27
Apr
11

my very near surrender to love, and how one lone, bitchass apple spoiled the bunch…

I was awash with love, today.

I’m fresh off a weekend with my linesisters and their extraordinary husbands and boyfriends; fresh from the nuptials of our 9 to yet another extraordinary husband.

I was awash with love.

And it is, perhaps, for this reason, that, in an about-face from my traditional measured dose of snark, I afforded my mother some contemplative sincerity when she inquired about my love life.

Still, despite my best intentions, I had nothing new to offer when she asked for the one millionth time, this life, “What are you looking for in a partner?”

I had no clue.

And why should I?

I’ve been unwavering in my praise of previous romantic interests.

They’ve all been great people.

Sure, Matt wasn’t nearly as cautious as I thought he should be when it came to open, public display of his baby-Negro chest hairs from generously unbuttoned shirts.

And Eric’s excessive use of faucet water during these eco-conservative times certainly earned him a questionable frown or two from my general direction.

But, for the most part, I was a woman of few complaints.

I could ask nothing more from a future partner than I’d already been lucky to find in ones past.

Not until I’d finished speaking with my mother did it dawn on me that she’d asked the wrong question. All of this time, she had been asking the wrong question.

This was not about what I was looking for in someone else.

This was about what was—what is—lacking in me.

Frankly stated—

A desire to put another person’s needs before my own.

That variable, that lone compulsion, so entirely absent in my own selfish heart, rang out so true and so sound in the shared whispers, shared laughter, shared glances, shared touches between my linesisters and their mates.

But not within me.

Rather, mine is an only child’s well-constructed cynicism.

I’ve dedicated years to this doctrine of self-reliance, unapologetically putting my own self first. I’ve expended countless hours proselytizing the responsibilities one has to herself, and only herself; how we enter this world alone and die alone; how we must comport ourselves accordingly in light of this stark truism.

But, when you embark upon a relationship, you are vulnerable to the elements. You are expected to forfeit this mentality. You must conceptualize an appropriate model of trust, and incorporate it into your sensory framework.

Enter my reticence.

This act of forfeiture—this veritable surrender of guard—is far too high a price for my risk-averse pocket.

But, in a perfect world, where all conditions are met, and a suitable, trustworthy partner chosen—you relax.

You disable your selfish.

You put your partner’s needs first, and he/she yours.

And there are no worries, for each of our respective fronts is covered. Each of our respective sets of needs met.

In the face of my epiphany, I was forced to consider all of it. And I did. I tossed it all around; I moved the mountains of my mind and forged every briar-laden pass my overly-analytical psyche could conjure, until I reached a conclusion:

Yeah.

I don’t wanna do that shit.

Like, not at all.

And let me tell you why….with a story…because, you know….that’s my way.

******

Jack Jacobsen had hired me to be his attorney.

He was neither a defendant in an action nor a plaintiff. Rather, he was summoned by the Commonwealth to be a witness in a criminal action against his wife (don’t bother to question the basis of this or worry your precious minds with concepts like “spousal privilege.” Just trust your narrator when she informs you that there was no such protection in this case).

You’ll also have to trust me when I tell you that his wife, Molly Jacobsen, had done nothing wrong. An unfortunate set of circumstances, and a naïve faith in the police and municipal government had landed her on the wrong side of the law. Be that as it may, no crime was afoot.

So, Jack Jacobsen had hired me to be his attorney—to apprise him of his options and represent his interests to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and if need be, the Court.

Essentially, Jack needed to know the ramifications of not testifying, and wanted the prosecution to be aware of his position that his wife had committed no crime, and that he would never say she had.

Upon meeting Molly and Jack, my sympathies immediately went to Molly. She was clearly fragile and overwhelmed by the situation she’d created for herself and her family. The both of them were in their early fifties, and only married for a few years. The thought occurred to me more than once that the two were castoffs, hopelessly destined for a life of solitude ‘til finding their other misfit counterpart (which I’d suspected had happened through the miracle of match.com).

Jack was all fire and bluster, and given to lengthy speeches about his commitment to family, and dedication to his wife. I watched, time and time again as his eyes brimmed over with hot, fast tears, as he became swept away by the conviction of his own oratory. He used powerful words like “Gestapo” and “attack” to describe the prosecution’s relationship with his home. He was adamant about his decision not to testify; to not be his wife’s condemner. He repeatedly drove his stubby index finger into the rich mahogany of the conference room table to emphasize his willingness to defy the Commonwealth, the world, even God if it meant preventing undue harm to his wife.

From our first handshake, and my inhale of his stale, tart breath, I’d sized Jack up. I’d known that he was all false bravado, and feigned masculinity. I would help him, certainly. I would attempt to shield this family he claimed to be the sworn protector of. But I would unveil his inner bitch, too. And I’d take pleasure in so doing.

So I’d sat quietly in that conference room amidst the boom and thunder of his voice. I’d sat, slightly slouched, legs crossed, chin resting on my thumb, index and middle fingers pressed comfortably to my temple. I’d let the sonorous timbre of his voice ricochet between the walls that housed us, my face impassive, unaffected by his demonstrative changes in inflection.

And only when he’d cried his last tear; only after he callously (though guised as reassuringly) rubbed the back of his lady-love and declared himself the last good man; only after he’d dulled the finish of the table with his tiny, closed fists while volunteering himself up as a lamb to the slaughter—only then did I speak.

“I understand and respect your position, “ said I. “I appreciate your willingness to convey how sincere your affections are with regard to your family. My job is to protect you. Not your wife. I am here to advise you.”

He interrupted, then, as I’d known he would. “MY job is to protect my wife. I will protect my wife at all costs. YOUR job is to help me understand how I can protect my wife.”

My face remained unchanged, but I was all smiles inside. I began, again.

“Very well,” said I. “I will communicate what you’ve shared to the Commonwealth’s Attorney. It is possible that she will consider your unwillingness to testify, and re-evaluate her desire to pursue an action against your wife.”

“And if she doesn’t?” Jack demanded. He was playing right into my hands.

“You are under subpoena. If she doesn’t, she will insist you take the stand anyway. If your aim is to protect your wife, you will do so and respectfully decline to answer any questions,” I calmly replied.

“Then that’s what I’ll do!” he asserted. He looked dramatically into the eyes of his wife, just then, and softly repeated for effect, “That’s what I’ll do.”

“At which point you’ll be cited for Contempt of Court, and face a maximum $250.00 fine, and up to ten days in jail,” I stated plainly. Gotcha bitch!

Jack’s face jerked back to mine. “What?!”

I watched as all the blood drained from his face, and the fire fled from his tear-filled eyes.

My eyes never straying from his, I said, in even tones, “Molly, why don’t you leave us, now. Have a seat in the waiting room, and we will be with you, momentarily.”

Molly’s shoulders slumped under the weight of her guilt, as she shuffled from the room. There had been a palpable shift in power. I pulled my chair close to the table, and sat upright for the first time since our meeting began. I gently latticed my fingers, and placed them before me, waiting for Jack to speak. I knew he would not long keep me. Weak men grew quickly uncomfortable with silence.

He didn’t disappoint.

“Ms. Fooler,” he began, “I want you to know that I love my wife.”

I said nothing.

“You have to know that I do not want to testify against my wife.”

I held up my right hand to indicate that I would hear nothing further. “The time for talk of what you want is done. That is over. Your wife is no longer here. The time has come to speak of what you will do.”

Breaking my gaze, and looking down at the table he had pummeled in fury only moments earlier, he whispered demurely, “I cannot go to jail.”

I picked up my pen, and opened the file folder that had lain, untouched, before me throughout the entirety of our meeting. “Then let’s discuss your testimony.”

*****

Molly Jacobsen has no idea what was discussed in that room.

She left, confident in her husband’s commitment to her; certain of his willingness to put her needs before his own.

And he fucked her.

My mother will have to forgive me if I hold fast to my own self-reliant, survival ideology for a little while longer.

*Quite naturally, the names have been changed to protect the…..well….to protect myself.

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11 Responses to “my very near surrender to love, and how one lone, bitchass apple spoiled the bunch…”


  1. 1 Aaron Smarter
    April 27, 2011 at 7:29 am

    $250 and 10 days? bitchassness at its finest, ladies and gents.

    I don’t even make that much money, and I could do that standing on my head, blindfolded.

    Of course, I still haven’t met a woman in my life worth going to jail for, so I’ll never have to worry about that, will I?

  2. April 27, 2011 at 7:48 am

    this is great! absolute comedy at its finest… please update as often as possible.

  3. April 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    great post.

    jack is a bitch. plain and simple. he couldn’t do 10 days. barry bond’s best friend has been in jail since i don’t know when (a lot longer than 10 days) and he hasn’t said a word against bonds. granted he probably has a sizeable check coming his way when he gets out, the point is he didn’t snitch.

    dude snitched on his wife. his wife? c’mon.

  4. April 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Man I read this shit…and I thought about it all the way until I got to school. Like…I could see why you would feel that way…but I still think you shouldn’t have let the obvious cowardice of a ho ass nigga like Jac serve as the reason why you don’t want lifelong companionship. I’m sure it ain’t the only reason, but it must’ve meant something if you blogged it. Hmm…

  5. 5 Ti
    April 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    $250 and 10 days in jail, you couldn’t take that lil ass l for your wife? That’s the very definition of bitchassness.

  6. 6 Jiro
    April 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    First let me say I enjoyed this entry, but I don’t want to talk about that just now. I want to address the “bravado” in the comments.

    Yes Jack was (is?) a pretender, but you gotta ask yourself: what would Molly have done in the same situation? It is a two way street; which is the subtext here if I am not mistaken. Both parties have to hold each other all the way down or things fall apart. Prisoner’s dilema being what it is and all that.

    So yeah it is easy to pick on Jack and ironically display as much faux bravado as he did (and on the internets even) given you are not facing the very difficult decision described in this entry. Nor do any of us know the details of the relationship. I can imagine that it is very possible that at 50 Jack is just trying to go along to get along. You know, the human condition.

    I am just concerned about what seems to be to be faux pandering to _appear_ all chivalrous ‘n shit. It’s just like the women who pretend to be demure and submissive because they think that’s what guys want to hear, it’s ridiculous.

    So, in my mind, the real observation is what would make someone marry a person: 1) That could get into this much trouble without having done anything (total fuck up or what)? 2) Who you weren’t ready to make this level of sacrifice for? Also, if we are to take our narrator at her word as she asks us to, what in the Sam Hill is in the prosecution’s ass?

    Don’t get me wrong, Jack may have been dead wrong. We just can’t be sure in what way.

    For another data sample I suggest we all watch what eventually comes to pass as far as Leslie and Jack Johnson are concerned. That should be interesting. Interesting indeed.

  7. 9 @Parkour_Lewis
    June 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    That. Is. TOUGH. lol, jail ain’t no picnic, but 10 days for the person you love? And that’s WORST case scenario? Yeah, most people can never truly put someone else before themselves it appears.

  8. July 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I find it a little bit humorous that all of the tough guys on the other side of the computer speak so belleigerently about the idea of doing 10 days in the clink. As a relatively young man, I believe I could do it and would do it….. But to act as if it is not an unnerving proposition is not entirely fair to an older gentleman.

    Based on you post I think that it is somewhat fair to say that this couple is not entirely bonded at their mid-50’s in a relatively new relationship in the way a young testosterone driven 20 something gentleman would be to his lady. Passion gives way to practicality in some regards. However I do not think that jack represents the masses of devoted partners. And I have heard you comment about how you have no complaints in your previous relationships and that you have had some good experiences. I would just hope that you look at relationships not from the worst of your experiences. but instead from a median perspective. You, as do we all deserve the chance to see things through a more rose-collored lense. Now if all of your points of reference fall upon the more damaging, destructive or disadvantageous side then I don’t know what to say. Other than we have to egt you some nicer friends. But I think you have some mutuatlly beneficial relationship tales to tell that reflect a neverending flow of self-flessness that creates a balance that you can be happy with……don’t you? (I hope)

  9. July 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Wow. Amazing read. My sentiments exactly.


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