The Man stood looking out over the harbor from the penthouse window. Beneath him the carpet had been ripped out and the floor was bare. Behind him there was open space where a wall had stood, and a bar table occupied what was once an open living space, its surface unfurnished. For a year he hadn’t found a buyer for the unit, and so kept it as his own. But he was finally persuaded to sell the unit at a loss, and the new owner wanted extensive changes to the layout. After concluding a meeting at a restaurant, he thought he’d visit the unit at midnight to stare out the panoramic windows one last time.
As he did so, he thought back to a night that ended in that room a little more than a year before. That night had centered on two struggles against two friendly enemies. One, he win against, or so he thought. The other, he would let win. It started with a confrontation. A duel, in whatever way fiour against one could be considered a “duel.” Violent though it may have begun, it swiftly became cordial and countries. It became no less contentious. The battle had shifted from the physical to the mental as he haggled for control of a prize unicorn. After hours of mental chess, they seemed to reach an agreement that left him with the prize.
The victory did not last. It did not even last a single day. He was back to struggling for the prize he thought he had won, trying to get to her the next day, trying to find her the next week, and trying to enamor her the next month. What he was so sure was already in his grasp was in fact only gained after a very long and arduous series of tasks. And even then, he never got to enjoy his victory. In a way, the hard-fought prize remained unclaimed.
This did not bother him. No, his victory did not last, but what does? Everything that is won is eventually lost, and nothing struggled for ever remains. “All glory is fleeting.” What had made that night different, what had made it stand out in his memory after an eventful year, was not the permanency of his triumph, for surely it did not have that. Why that night in particular lingered in his memory more than a year was the sheer thrill of the struggle itself. In the intense back and forth of the negotiation, he found the best focus and expression of his talents and abilities. In trying to figure out what his opponent wanted, in determining what he had to give away, and in trying to persuade the opposing party to make the exchange – he felt alive
. He feltPost too long. Click here to view the full text.