The Return of Jack Collier
A Jack Collier Story
By Brett N. Lashuay
Chapter Ten: When Men Talk Beauty
If you’re going to say something like I had, that bisexual women are the most beautiful in the world, you’d better have some good reasoning behind it. Of course all men understand that bisexual woman are hot, but not all women get why, beyond thinking that we’ve only got three ways on our minds. It’s not that, although it’s obviously part of it. So I explained to Alice why I’d said it.
“Movies and TV have taught me nothing if they haven’t taught me that the most beautiful women in the world are bisexuals,” I told her.
“Really?” she asked.
“We’re children of the nineties,” I said. “When lesbians were first becoming popular they put some really pretty actresses in the rolls, right? Either because they were trying to combat the bull dyke stereotype or because they liked watching hot chicks make out.”
“Yeah,” she said, “I remember.”
“Right,” I said. “But when lesbians became a little passé they started to mix it up with bisexuals, who were played by genuinely gorgeous women. Thus, the most beautiful women in the world are bisexuals, followed by homosexual women, straight women come in at a respectable third.”
“Are you still saying I’m beautiful?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, “yes I am.”
“Because I’m bi?”
“Because you’re you,” I told her. “A photograph wouldn’t cover it, not all of it. You’d need to see and talk to you to see everything. Then you’d need to be able to touch you, just so you could be sure that you are real. What I’m saying is you’re obviously too beautiful to be anything else.”
“I like that,” she said. “You know. You said you’re only good at women, but if you’re only going to be good at one thing it’s good that you’re this good.”
“Thanks,” I allowed. “Although, I should tell you that I have subsequently found out that TV was a lying whore instead of a gentle motherly teacher and that movies were not to be trusted at all.”
“Well, that spoils the whole thing,” she said.
“Not really,” I said. “You’re still the most beautiful woman I know.”
“Oh, well that’s okay then,” she laughed. “You’re pretty cute too. No wonder all those girls over there are fawning over you.”
“But you see, that’s the reason why I’m nervous about things,” I told her.
“You’re in love with Karen and Debbie,” she said.
“Sort of, but I would really like to try and have a go with you,” I said. “I mean, try at a relationship.”
“You’re not interested in fucking me then?” she asked, and the word sounded so obscene and disgusting from her voice that it somehow went all the way around and came out incredibly alluring. “I mean I was hoping you’d like to have a try at that.”
“I’m very weak at the moment,” I said. “I’ll probably have some strength together by November. If I’m going to do it right I need to have my full strength.”
“I don’t want to wait until November,” she said. “If I wait until November, you might decide you don’t want me, or you’ll be struck by lightning or choke to death on a turkey sandwich or something. You know how dry Thanksgiving turkey can be sometimes.”
“I’m telling you,” I warned, “skinnier than you.”
“I don’t care,” she said. “I saw you in the hospital a couple of days after you came out of that coma, I’m sure you’ve improved from that state.”
“Well I can sit up and wipe my own butt for one.”
“Well there you go,” she said. “I don’t think you get it. I’m not the only one you need to touch to see that they’re real.”
“You know, I want to see you too,” I admitted. “I just want to be strong enough for you to visit.”
“You want to be good enough, you mean,” she said. “But thank you for couching it in a way I haven’t heard a million times before.”
“Did I say I wasn’t good enough for you?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “Your confidence is shit, which is surprising when you consider how we women can’t seem to stop ourselves from leaping at you. I mean I’m ready to come over there so I can literally fling myself at you, and you’re busy trying to deflect me with talk about being weak. What do you think that does for a girl’s self-esteem?”
“I don’t know how I feel about anyone or anything.” I said. “Or rather, I know how I feel, but I don’t know what to do about those feelings. No, I’m trying to sort out those feelings so I don’t hurt someone I care about. I’m just trying to make sure I don’t do things wrong. I fucked things up in the past, I don’t want to do that again.”
“Well, you’re not doing anything right now,” she admonished. “You have to risk getting things wrong if you hope to even try to get them right.”
She had a point. So, what the hell? If she wanted to come see me, why not invite her? I wanted to see her, I wanted to kiss her, I wanted to be with her. I couldn’t bear the idea of not being with Debbie, and I loved Karen, but I also very much wanted to be with Alice. And to think all it took to get here was to be shot four times in the chest. Try it sometime, let me know if you get similar results.
“You want to come over and see me for a few days?” I asked. “Maybe next week, if that’s not too early?”
This time her laugh did resemble the clear tones of a set of small silver bells, but at least she accepted. You will excuse me though if I decide to keep that week to myself. It was not a week of sexual excess, orgies did not happen. It was nice though. The closest to a group thing that went down was when Debbie came over and the three of us went out to dinner. I noticed they spent a lot of the evening talking to each other like old friends, but that was as far as it went. It was a healing visit though, sometimes spending time face to face is important.
At the end of a week though, she had to go back to D.C. and get back to work. I drove her to the airport, and while we were on I-94, she started trying to decide what had happened that week. I was still trying to work things out myself, so it was helpful to have her there.
“Debbie and I talked for a while when you were sleeping,” she said as I pulled the Hudson onto the ramp.
“Oh yeah?” I asked, almost wanting to say that I wasn’t sleeping, I was listening to girls giggle for five hours. “And did either of you tell the other to back off?”
“No,” she shook her head and laughed in a way I wasn’t sure I liked. “It wasn’t like that. I asked her some questions, and she asked me some questions.”
“Oh,” I said, and then started being a detective. “What sort of questions?”
“It was girl talk,” she smiled. “Even if I told you, it would be meaningless because it was all in code.”
“What sort of decisions did you come to then?” I asked.
“That’s the problem,” she said. “We didn’t. She said she loves you, and that you love her. Then she said you two aren’t together.”
“No,” I said, “not right now.”
“Are you going to be?”
“What did she say?”
“She said to ask you.”
“Ah,” I said. “She would.”
“Are you going to be together?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Are we going to be together?”
“One of us would have to move. Quit our job or something,” she sighed and looked out the window. “I like my job.”
“I wouldn’t ask you to move,” I said.
“What are we going to be then?” she asked.
“Oh shit,” I said glancing at her. “You’re going to ask me? I don’t even know what I am on my own.”
“I mean this is either a kiss off, or you need to ask me to go steady.”
“Steady?” I asked. “I haven’t heard steady since high school.”
“It’s a time for high school things,” she looked at me with a meaningful glance I was supposed to interpret, but was completely inscrutable.
“Would I move in with you?” I asked. “And what would I do for money?”
“You’re a half-owner of a private detective company.” She said.
“No,” I shook my head. “I signed it all over to her. It’s her company.”
“You’re going to have to tell her that then,” she told me. “She said it’s half yours.”
“She’s going to keep saying that I suppose,” I said. “And I guess she’ll keep acting like that’s how it is, but it isn’t.”
“The point is that I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“When you do,” she said, “will you tell me?”
“When I know,” I said, “I’ll call you and ask you out for drinks so we can talk about it.”
“I thought you don’t drink,” she said.
“I’ll take you out for one though,” I smiled. “Get you that screaming orgasm I promised when we first met.”
“You still talking about drinks?”
“Maybe,” I smiled.
I’m gratified to learn that ultraviolet light is showing off what Greek and Roman statues really looked like. Although, those photos in that story are at least two years old, so I’m wondering why it’s being treated as a new story… but never mind that! I’m happy to have the information because it’s one more nail in the coffin of how we used to have Rome presented to us.
You know, white guys, in white robes surrounded by white columns and white statues saying to each other “I say Whiteonius, isn’t wonderful that you and I are white and the only people with any color to their skins are slaves?” to which the other replies. “Yes Whiteicus, I am also glad that the Roman Empire is so obsessed with whiteness they only allow white people into the empire and only have white clothing and décor! It’s so wonderful ruling the world and being white!” Also, they’d be played by Brits. Later, they’d be played by (white) Americans, but half of them would affect a British accent.
Now though, we know that the Roman were more multi-colored a population than New York City is today. Not only that, but they drank beer, wore lots of colors, and their statues had all the style and sophistication of a Putt-Putt Golf course. I SO want a time machine so I can go back to Ancient Rome with some teachers from High School and keep prodding them with questions like “Sooo… these are the sophisticated Romans, huh? With the painted statues, and the whores who have shoes that lead you to the whore house, and the guy taking a leak right there in the street? WOW! What style, sophistication, and panache! Gosh, maybe we can go hear one of those classy poetry readings! You know, where the Emperor talks about how lovely it is to sodomize his wife’s horse!”
I just resented having THE CLASSICS rammed down my throat as if they were somehow better than today. Like no one in Ancient Rome ever committed adultery, robbed a friend, or murdered their wife so they could marry the wife of their best friend who they also had murdered. I was told that comic books and pulp novels, stories about super powered people who had adventures, were stupid and that Classic Myths about Herculeese and The Knights of the Round Table were SO MUCH BETTER… despite being storied about super powered people having adventures. If anything The Knights of The Round Table had a worse motivation than say Superman. Superman was a goodie-goodie who wanted to do right because doing right was the right thing to do. The Knights, on the other hand, did great deeds of valor to “Prove their courage” and so they could brag about it later. Seriously, it makes them sound like those assholes you hear in trendy bars. “Yeah, so I found this fabulous deal this week. All you have to do is kill a dragon, and you get a maiden for free! So, I killed the dragon and took her to this new Italian Bistro that just opened up down the road. Got her drunk and took her back to my place, you know? Played some old vinyl. Explained my important role in Arthur’s court. She totally did me.” Fuck off Lancelot, you’re a yuppie twat!
And the best bit, the best bit of all, was learning that he Greeks, the philosophical Greeks, the inventors of math and learning and all that shit… painted their sails with heads and things. They had all the restraint of a red neck who just won the lottery. “Dude! Check it out! I got my new ship sail in, I totally painted the head of Medusa on it!” to which his buddy said, “Man! That is BAD-ASS dude, we should totally go cruising together. I just put a bull’s head on my sail. It’ll look like two massive heads are sailing in to fuck some people up!” and that leads to “I know, right? That’ll be awesome! Hey, my four gallon, two handed beer mug is running low, I’m gonna get a fill up, you want?” Because… yeah, they drank beer in massive four gallon, two fisted, all day sucker style beer mugs. And they had very liberal sodomy rules.
Fucking Greeks were so… sophisticated! Fuckin’ classy motherfuckers. Also, the Greeks wore old clothes, were obsessed with youth, and thought it was cool to have bad haircuts. And they invented cynicism. The Greeks were fucking hipsters dude. Put a Mac store in ancient Greece and they’d clean up!
I just enjoy it any time they poke another hole in that idea that the Greeks and Romans were somehow morally, ethically or even intellectually superior. I’m sorry, but WE are better. The modern world kicks all kind of ass and you wouldn’t really want to live way back when. If for no other reason, the toilets were… unspeakable.