Chapter 38: Dear Charles. Sincerely, Gillian.
Lucinda and I counted the thick stack of sheets inside the envelope; there were twenty-seven, typed one side only, single spaced, twelve-point Times New Roman font. It was clear the woman was not a seasoned writer. At the same time, as we counted the pages, I could tell from snippets that caught my eye, this was not an unreasoning rant or an angry diatribe; and she had flashes of brilliant writing. Gillian, as I’ll call her, sincerely cared about the war. Here is her cover letter so you can see for yourself:
Dear Mr. Asbury,
I know you are a journalist. I’ve been reading some of your current articles. You are a good writer, but I feel you’ve been missing information necessary to this whole war. I gave much thought to this subject upon a recent decision of mine to tell a man to go away. Please change our names if you decide to use this. I give you full permission to use this information as you best see fit.
I am merely a lone soldier on the front lines of a war that’s been raging far too long. I am doing my best to bring an end to it by fostering understanding between the warring camps. To that end, my words belong to the world. No one will listen to my opinions and conclusions, however. You, on the other hand, are respected and listened to.
Your humble reader,
Ninety minutes later we finished reading. In turns we laughed out loud, smiled, and were entertained and contemplative. As I folded the paper and put it back in the envelope, Lucinda spoke.
“Wow. She sounds like she’s having the same experiences as me, yet she explained it all so logically. I get all caught up in my emotions. She took emotion out of it yet it was extremely moving at the same time. How did she do that?”
I shook my head. I, too, had never seen such an explanation as this. “I don’t know. I can tell you, though, I’ll read it over and dissect it.”
Lucinda leaned across the console and gave me a fine kiss. “Let me know what you come up with. See you in the morning for breakfast?”
“Of course. Restaurant or your place?”
Disappointed, I didn’t say anything, but the arching of her eyebrows gave me hope, and I smiled. I called out Love you as she walked to her car. She turned and blew me a kiss, then continued on her way. I waited until she got in her car and it started before I left.
A statistical analyst with a marketing focus, Gillian very logically laid out the facts. But as most researchers do, they tend to overwrite for a general audience. I found fascinating Gillian’s thought process. What now follows is a summation of her points; many of which she made in a letter to Charles, again a name I’ve assigned, which she included in the packet.
The odds of Charles falling in love with Gillian were less than one-tenth of one percent. On the other hand, the odds of any man hitting on her were closer to one hundred percent.
Charles professed deep and abiding love for Gillian, and twice assured her of his ability to make love to her in such a manner she’d never forget it and would never experience anything like it again. Charles’s promises went over the top, saying he would outdo anybody she’d ever had.
Gillian wrote: “Charles, we live in a world ruled by randomness and often call such events ‘fate.’ It was his time to go. I guess it wasn’t my time to go. The best one of all: We were fated to meet.”
Many point out the influence of God’s hand here. But when the divorce comes, where is God’s hand then? Even this is explained. God wanted me to learn a lesson and grow as a person.
Orchestrated by God or easily explained away by randomness, chance? The human brain does not like randomness, so it seeks to put order on it by assigning causality.
God and chance can be influenced by other things just as random. Engineers know machines sometimes simply won’t do what you want them to. Our bodies are machines, organically based, and more complicated than anything. One thing that keeps human bodies going, and ensures the human race does not die out, are little old things called hormones.
Hormones are powerful agents of change. In Europe during the Middle Ages, the only swans anyone saw were white; the conclusion was all swans were white. But somebody travelled to another part of the world, brought back some black swans, and before you knew it, Europe was in a tizzy because everybody knew as fact swans were only white, yet here was proof they were wrong. What else could they have wrong in their closely held belief systems? Poor old Europe was not prepared for that possibility and it shook them to their core.
Hormones and randomness are also Black Swan events. Case in point: Boy meets girl. They are powerless and know without doubt that if they do not do this thing they will die. They barely know each other’s names, get in a fever, fall in the sack (or hayloft, back seat, bathroom stall, etcetera), maybe get married by an Elvis-impersonating preacher in Vegas, then make mad passionate love, throwing all caution to the wind.
Gillian’s words here made both Lucinda and I laugh out loud. She wrote: “He’s screaming I LOVE YOU even as he’s wondering why. She’s wondering why he’s screaming it because he doesn’t mean it. Yet, she joins him with screams of her own — YES, YES, YES! AaaahhhhEEEEEEE…aaaahhh.”
When their hormones get what they came for, they’re often left wondering What the heck? Why, they can’t even look each other in the eyes. They barely manage to pull their clothes back on, shake hands like business associates, take separate taxis home, have the marriage annulled, and walk away.
One day later he’s freaking because he’s one hundred percent sure he’s going to be some baby’s daddy and he’s not ready for it. “Ten days into his meltdown, she’s praying over a stick before she takes a whiz on it.” That unseen and thus completely unprepared-for Black Swan event could have lifelong consequences should a precious bundle of joy arrive. It happens all the time. Many brides walk the aisle in white with a bun in the oven.
“Charles, while passionately pressing your body against me, which had my hormones going a hundred miles per hour to the point I kissed you full on the mouth at the bar, you said words that brought me back to my senses. You said: Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had any?”
Now, the answer to the question of how long it’s been since one has had any, should not, of course, be the basis for falling into the sack with a stranger. And, being reasoning animals ruled by the rational mind, humans have something that can override hormones poured out by the animal brain. That thing is called Self Control.
The exercise of Self Control has also played an important part in the orderly continuing of the human race. A man is married and lives next door to another married couple. But one day he sees the neighbor’s wife walk by and he gets an overwhelming desire to ravish her and, oh hell yeah, he can see it in her eyes: She wants to be ravished by him; God, he’s such a stud.
But, hey, the housing market is not seller-friendly right now and divorces are expensive, and besides, his wife is pregnant. (They’ve been trying for months and now it’s a reality, happy days!) So what does he do?
Why, he calls on Self Control. He averts his eyes, tells his manly parts “Whoa, dude,” and says blandly, “Who’s ready for a burger?” while his beamingly preggo wife passes the pickles and mustard and declines a beer for the baby’s sake. He then makes the grand announcement about the upcoming arrival of a planned bundle of joy and the neighbor’s wife gives him a look with a twinkle that says, “Ah, geez, dude. It would’ve been great, but hey…I’m happy for you.” Three months later, the neighbor’s wife is pregnant, too, and both pretend they never had the hots for each other while the four of them trade preggo war stories and swap doctors’ names.
So Black Swan events, while random and often improbable, are not unavoidable, are not all-powerful, and not always negative. If one knows they can happen, one can manage their timing (better case), their ill effects (best case), or take advantage of their appearance (good case).
Gillian knows Charles meeting her was a Black Swan event. But because Charles never expected such a meeting to happen to him, he imbued it with powerful meaning to the point he was willing to pay for Gillian to travel around the world with him; he couldn’t perform his job properly; he lost sleep; and couldn’t control himself when around her.
Yet, what to Charles was a powerful indicator of a fortuitous love match was to Gillian just “Another Day in Man Land, Charles.” Men constantly have these reactions around her. But only rarely do her hormones react the same. It happens so much that if she said yes to every man whose hormones caused their bodies to react, she’d be spending her days on her back being serviced.
So, she, who knows Black Swans do exist, must take the lead in exercising that very human thing called Self Control because it is obvious men’s reactions to her cause them to act over the top. She knows what they are experiencing is wuv twu wuv, infatuation, lust.
Lest you think Gillian learned all this from research, she had two embarrassing instances wherein she, who knew these overreactions happened, still thought what she had was true love, but four days later couldn’t remember the guys’ names nor what they looked like or why she felt what she felt.
Gillian has been accused of being a tease when she allowed certain small — albeit enjoyable — liberties to go unslapped yet would not go all the way with a guy who wouldn’t slow down. Charles kept ramping it up and wanting more and more, faster and faster. But Gillian was not looking for a one-night stand, didn’t lie, and wasn’t playing games. Charles dangled money and gifts in front of her. She was not tempted. Yet he kept dangling those. He just didn’t get it.
The way a man’s mind works is to test and challenge and retest and challenge again. Yet twice when they met, Gillian had to be the one that said, and forcefully at that, “Stop! We’re in public, for God’s sake.” She was getting tired of always having to be that one who is in control, setting parameters. Because she has to keep her hand on the off switch, she cannot relax and enjoy any man’s manliness.
Then she wondered. If their reaction is this uncontrolled and over-the-top in public, what in the heck’d happen if they were in a private place together? She did not feel safe.
Still, even as she wrote her letter to Charles in the cold and sterile atmosphere of her office, she found it difficult to hit the send button. “Charles, your hormones are still working overtime on mine, and I like it.”
Chapter 39: It’s a Fact — Size Matters
“How long?” I asked.
She held her thumb and forefinger up again. The space between them was about two inches.
“And how big around?”
She held up her index finger, then changed her mind and held up her ring finger.
“And you say he couldn’t understand why you didn’t want to jump all over that?”
“Then he got mad?”
She nodded again in the affirmative. “Could be he believes the old saying.”
“What old saying?”
“You know. It ain’t how deep you fish, it’s how you wiggle your worm.”
“Oh, yeah. That one. Never understood how a man could wear a shirt declaring he had a small pecker.”
“And yet they do. And it’s on hats, too.”
A couple of years back, Lucinda decided to read The Kama Sutra.
I blushed, and blathered, “You’ve read the book?”
“Ah, Gordon. I can tell from your blush you’ve never read it.”
That made me think because I realized I had never read it. My blush was based solely on the reputation the book had been given by those who claimed to read it.
“No. Never have. You’re saying I shouldn’t be blushing? I thought it was all about positions and kinky stuff like that?”
She smiled. “Yeah, it’s what I thought, too, but being the kind of person I am, after hearing people talking about it through the years I decided the next time someone brought it up, I was going to ask them to tell me about it. I had questions and I asked those. I did that for several years and nobody, and I mean nobody, had ever read the book itself.”
“Nobody said they had read it?”
“Two people said they had, but when I asked them to tell me about specifics, they could not. I determined they were lying.”
“So I went out and bought it. Then I read it. Yes, positions are mentioned, but technically the book is about manners.”
“Yes. Manners. Say please and thank you. Ask for permission. Share your toys. Give the other person what they want and let them know what pleases you. Bring gifts. Receive gifts happily. Smile. Flirt. Be polite and, only if upon further discussion it is mutually agreed upon, shall one do anything painful. If someone gets hurt, kiss their boo-boo. Take a nap when you get tired.”
“Okay. So what has The Kama Sutra got to do with little weenies?”
“Believe it or not, the proper use of small members as well as major giant members is addressed.”
I closed my eyes, propped my elbow on the table, and put my head in my hand. Lucinda sipped her coffee. I can tell you, of all the things I have ever discussed over a meal, this was one that never entered my mind.
“Please, Lucinda. Can you explain what The Kama Sutra said about these subjects?”
“I’ll be happy to, Gordon.” She smiled and began her summation of The Kama Sutra. This is the gist:
Men and women are different. Accept it and move on.
Their sensibilities are at opposite ends of the pole, yet they all want the same thing: To be touched, and to like it when they are touched. Therefore, men, if you are not good at approaching a woman, get a friend who is good at communicating with women to plead your case for you. But make sure it is a trusted friend who will not use his wiles to plead his own case and make nice with her and leave you in the cold.
If you have no trusted male friend, then get to know your target’s friends and make nice with them until they do nothing but sing your praises for you. Then manage to insinuate yourself into a party as a guest of one of these friends where you can then get introduced.
After introductions are made and the female has acquiesced to your attentions, you must be attentive to her stories, her needs, and so forth.
Upon bringing a first gift, do not make it a highly personal one. Instead, find out what she likes and get something that will please her. Do not make a big deal of giving her the gift as if it was a prelude to an offer of marriage. Casually give it to her with an “Oh, I saw this and thought you might like it” statement, and don’t wait around for her to open it.
Let her come to you to say thank you. If she should twinkle at you upon saying thank you. If she should put a hand on you when she is talking about the wonderfulness of your gift. If she should give you a brief peck on the cheek. Ah, yes. Then you can think this has some potential.
But there are still roadblocks up ahead. One of those roadblocks is: Do your bodies match? Do your temperaments match?
In other words, if he applies his body to hers, will the parts fit? Case in point: Little Members and Ginormous Members.
Women themselves are not configured in one size. Some are shallow. Some are very deep. So a shallow woman and a small man will, more than likely, be quiet happy with the performance of the other. Whereas a shallow woman with a hugely endowed man could make her cry in pain and she may utter words like “Brute!” and he may utter “Frigid!”
While he may be a brute and she may be cold, in this instance they are simply ill-matched. Same with a deep woman and a small man. He may be insulted that she isn’t pleased with his member’s size because in his mind he’s good to go, so he may think she is too picky. She, on the other hand, needs to feel what she needs to feel and she needs to feel a real live man’s member hitting her as far as she goes. A small man can never hope to reach that part of her.
The problems arise when intellectually they match but their bodies do not. Thus the old thought of Though she loves me for my mind, I can’t satisfy her in bed. Maybe I can buy her a B.O.B. and she will stay with me.
With that summation, I realized more than ever, people are people. No matter the land. No matter the culture. No matter the year. People have not changed. Not one bit. And they never will. I told Lucinda my conclusions.
“You’re right. That’s why all these people who want to do social engineering by force of law will fail. They will fail because they are operating on a wish basis. They wish this and therefore assume that will follow. It never does. I learned the hard way with my marriage. I wished it to be so and believed it could be. But I didn’t think about the rest of the statement.”
“The rest of the statement?”
“Yeah. I wish it to be so and I believe it can be so, but if only —”
“Yeah, the If-Onlys will get you every time.”
“The Kama Sutra says to give respect to the full force of the If Onlys. Work within their parameters and you, too, can have great sex.”
Lucinda and I sipped our coffees for a moment and she continued.
“There are women — I am one of them and we are few and far between — who love men. We like the idea of men. We like their muscles. We like their strength. We like those things in them that make them different from the female. We don’t want them to be us. We appreciate those differences and realize that, oh yes, those differences are what make us so powerful when we come together.”
I nodded in understanding. “I like women the same way you like men.”
“Remember Big Rig?”
How could I forget, I said. She smiled and patted my hand. There goes that pat again. What does it mean this time? I pulled my attention back to her.
“…could just as easily treat him well. Even a little bit of kindness from her would go such a long, long way. I know, because what little bit of kindness I got from my husband lasted me for months on end. But she won’t do it. So when he and I met, it was a foregone conclusion we’d help the other.”
“Does The Kama Sutra talk about that, too?”
“Oh, yes. In fact, it even discusses how to have an affair properly. One must not cheat on ones mate unless that mate is doing wrong by you. So, if you must seek comfort elsewhere, seek it privately and have an understanding you are only doing this to make it through. There are even rules to have affairs with your business rival’s wife.”
“Do you think Big Rig read the book? I only ask because he seems to be doing all those things.”
“I don’t know. I’ll have to ask him.”
I didn’t know she was still in touch with him. What does The Kama Sutra say about staying in touch with former lovers? I’d have to buy a copy and find out.
Chapter 40: “Are you driving yet?”
The next week Lucinda and I met for coffee twice and had nice visits. But mostly I searched local book stores for an original text copy of that damned book, pictures I didn’t need. When I found it, I was determined to read it all the way through. In the meantime, Lucinda told me another story about a man who had not read The Kama Sutra, and stomped his way through a bunch of women. Here is their conversation:
Man: Hey, baby, let me eat you.
Lucinda: No, thank you.
Man: But I can eat it like it’s never been eaten before.
Lucinda (staring): Of course.
Man: I guess you hear that all the time, huh, baby?
Lucinda: Only every other day.
Man (smiling): But, baby, I can do it better than anybody.
Lucinda: So they all say.
Man (indignant): But I’m not lying.
Lucinda: None of them are.
Man (begging): So? You gonna let me?
Man: What’s wrong with you? You don’t like men?
Lucinda: I adore men. I don’t like you.
She then said she had something to say that might hurt my feelings. Outwardly, I encouraged her to be free with her thoughts. Inwardly, I braced for the fall. She hesitated briefly, then blurted it out. She had slept with another male last night.
I didn’t know what to say and began formulating a reply along the lines of Hey, Girl, we’re all adults here, no skin off my nose and so forth, when she let me off the hook with a giggle. Her male was three years old — and a dog. She laughed at her joke and said she liked seeing the worry on my face. But she told me this because she had…
A Very Important Question.
I gulped. I admit. My gulp was a version of Legs 2’s blink when Lucinda told her she couldn’t have drinks on the dance floor. It was a gulp of fear. What now? Would I be asked to make a commitment to something I wasn’t ready to do? I know how women are. Throw down with them and they wanted a promise of something. I…
Lucinda grinned again, patted my hand and said, “Gordon. Stop freaking out and listen.”
“Damn, woman. How do you do that?”
“How do I do what?”
“Read my mind?”
“I don’t read your mind, Gordon. I don’t have to. You put it all out on your face. I can’t help but see it. Now may I continue?”
I nodded that she could. When she was married, if she heard a sound at night, hubby told her to go check it out herself. He even refused to back her up. On the other hand, the dog she’s keeping for her neighbor is a total gentleman. Every noise that worries him, he jumps up and runs growling into the face of danger.
Would I, Gordon, jump up and run into the face of danger for her?
Happy the other man was a dog and happier still she wasn’t wanting me to move in, I readily agreed all she need do is wake me and say sic’em, and I would.
I finally found a copy of that damned Kama Sutra – original text, no pictures – and over the next two days devoured the book. It was heavy going. But, as is my habit, I keep a pad of paper handy and make notes about content and page references and so forth of anything I’m researching. Though the point was made so subtly as to be missed by those reading to find new positions to try, one thing I felt was important in the book is this:
Assumptions and expectations are always at odds with reality.
When you’re young, you crave all the world promises. You expect the promises to be kept; they never are, and you never get the fulfillment of those promises.
After years and years of being sucker-punched and settling for a lot less and eventually adjusting expectations to fit, one realizes that gaining the whole world doesn’t mean so much anymore. Now, more than ever, the quality of the details begin to matter.
Unfortunately, most people keep seeking the fulfillment of those false and empty promises. These are the same people who sign up for multi-level marketing schemes. These are the same people who give their life savings to a guy because he knows someone famous and on that basis he must know how to invest. Then they complain when their money is all gone and they wail Woe is me!
People like me, on the other hand, hope for the best but expect and plan for the worst. We know we will get what we need to get by. That’s all. Nothing more. Even if we want more and even if we expect more, we’re only gonna get what we need to get by.
People like me? Yeah, we’re cynical. We know too much. We see big pictures in all their detail and we despair. I wish I was like the suckers and idiots who blindly have seasons of super high hopes wherein all is right with the world — or will soon be. At least I’d have some reprieve.
I thought of another song I heard one lonely night some years back.
I remember when
I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions have an echo in so much space
But when you’re out there
Without care, Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough
I just knew too much
Yeah, too much knowledge increases pain. I was often accused of thinking too much when, instead, my accuser wasn’t thinking enough. Inevitably, I’d be accused of playing Mind Games. She’d say I don’t know where you got that idea and I’d say You said it. Then would begin the Accusations of Manipulations. She’d say It’s all your fault and I’d say What did I do wrong? All this closely followed by her saying Uh, listen…it’s been real, but and I’d say Good riddance to big trouble.
Then a quietness of desperation in my soul would settle in, and my heart I’d put on hold as I thought of mediocrity and fear and how they often were the same. I had never liked mediocrity and avoided having it in my life at all costs. I also hated fear yet had allowed it to have its way with me, drawing me into mediocre relationships.
Meeting, falling in love with, making love to Lucinda, and talking to her unlike I had ever talked with a woman before, helped me to see patterns and connections in my life. I could pull a string here and trace it back to the source. I didn’t like what I saw, but following Lucinda’s lead in this matter, I looked at myself with brutal honesty and I said it is what it is.
Now, how can I put it to better use?
I thought of Lucinda as I went to bed. In the morning, when I woke with a Lucinda-induced pup tent, I decided to text her and tell her so. Hey, a little flirtatious sexting between lovers was not unheard of nor uncalled for.
Me: Lucinda, darling. I’m hard for you right now, babe.
She: Hmmm…are you asking for a solution to the problem?
Me: Yes. Got any suggestions?
Her: You remember how to get over here?
Me: Yes, ma’am.
Her: Are you driving yet?
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