A “formative” experience. In quotes because I was 23 and experienced. I didn’t get a girl I wanted after she and I messed around. I was an idiot because she was bad news. But young passion blinds, which is why boys off themselves over a piece of tail.
In my oneitis, I chatted up an older man I looked up to, my boss at work. Didn’t know what exactly to ask him, but it was the same question that nearly two decades later will have led ten million young men to google their way to Heartiste’s archives.
I didn’t expect the older man to solve my problem or to play Robin Williams to my Matt Damon, but… it would have lightened my load if he had at least said “That’s a damn good question.” A sympathetic pat on the back would have, maybe, made me forget the chick and pumped me up to charm the panties off another one.
Instead, his face took on a satisfied look as he said “Yeah, I married a good one.” That’s when I understood that there are no mentors. Nobody gives a shit about me, is what sunk in. It was a liberating epiphany because it forced me to accept two things: that I have to figure everything out for myself, and that I have to take what I want with nobody’s help.
I learned to walk on my own.
Boomers had severed every inter-generational link of accumulated wisdom and let GenXers and Millennials out into the world ignorant and deracinated. We’re fixing what’s broken.
Back to love: it’s incomprehensible to me, today, that someone can put a loaded gun to his temple and squeeze the trigger over a gash. It’s a matter of age. At 45’ish now, I can imagine having an affair with a lithe little college girl. It would be fun, laughs, rape-lust at first fuck. But having the kinds of feelings that would drive a man to reckon with his life? No way. There is someone I would die (and kill) for, and it’s not hypothetical-her.
I do feel love. It’s for a woman who is a beautiful mother. She believes that a boy needs his daddy and her every act, touch, and gesture follows that axiom.
A 23-year-old or a fifteen-year-old man today is somewhere else. Unlike me now, he’d kill himself over a fling. His prospects are also tougher than mine were. I didn’t have to work around obesity, Tinder, or zoophilia.
But he has the one thing that I didn’t: tradition.