By: Donnie Casto II
“Women aren’t logical, that’s why they make no sense.” said Julius. For the past five minutes he had went on about the common situation I imagine most couples go through at some point and now it seemed that due to a potentially lost flash drive that potentially held pictures not meant to be seen, Julius’ relationship at this point was on thin ice.
“Did your ex-wife ever make any logical sense when it came to love or money Thomas?” he asked me as we were unloading the boxes from the redundant warehousing job the past nineteen plus years had seen fit to give us both.
“What the hell do I know Jules? Does emotion ever make sense to a mind grounded in logic and absolutes?” I said. Knowing the pain all too well of many failed relationships and an even more painful divorce that left me absent both pride, money, and the little bit of testicles I thought I had, I thought it rather odd that a co worker who in some instances was a mirror image of my life and on the other was a bit older in age and the ways of women, would be asking me this.
“Jules if you love this woman so much, why the hell risk it over some scantily clad photos? You just tell her they were pictures found online.” I said.
“Not when some of them are pictures of her best girlfriends. I can’t help it Tom. I love women, and after investing over ten years and giving her everything she asks for, why should I. . . why should I have to ask or beg for affection or attention?” he said, as we were both pulling what seemed like the collective weight of all men and mankind on pallets full of boxes.
I know many a man as well as a woman who has fallen into the paradigm of the ‘grass being greener on the other side’. But what most of them fail to realize, is the greener grass usually hides an abundant amount of dogshit, or that their own yard would be as green, if they simply took the time to water it.
“Make no mistake, Thomas, man. . . I do love her. I guess I am just addicted to the need of the flesh. I can’t go without it.” said Julius with the look of a privately heartbroken pious man who suddenly found himself under the microscope of the Dr. Phil show.
“What man truly understands love outside of his flesh and blood Jules? Hell, I’ve loved lots of women in my life. Not that I was in love like it was a divine moment, but in that moment it was like a photograph of utter perfection, a moment captured that wouldn’t be experienced again. Hell, Jules, maybe looking back I was just in love with the moment of not being alone and knowing that for a brief moment, I was worth being held in the arms of another lost soul.” I said as we were walking towards the trailer, which now seemed like the green screen of the classic ‘This is Your Life’.
“Gawd damn. . . I knew you had a talent with words, considering you read a lot, but fuck me if I knew you to be a poet of love!” he said smiling with a look of a man that found a new angle to hustle on his lady.
“Is this what relationships are really like? Is this the future I have to look towards?” asked the rookie member of this Jedi council of love. Jules and I liked Zach, he really was the picture of ideal and innocence and amazingly had an excellent work ethic that most kids in his position lacked. At nineteen, he had the world by the balls and all the confidence that it was his for the taking. This young man, it seemed, had been given by the fates the unruly dishonor of playing a naïve Dorian Gray. Personally, I felt no responsibility in breaking his heart or his balls about the future that might come his way. Life soon enough, as it does to all after the age of twenty-five, usually breaks your cherry of making the transition from an idealist to either a realist or a cynic. Zach also had the fortune of a lovely little blonde who reminded me of the innocent tempest next door. She had the look of the adult film star Leah Luv, before mass amounts of alcohol, Quaaludes, and multiple screwings from men, women, and life had drained the hope, love, and innocence out of her.
Between me and Jules, both of us thought that it was ignorance that made him a very lucky little bastard to have such a beautiful woman. Before the collective three wise men could continue on Zach walked over to his sweetheart and departed our company. “You think if I walked up to Zach and told him I was taking lil’ Ashley over there away from him, he’d cry?” winking with a grin whispered Julius to me.
“Now why in the hell, would you do that? Are you trying to purposely test that kid’s dander, or just make him piss his pants?” I snapped back. “Besides, what in the hell is an innocent and from conversations we’ve heard from her and him, a virginal eighteen year old college girl going to want with a thirty nine year old baller like you Jules?”
“I don’t want her like that, well I certainly wouldn’t turn her down if she offered, I guess it’s the idea of it, ya know Thomas. The wish of going back to when I was that age but keeping the knowledge of everything I know now.” he said.
“Nothing good comes out of crossing generational gaps Jules. Been there and done that once myself with a girl who was eleven years younger than me. It’s funny, thirty five doesn’t seem old, but when you deal with the gen x hogwash and the drama that stirs in the emotions of a woman whose only known it, one finds themselves rather refreshed in bed, but left alone and lost in the rest of life.” I explained. “You happen to roll the dice and draw that girl in and in no time you think you have issues now, brother you don’t know issues.”
“Thomas haven’t you ever loved a woman, I mean you were so enamored with her as a complete being, that you thought beyond the wild sex that comes with a relationship, you could stay the course and be happy?” Jules asked. “Does such a perfect love exist Thomas, or is it just fairy tale fuck all?” he said putting in what seemed like a half a pack of chewing gum in his mouth.
Standing there taking a momentary break, surrounded by a stack of boxes we slowly were placing away, I thought it about. ‘Why are you asking me, hell, you’re four years older than I am, shouldn’t I be asking you?” I responded quickly.
“Our experiences are..”
“You going on that black man and white man race shit again Jules? Why does everything have to be an experience of skin color, when it’s an experience of men.” I responded back cutting him off.
“Who was she Thomas?” he asked me. “It’s evident from the look in your eyes, you really did love a woman once you crazy bastard.” For one of the very few times in our working experience, I could see Julius was actually being serious. We never came out and actually stated with a spoken word of mutual brotherhood and respect. But I could see this man out of the hood of downtown Columbus actually resonated something with a man whose southern raising and country boy demeanor made it evident we were vastly different people.
“What does it matter who she was Jules? It was a long time ago, in another time and another life” hoping to end it there.
“This one was different brother man, you can see it still in your eyes there is something about this lady that never left you. A woman like that I gotta know who she was.” He kept pushing the subject.
“I loved a woman.”
“Homey, you still love a woman” cutting me off. “Be real about it Thomas, hell it took you over three weeks to put a sentence together around us all here.” I typically distrusted people who showed interest in my life. Not because I didn’t want people to care, but because keeping people around once who really open up to them tends to show their true character. In a paradigm of perfection amongst mortals, let people find one dent in your armor, and they’ll label you a loser in tin foil.
“Yes, I loved, well I guess I never stopped loving a woman once Jules. She and I were good friends, always a tension between us.”
“Did she know your feelings?” he asked.
“Hell, I still didn’t know my own feelings Jules. I never did come out and say ‘I love you’ to her, but it was obvious to others what she and I never had the courage to say to each other.”
“She here in Columbus, I mean what are you waiting for an open invite? Women don’t want the obvious stated, they want the evident facts bro bro.” said Jules, in one of the few times I recall him being serious.
“For the record, if you must know, she’s not here in Columbus, she’s back home in Tennessee. A while back we struck up speaking again, and while the words we never spoke finally did come out between us, the timing of us ever meeting never worked out. She has someone, and I believe her to be happy and that’s all that matters.” I said.
“See, that’s why women make no logical sense, and at this point Thomas you don’t either. Your telling me there is a woman out there who you love, that you’ve been in love with for all these years, she knows it, and all because she has settled to be contented with some guy who may or may not be good for her, you are just gonna ride it out like that? What kind of life is that, to have a ‘yeah, but’ when it comes to happiness?” he asked, like a prosecutor going in for the kill in court.
“It’s just life Jules, just life goddamn it. I mean hell you have a woman you profess you love now and yet before this conversation you were sweating losing it because of your need for the flesh as you put it.” I said. “I suppose it’s better to dream of what a fool will believe than to be in the midst of another and alone and heartbroken.”
In that moment I guess I had realized that was the common thread of the human heart and experience. One can’t help but be lost in what a fool will believe about logic and emotions when amongst men and women, it’s a reality of six of one and a half a dozen of another.