is Mr. Finch (the show is Person of Interest). Mr. Finch (Harold) is a reclusive billionaire who invented a computer system (the Machine) that can detect the perpetrators and victims of a crime BEFORE IT HAPPENS, although it doesn’t tell Mr. Finch (or his action hero sidekick, Mr. Reese) which role the person of interest fulfills. Mr. Finch is Brilliant and somehow he makes mathematics seem like the compassionate science. In a recent episode he helped rescue a Brilliant Teen from committing suicide through a blend of respect, discreteness, sleuthing, understanding and a touch of seeing a younger version of himself. When Harold – sigh – poetically explained to a high school class the importance of Pi (the number, not the film), how it is a non-repeating number that contains all numbers and all names [if you know how to find them] I was ready to elope.

That is, until Elementary, a contemporary Sherlock Holmes tale set in New York, followed. Sherlock, Crush #2, is abrasive, blunt, caustic, devoted to the discovery of the truth … you can sense the pattern here, an alphabet of characteristics that make him totally irresistible. Most probably find him tactless and uncaring, but I find the character neither. The stuff of which Holmes and Watson (Lucy Liu) converse when not solving crimes is fascinating to me. Sherlock, like Harold, like many of us, has deep faults, but – like the lines of time that lend character to a face – the faults only serve to make the attraction all the greater:  they are faults of personality, not faults of moral judgement or the absence of ethics.

Both actors are physically handsome, but the characters are not portrayed as such, which makes it very easy for me to be snared solely by their intelligence and compassion – the only way I would be attracted to them if they were real.

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