The cruelest thing one person can do to another is to play with their emotions.
Much worse than a barrel of a gun or a punch to the gut, fucking with another’s psychological make-up is ridiculously harsh.
I cannot claim with any sense of righteousness my never having done the above.
I have, and here’s where I qualify that statement, but I don’t believe I’ve ever done it on purpose. I know I have not.
My mother was toyed with, and I never forgot how she looked and how she felt.
It took her close to TWO decades to finally date, to see another man, after my father left. I think I was approaching 16, and I was wildly in love with Concha. Together Concha and I explored everything. We were inseparable. My mother, I am guessing, felt satisfied she’d done her maternal duty: I was happy, healthy, and successful. It was time for her to step out and reestablish herself as a woman.
As you can see by my picture(s), I am an ugly dude. But I look more like my father, I think. My mom was BEAUTIFUL when she was younger, but poor diet and smoking claimed a great part of her former beauty. With tastes restored after giving up cigarettes, mom’s ass began to spread. Broad in the stern. Mom, however, had a love of life, and everyone was attracted to her loving personality. When she would die only a few years later, the chapel was standing-room only, PACKED with people filled with tears. She was loved, and she was easy to love.
She decided to hit the single’s scene.
One of the first nights out, she met a guy. Handsome. Charming. He liked to dance, and one thing I remember mom telling me about my father was how he never danced with her. Mom and I danced all the time, twirling around the apartment (and that turned out to be great practice for chicks – they LOVED that I liked to dance). Anyway, he was also a fireman. Alan. Yep, fucking Alan.
He came through the door, and I sized him up pretty quickly.
He called me “Pal.” Oi vey. Pal. He winked in my direction. He might have even sprinkled a few Chiefs and Hombres in there as well. He was that kind of dude. Men, to me, were honest and sincere, never on the make. So I instantly distrusted him. It was a primal distrust, and whenever I get that feeling, even today, I honor it. I know what I know, and I am usually right.
Mom was a smitten kitten. She liked his affability, and after so many years out of the game … she was not in good decision-making form. No, sir. She was easy prey.
The way I looked at it was at least she was experiencing a fundamentally important part of life (I probably wasn’t quite as philosophical, but you get the idea). She was out there, and that in and of itself was important.
I let my inherent skepticism go, and I quickly made an excuse to leave them alone.
My adolescence was spent in utter independence. I did my own thing. I left home at around 15, more or less, and never really looked back. I could basically take care of myself, and I liked making my own decisions. I came and went as I pleased. It wasn’t that I hated my mother. Far from it. I loved her, and I missed her, but I needed to be free.
A few days later, I returned home to check in.
Mom was prostrate on the couch.
She was dressed.
Her head was buried in the cushion. I knew she heard me enter, so now I was wondering why she didn’t acknowledge my presence. I was her world, and she was beyond excited, usually, when she saw me.
Not this time.
Her head turned slowly in my direction, and I could see her eyes were puffy and sadder than I ever remembered seeing them. I went to her, and I knelt, stroking her hair. She smiled and cried. Thinking back on it now, it was an incredibly beautiful moment.
Fucking Alan, the fireman. Hahahahaha. Dude hit it and quit it. Hahahaha. Piped mom down, and then skee-daddled. Hahahahaha.
Look, there is nothing wrong with casual sex. Nothing. Recreational sex, I am sure, is good. But some people are just not cut out for it emotionally. I wasn’t brought up in a religious household, so no one told me to not have premarital sex or whatever. In fact, all the people around me, the male figures anyway, encouraged shallow sexual encounters. Mom and me were not wired that way, I guess. I have had my chances, not a lot (hahahahaha), to do that kind of thing. It never really appealed to me, for whatever reason.
That memory burned into me. Women are NOT semen receptacles. A woman is potentially a mother, a wife, a sister, … and she is for sure someone’s daughter. This insight made it much more difficult for me to enjoy strip clubs and even pornography. Seriously. A man “uses” a woman, at least at some level, for satisfaction, but the superior man unites with her in the deepest way (in my opinion).
Sex, again in my opinion, isn’t gymnastics. It is almost NOT physical (absurd, I know). It is the most personal expression of a couple, and its natural function is procreative. So much happens, and women in my experience internalize the event (quite literally). I don’t have sex with just anyone. It’s not like a handshake or a kiss. Maybe it’s my Judeo-Christian background. Maybe it’s my own psychological foibles. I dunno. But sex is meaningful, … even when you think it’s not.
Alan didn’t bother to get the real dope on mom. He had no idea this was the first time mom had been with a man since my father left her so many years ago. Alan didn’t want the back story. He just wanted booty. Hahahahaha. And this too left an indelible impression upon my inchoate sense of human relationships, especially as mom sobbed into my shirt.
Mom didn’t blame him. No. She blamed herself for being naïve, for being stupid. She took full responsibility. She was never a victim, and for that alone she’d have my eternal respect.
If someone is brave enough to tell you they love you, really consider what they’re saying. Love isn’t sex. Sex isn’t love. Real, honest love is a form of worship. It is a supreme sacrifice. It is a giving over of yourself to another. It requires you possess a self, of course. You have to have something to give. Only an individual can truly love. If he loves you because you share the same religion, that is not love. If she loves you because you have washboard abs, that’s not love. If he loves you because you’re nice, that’s not love. If she loves you because you’re funny, that’s not love. Love can ONLY come from a supremely individual person, fully formed, sure of himself/herself. That’s the only way. Period.
After the honeymoon phase, the lustful phase, comes LIFE. Life is sure, unforgiving, and ever-changing. Love is the partnership meant to help both participants through trying times. Love means everything, and it is worth EVERYTHING to find it true and unadulterated. Don’t rush. Don’t push. Grow in it. Be methodical, careful.
Ironically enough, mom bounced back and did finally find love. A great guy swept her off her feet, they married, and she spent what no one knew were to be her final few years (a little over two) in complete bliss. Her death, tragic in so very many ways, was made even MORE still tragic by her dying after having finally found someone worthy of her.
Learn from that.
And I mean it.
Craig Edward Kelso is the author of Anarcho-Capitalism (2014), a primer on the philosophy of peaceful, stateless cooperation. His curriculum vitae include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate secondary education credential in both Social Science and English Language Arts. Kelso taught for nearly a decade in the American public school system, and was voted by colleagues Teacher of the Year, twice in his short tenure, earning numerous accolades from chambers of commerce, mayors, state assembly persons, governors, congresspersons, senators, and even Wal-Mart. Currently he struggles to earn an opportunity to be employed, working as a laborer, dishwasher. He is deliriously happily married to Myra Kelso, living in Southern California with their adorable children.