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The Return of Jack Collier (Chapter Forty-Seven)

The Return of Jack Collier

A Jack Collier Story

By Brett N. Lashuay



Chapter Forty-Seven: How You’ve Grown

Because we can’t make up for the time that we’ve lost, I must let these memories provide.

10,000 Maniacs


            This shouldn’t be so hard.


            “Come on Karen.” Debbie said. “You should at least write one.”


            I’ve tried a few times, but it’s not going well. Normally I just sit and listen to other people pour out. After an “hour” of that I make an obvious suggestion and we go from there. What I’m not supposed to do is give my opinions. I’m not supposed to talk about other people or how I feel about them.


            Still though, Debbie can do this and Jack can do this, so I should be able to do it. I’ve read enough of these, I should be able to provide at least one entry. It’s not easy though. I’ve found that out just trying to make notes about what I wanted to say and what I wanted to write. I’ve gone through the whole event a dozen times and I think I’m still a little shell shocked to be honest.


            Let’s break down the last year? Shall be? Angela had her gall bladder removed after discovering her stones at three in the morning, and that was a fun trip let me tell you. The next three or four weeks after that were no picnic either. She didn’t get really sick, but there was an illness that swept through the house right after her surgery. After that, I found out that Jack had come out of the coma he’d spent almost two years in.


            That was… problematic to say the least. I know Debbie doesn’t know about everything. Even if Jack and she talked about it, there are things he didn’t talk to her about. Things I said and things he said, things we both did. It doesn’t matter now, but it goes a long way to explaining why it was tough for me.


            However, Debbie came to me and said I should see him. I think it was that memoir thing she’d written, it got her thinking about a lot of things. I won’t say that I was against the idea, but there were things between Jack and I. We worked it out though, mostly because we agreed that mutual forgiveness and satisfaction was better than mutual stubbornness and resentment.


            And that worked for a while, and then he went back to work and I didn’t really see him for a couple of weeks. I came over once, but for the most part he was out of town for that time. And then I was kidnapped, along with Debbie, the day after Jack caused so much trouble out in California. Debbie called, telling me she was sick, and they grabbed me when I went to see her.


            Once it was explained that they’d kill Debbie if I did anything stupid, I decided not to do anything stupid. I stayed with Debbie while our kidnappers let us go to work and act like everything was normal. I should have slipped someone a note or something, it’s so stupid to wait around for the male lead to rescue the weak and feeble womenfolk. I didn’t write a note though, I waited for him to come save us. I could have told Pete or Angela what was going on when I called them each night instead of pretending I was staying with Debbie while she had flu, but I didn’t.


            I’ll admit to being scared, but most people would have been scared in that situation. People like to think they wouldn’t be scared in those situations. They’d like to think they’d be tough and strong, but evidence shows they’re not. Most people get scared when offered violence and intimidation tactics. We fear the violent man because we fear pain for ourselves and for others.


            Jack wasn’t scared, but Jack isn’t healthy. He’s got a self destructive streak that comes off him like a smell and any intelligent woman can smell it a mile off. However, the chief problem is that his self-destructive streak smells like sex. Not just sex either, but the sort of sex you don’t tell your friends about because it’s too good to share with them. The sort of sex that you’d deliberately not talk about when you’re an old woman and your granddaughter finds a flower pressed in a book. The sort of sex that still makes you go weak at the knees days later just thinking about it. He’s not healthy, but neither is a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and I’m not good at resisting that either. The point is that Jack didn’t get scared, not for an instant. He just hit the guys who were watching over me and took me away.


            He came and rescued me as if I was sitting in a tower and he had ridden up on a white charger instead of a gray Skylark. He came, and he saved me so I could go home to my husband and wife and children. Because eventually you have to go home. Jack’s nice to be around, and you’d want to be around him, but you can’t keep him. He’s like one of those guys you maybe knew in college. The kind that you’d see at parties, and he’d be fun to hang out with, but you’d never actually give him your number or let him know what dorm you lived in. It’s not that you were afraid of him or anything, but you’d only want him around when you wanted him. You know what I mean? Like, you’d only go to some parties because he was going to be there? And you’d always go to his place? You know? Yeah. He’s like one of those guys. I know how that sounds, but there are at least a few women out there who know the kind of guy I’m talking about.


            Part of the problem is that I see guys who are like him all the time. They don’t have his charm, or his abilities, but I see them. Young men who have to struggle with the simplest expressions of their feelings. Trying to get a suicidaly depressed young man to open up, even a little bit, is quite a task. It can be even harder when you see the first man you ever really loved in each of their faces. Men repress too much. Jack represses too much, it makes him difficult to deal with sometimes. Debbie never talks to anyone else about the long stretches where he won’t do anything besides sit at his desk and scowl at things for days on end, but she tells me about it. Of course neither of them will admit the problem exists, and that makes it all the more frustrating.


            And that’s why I have trouble dealing with him. I know what he is, he’s an undiagnosed depressive. Of course I can’t tell them that, because it will sound like a diagnosis and I can’t diagnose someone I’ve had that close a relationship with.


            The other problem of course is that he manages to attract so many women. I’m fully aware that if one is going to be even remotely successful in the poly lifestyle, one must abandon jealousy, or at least deal with it better, but god damn! I mean God Damn! It’s not even that I want to feel jealous so much as I’d like to feel he has some sort of selection process. I’d like to know I’m more than a warm hole to him. He tells me I am, but he might tell them all that. How can one really believe him when he probably really does say these things to all the girls? He probably means it with all of them too.


            I’m not sure about the millionaire’s daughter actually. We had some time to talk, a lot of time before Jack got back and every single person within the tri-county area with a badge showed up. He didn’t tell her he loved her, in fact he’d told her he didn’t because they hadn’t had enough time for that sort of feeling to emerge. She said that he’d told her that love’s bloom hadn’t blossomed yet and they would have to wait to see what color the bud was, but that was just her talking because I know he wouldn’t use those words like that.


            Maybe he didn’t tell her, maybe he doesn’t tell all the girls. Maybe I shouldn’t be feeling jealous, after all I was the one who cut off communication after that big fight we had. I didn’t wait for him, I developed along certain lines. He then developed along certain other lines, and I shouldn’t fault him. I just can’t help but wonder what would have happened if we’d all be a little more mature. I wouldn’t have found the two people who are best for me in all the world, that’s what would have happened.


            That’s probably where all this is going though, I don’t think Jack and I are going to be very close again. We will see each other, we’ll keep in touch now, we might even go out alone on occasion, but we’re not going to be close like we were in that summer. I’d like to be close with him though, closer than I am now.


            I’m going to have to work on that, getting close to him, making sure those fences are mended. I’ll work on it, and hopefully he’ll meet me half way. I do love him, and I want to be with him, just within certain terms and boundaries. I shall have to work on this a little more, see how he feels, we’ll have to have a discussion at some point.





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Banning Christmas

I’ll say this once, before the season starts, and then I’ll say it over and over and over again after that.

Christmas, as a holiday, has been banned all of twice that I know of.

Once was in England after the Civil War when Puritans took over and killed the king. They then banned Christmas and because of that, the king was put back on the throne.

The other time was when Puritans in America (Huh, they keep coming up) banned it because of the Pagan roots that were contained with in the holiday.

These bans were inscribed into law, by the right wing dickheads of their day. Just remember that, next time someone tells you about liberals trying to ban Christmas.

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