• One Way Or The Other

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    ONE WAY OR THE OTHER

    Do you know how hard it is to write a love story? There are already about eight million written. Every theme, every nuance, every scenario has been covered. Nothing new out there. Even the Chick Flick Movie stories repeat themselves and they aren’t real people anyway – who the hell looks like that 24/7 – perfect teeth – (even their wisdom teeth have veneers), skin, hair, diction, timing – casual fulfilling sex – what BS. Love isn’t like that at all or if it is, it lasts about thirty seconds.

    Most of life and love is down in the Mud and the Blood and the Beer and people just do not look or act their best. And what about those stories where lovers’ say: “At least we have our memories to hold on to.” Who gives a rat’s rear end about memories – its flesh and blood that is important – it’s now, and real and tangible – holding on to each other – memories – what nonsense – give me the real thing any day. You can keep the memory book and use it for firewood.

    Or how about the story of the decent guy who falls for the stunning beauty – that he knows is absolutely wrong for him. So in love that he would change his entire being just to please her, suffer any indignity, any pain, just to have her acknowledge him as a lap dog. Somerset Maugham wrote an entire book about this – Of Human Bondage – it is a depressing, mind sinking, additive downward spiral that ends with the guy slinking away like some jackal after the girl picks a total idiot and lets him know she really didn’t ever care two nickels about him – just liked the pleasure of toying with him and watching the pain.

    Although as I think about my somewhat jaded view of humanity, maybe I should write about something else, but I still really do believe in True Love, so I’m stuck. So what to write about – start off with a story about a touching kiss on the cheek by a French Vietnamese beauty (some of the most beautiful women in the world are from there) that ends up with each trying to kill the other with sex, that would be a good story, especially if it happened within a half hour or so – but I generally write G rated, so better leave that one alone – although there is a very similar story that I could spin.

    So rethinking all this I guess I could tell you about a friend of mine, Paul by name, who was so crazy in love with this girl he caused himself high anxiety full time. In his late 40’s, divorced, kids pretty much set, but ran into a beauty quite by accident. And it’s not the well-to-do guy rescues poor voluptuous orphan from under the tracks. Nope, they were pretty much from the same economic class; he has just managed his money a little better. Anyway here goes.

    But first I’ve got to tell you about the train wreck he encountered after being first divorced. Her name was Bella – Brazilian – Oh My Hell – Mop of black hair, killer looks, body that defied curvatious description, just enough of an accent, sexual beyond belief – attitude – sense of humor and as warm as a ten foot fireplace in full blaze. Paul felt like his brain had been scrambled by an eggbeater and he immediately went into “pursuit and make her mine” mode. She was flirty and fickle and pain in the ass, but just delightful. He thought – maybe it’s true love – maybe this is my eternal soul mate – IT WASN’T – she turned out to be jealous beyond belief (threatened to kill his ex-wife more than once), unstable emotionally and mentally, and much more ready for sex before he was. Paul had the theory that sex changes the relationship – deepens it, makes it more committed, bonds lovers – and he wasn’t sure he was up to the task of being Bella’s permanent lover/husband/nymphomaniac/whatever.

    Besides she turned out to be a Kleptomaniac – Paul expected a bell to ring every time he left a store. To top it all off she chewed gum incessantly and with violence that would scare off a wart hog. Worst of all was listening to her favorite subject – herself. To listen to her you would have thought she was a meek and docile creature against who the whole world was in conspiracy. Her life one long bitter struggle against the odds. On the subject of herself she could be witty, vivacious, philosophic, tragic and inventive. She showed herself to be vindictive, hard as nails, vain, cruel, selfish, scheming and mercenary. Paul spent hour after hour of listening to her talk about herself like a force of nature. Finally he decided that he had to get rid of her before his mind took a forced holiday.

    But it was hell getting rid her gone even with the old “the chemistry just isn’t right” talk – she didn’t understand – there was hysterical crying, screaming, threats of legal action under breach of promise. It took two months to get her completely away from stalking him and then only when she had found someone else to bedevil.

    Man, Paul thought, I dodged the bullet. I’d have to have about three stiff drinks in the morning just to face the day married to her, and would need a sales job that required 200 days a year away from her. And he thought to himself, maybe I should just find a really nice, calm, simple gal from a non-American culture – like a beautiful woman from the Philippines or Burma to love me and take care of me and think I am the greatest. Lots of guys who seem to marry Asian Woman turn out perfectly happy.

    But lets go back now to my friend Paul and the object of his intense interest, Laura – obviously post Brazilian and other crazies. Laura was just stunning – peaches and cream doesn’t even come close. Beautiful Blond hair that when pulled back – just increased her looks. Intelligent eyes, warm mouth, the entire package with a radiant sexual body to boot – but used sutely. And depth of character – oh my hell – it was like looking into the eyes of Mary Magdalene. She struck him in so many ways on first sight – autumn leaves swirling down the road, dust devils out on the prairie, Niagara pouring over the Canadian side.

    It really blindsided him. Paul was somewhat ruggedly handsome – although he looked better in dim light that bright – and he had a nice smile – and he smiled and laughed a lot. Kind of a guy that every once and a while should clean his fingernails completely after working on his cars.

    So these two came together one night as one star clipped another per the immortal Gods’ design – just happened to be in the same space at a friend’s and had a chance to talk. Paul was somewhat shocked that Laura would even give him the time of day, but they seemed to have some things in common and Paul could be pretty funny in his view of life, so they got along – agreed on a second date.

    But Paul was suspicious – especially after his close encounter with the Brazilian Nightmare – he had long thought that beautiful women were dangerous (but he was always attracted to the most striking and his wife had been a real stunner), and liked to troll around in shallow waters, toy with the fish they hooked and then strip out the heart. He wanted to get his hopes up, but didn’t want the emotional damage that comes with letting your heart go a bit, getting it kicked downstairs and then realizing you couldn’t find anyone to compare with the damned temptress.

    He would look at her when he didn’t think she could tell – there was something about her eyes, very very soft, but with a bit of fear behind. It confused him, but at the same time allured him to her. She also moved with such grace it was like watching a prima ballerina. Gosh Damn it, he thought again, why me that has to fall off this cliff – already he could feel the torrent sweep around him and the unending burning that comes with full blown passion. I should just get out now, he thought, before I promise her that I will do anything for her, such as going back to school to become an astronaut or some other fool thing – if she will have me.

    But he couldn’t help himself, he felt he must take the risk – a week or so went on – great conversation, but he didn’t dare make a move. Took her hand a couple of times, and a kiss on the cheek greeting, she leaned into him a bit, but that was it. She was warm to him, and seemed genually affectionate, but no real response beyond short embraces. What should he do, the anxiety was beginning to get to him by the end of the month. They knew quite a lot about one another – knew her previous marriage was ten times worse than his – been hurt to the point of mental illness – such that she was mistrustful of any man.

    She had been divorced for 10 years – was so anxious to get away from the madman she was married to that she walked with nothing – just clothes and her own small savings accounts and her son and daughter. She spent full time working and raising them – both in college now. The marriage had been so horrific and her husband’s behavior so terrible, she had been afraid that his actions would even follow her with permanent physical consequences. Paul knew what she was talking about, and she assured him eventually she was okay. But the mental and emotional scaring from five years of hell had made her extra cautious. His own marriage was to a crazy who went totally bonkers – but nothing like the trip through Hades that Laura had made – and survived.

    She would look at him openly and with affection, but really didn’t show any real physical interest. When he called, she was sometimes slow to respond – and Paul, lunkhead that he was, didn’t understand that unlike the Hunter/Killer he was, women aren’t as aggressive – and it takes them a lot longer to commit – and in Laura’s case almost impossible because of the past. Paul was the typical guy – hey, I like you – how do we get this relationship to light speed right away. Just visual possession immediately, that is what guys’ want – always with the hope that there will be the ultimate physical relationship.

    But Paul spent so much time thinking about Laura that he was afraid he would become mental – he just couldn’t read her, the thought of sweeping her into his arms brought instant fear of her calling the cops and having him arrested for assault. Finally he decided it would be better just to find someone else to hook up with – maybe not the Laura Platinum Standard, but it was so irritating and gut checking, that it wasn’t worth it. He knew she wasn’t dating anyone else, but it was so confusing, he was beside himself.

    As he was about to turn in his badge – he decided, “what the hell, it can’t get any worse”, I’m just going to straight out ask her – do you have any real feelings for me or not – is there a possibility we could be together
    permanently. And so he ask her out for dinner – quiet place with no ambient noise – and after they had eaten, he slid around by her and took her hand and said: Laura, I have unbelievable feelings for you – I want us to be together, but I don’t know how you really feel about me – really deep down. As foolish as it sounds I’d like you to tell me. One way or the other.

    And that is were we will leave it my friends, did she tell him she just wanted to be friends, that she was shocked by his question, that she loved him madly, what did she say – you come up with the answer in your own mind. Next month when I publish my next story, I will tell you what happened.

    February 2012

    Okay, I lied, lets face it I’m an instant gratification person myself. And so here is what really happened. She parted her lips and looked steadily at him out of those calm blue blue eyes. She took both her arms and wrapped them around him with her hands on the back of his neck. And then she kissed him ever so gently – and then looked into his eyes and said – you are a foolish man, I knew it was you the first time we met – don’t you know – I am your woman and you are my man, forever and forever – I know we can hang the moon together. There will never be another man in my life – ever.

    There is more to the story – about how that white-hot feeling moved into mutual esteem, respect and devotion that comes with mature love. And a little icing came along in a couple of years with a blue eyed dark haired little girl much to both of their surprise. But in this case, just to stick it to the gods, the love of my unsteady friend, the whiteness, the brilliance, and the heat – it never left, never cooled – not for a moment.

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