“How to Lie to Yourself in Three Maybe Four Easy Lessons”
The air colors gray blue in a soft morning light that skulks past partly closed curtains and treks across raucously spent sheets to puddle around two sweat shimmered bodies that lay panting post proliferation performance.
“We’re pretty good together,” purrs Kara towards the profile staring blankly at the ceiling.
“Nick might not agree,” Mark tosses back.
Kara rolls onto her back, dispelled. “Why mention him, feeling guilty?”
“Knew what I was getting into,” admits Mark, rolling towards her, “But still…” His hand instinctively wraps itself around the irresistible contour of her breast.
You could imagine her if you tried, but even so it wouldn’t do her, or you, justice. Let’s just say that she’d grown into herself quite well and leave it at that.
She wants to roll back towards him but doesn’t want to lose the hand breast contact, “Know what I want? Just one day, totally free, where I’m not tied down by a yesterday or tomorrow. Where I could be… just… I don’t know. Myself.”
“Everybody wants that, baby. It’s the price on those yesterdays always coming due tomorrow that’s stopping them,” he sages back as his hand moves down to caress her sensuous realm of belly causing silken skin to prickle.
She rolls and pulls into him, their bodies melding. His, still firm and angled although sporting a couple of hard driven dents and dings. As a car he’d make a thirty-five year old un-refurbished semi-classic.
“I’d pay it for you,” she bargains while rubbing, to scratch an itch, the smooth flesh of her soft cheek against the hard grain of coarse stubble sprouting off his jaw.
“You’d be loosing money, honey. ‘Sides, women get all tangled up not understanding what they really want, end up buying the wrong thing. As example I give, shoes,” he returns while exploring some nape of neck.
“Ha, ha. Think you’re so smart, tell me what it is women really want then,” Kara tickles into his ear.
His head pulls back with a snort, “I know what they don’t want. They don’t want somebody telling them what they do want,” as he loses himself in the profound pools in her eyes.
“Coward. Somebody once told me what women were looking for was either their father or a cowboy. I think maybe it’s both, just at different times… different wants,” she wonders while weaving fingers through the hair on his chest.
“Nick’s definitely the father type,” Mark qualifies before sucking the pout of her upper lip.
“Guess that makes you my cowboy. So pop on your spurs and give me a ride, pard’,” Kara cowgirls as she tries to roll on top of him.
He pushes her off and pulls up to get out of bed. “Rain check. Gotta get to work in… Crap, it’s oh shit thirty,” reading from his watch.
Jeans pull up and T-shirt pulls over as cowboy boots dance on before the 9mm service holster, packing its deadly component, drapes shoulders then covered by the well-worn leather jacket in what seems a single choreographed motion.
“I’ve seen strip teases, but dang, that’s the first dress tease I’ve ever seen. My eyes are orbs of joy right now,” she ogles.
A horn bleats its signal causing Mark to angle the curtain for a look to the street, “Ride’s here. Think we’re wrapping Mickleson today, so should have tomorrow free,” he calendars while collecting keys from the table.
“It’s always tomorrow with you. I want today,” pouts Kara.
“Good things come to those who wait,” dropping a kiss before crossing the room, “Lock up when you leave.”
“Better things come to those who take,” Kara counters as the door closes.
The Crown Vic is trying to appear as shopworn and characterless as possible, which only amplifies it all the more as cop car. Mark wrenches the passenger door open, slides in and is met with a large coffee shoved into his hand.
“Oh, hot java, thanks, Nick,” covets Mark as he slurps at the bean juice.
“Figured you’d need that, partner. Broads you date, none of them seen inside a kitchen in their lives,” drives Nick, car lurching from the curb.
“Way they cook, don’t need no kitchen,” brags Mark, stabbing for a donut from the bag on the seat. “Nice car, couldn’t find anything that screamed cop?”
“Don’t matter, we’re rolling large today,” highlights Nick, rolling round a corner.
“Mickleson?” queries Mark.
“Mickleson,” schedules Nick.
The car drags to a stop at a deserted intersection red light in the factory district. Nick gets a thousand yard stare working out the windshield. He runs a few years further to seed than Mark but even cursory observation exposes them both cut from the same sort of cloth. Interesting how people draw to a type.
The light turns green, Nick pokerfaces it and the car just stands. The car behind toots its horn and when Nick doesn’t respond, Mark waves it around.
The light cycles red again and Mark looks over at his partner, “Something on your mind, Nick?”
“You’re getting kinda touchy feely all of a sudden there, partner,” resists Nick, still gazing ahead.
“Don’t get me wrong, its just, you sat through a green light,” observes Mark.
“Yeah? Well… Didn’t like that shade of green,” critiques Nick.
The car sits into another green cycle.
“Ever wonder what it is men are really looking for?” wonders Nick finally.
“The hell? I must look like Doctor Phil today or somethin’,” flabbergasts Mark.
“I’m thinkin’ what a man really wants is a woman that will commit for the long haul. Someone who has his back, no matter, someone he can trust,” considers Nick hazily.
“That’s great. Let’s go get Mickleson,” encourages Mark.
“I think Kara’s seeing someone,” accuses Nick. He turns to Mark, “I think it’s you, Mark.”
We should stop here to allow Mark a minute to plan his strategy and to point out how interesting it is that when the moment of truth does finally show up; it’s all about how big a lie you can tell. This one promises to be a doozy.
Hi there, I’m A J Cranston of the Fherenghetti Institute for Lying and I’m here to introduce you to the art of lying.
The first thing you should do when telling a lie is start out with the truth. Yes, it sounds incongruous but that’s exactly what your opponent won’t be expecting.
“Nick, I could lie to you and tell you that the thought of banging Kara had never crossed my mind, but I won’t,” Mark starts.
“I knew it,” confirms Nick.
They will be expecting a strong offense of denial for which they have devised a series of countermoves. Analogous to this strategy in boxing, also known as the sweet science, is something referred to as the rope-a-dope – first used in the Ali-Foreman match when Ali, pitted against a younger stronger… but that’s a story for another time.
“What I will tell you is Kara’s a beautiful lady and I worship the ground she walks on,” Mark fades.
“Uh huh,” follows Nick.
When this doesn’t materialize they will be put off balance and that’s when you let loose with, what is commonly recognized in pugilistic circles as, the sucker punch.
“I wouldn’t be caught dead with that woman. Don’t know how you do it,” jabs Mark.
“Wait. What?” Nick stumbles.
Now you have your opponent caught, as they say in the field of fisticuffs, flat footed.
“Oh, come on, she’s downright OCD the way she follows you around the house with that vacuum,” pushes Mark.
“The hell you talking about?” ducks Nick.
From this point I would suggest the equivalent of a series of body shots, also known, in boxing jargon, as tenderizing the meat.
And what’s with all those cats? You’re a dog person, for Christ’s sake. Always have been. Now, nothing but cats. The hell do you walk a cat?” leashes Mark.
“Did always like a good dog,” wags Nick.
Mark is working what is oft times referred to as: The Grand Illusion Compromise Stratagem. Which is based upon The Grand Illusion Grand Delusion Theory, first formulated by our founder Fritz Fherenghetti at Heidelberg University in 1906.
“When was the last time you went fishing? Who makes a rule; no fish in the house? What’s she got against fish?” baits Mark.
“Been a while since I’ve been fishing,” reels Nick.
In it he stated: It may not be a proven fact but it is a well-observed phenomenon that for human relationships between the sexes to work, since no one is perfect, a large amount of mental gymnastics need occur. In other words; to have a healthy relationship one need lie to oneself about their significant other.
“You’d think, all those cats, she’d be first to embrace fish.” casts Mark.
“That girl never liked fish,” nets Nick.
He went on to explain that for men it was a matter of selecting a mate they could romanticize as perfect based upon an idealized criteria and then filling in, or covering over the parts that didn’t jibe with that criteria to create an illusion of flawlessness.
“And why is it she can do whatever she wants whenever she wants but it’s like you have to fill out a form, in triplicate, just to go to the store?” Mark fills in.
“Hate those forms,” rips Nick.
Whereas women work from an opposing process for selecting a mate based upon a criterion of imperfection and the delusion that they could fix, or make perfect their choice by chipping away at perceived deficiencies to create an idealized companion.
From an artistic sense, men are painters and women are sculptresses. Of course Freud would have an absolute field day with this filling in and chipping away metaphor.
Whatever happened to poker night? Used to host a kickass poker night,” deals Mark.
“Miss poker night,” Nick antes.
It is also well established that anyone who hasn’t bought into the illusion/delusion of another person is, ipso facto, not sleeping with them. Ergo: The Grand Illusion Compromise Stratagem – AKA trash talking the object of their desire to save your ass.
It should be noted here that if this conversation were taking place between two women over a man, then, for it to work, the first woman would be building up the man as perfect to the cheated one, instead of tearing him down. Thereby placing him firmly in the friend zone and marking him completely undesirable.
“And don’t get me started on that laugh of hers. It’s like a sack of baby hyenas going over a cliff,” throws Mark.
“Never noticed her laugh,” notices Nick.
Mark has now changed tactics here to good use. Initially he was aiming his blows in a general manner at his opponent. Now he is zeroing in on the subject, which should engage the Galahad complex and bring the opponent to the defense of the subject and further obfuscate the original quandary.
“Then there’s the way she talks with her mouth full of food. Talk about unattractive,” Mark retches.
“Now, hold on a minute,” complains Nick.
This overall approach is more elegant and has a much higher rate of success than the transference strategy Fherenghetti attempted with his now infamous last words, before succumbing to an early demise after being caught in flagrante delicto by his soon to be widow, which were: “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”
“And talk about maintenance, high maintenance doesn’t even begin to cover the amount of maintenance that woman demands,” maintains Mark.
“Hey, that’s my wife you’re talking about,” Nick defends.
It’s that simple. Now, with just a few easy lessons, you as well can learn to lie with the best of them at the Fherenghetti Institute for Lying. I’m A J Cranston and I guarantee it. Would I lie to you?
We now return you to your regularly scheduled story.
“Look, I’m sorry, Nick but it had to be said,” concludes Mark.
Of course it was a lie, but it was the only lie he could tell that Nick might believe. Yet Mark may have gone too far, shattering his own grand illusion of the love he’d found.
“Naw, needed to hear it. No way you’d be sleeping with her. Not with that attitude,” Nick resolves.
“Yeah… No way,” mumbles Mark.
They both hear the sound at the same time even though it’s a good quarter mile off. A heavy whine mixed with a throaty roar – the unmistakable resonance of a big block hemi engine being completely unsprung. By the time it reaches the intersection, the all flat black, or murdered out, late model Dodge Challenger is clocking at one hundred and seventeen miles an hour. As it rips past their car, Kara hangs half out the passenger window and flips them the double bird. Seems she’d found her cowboy and herself, yesterdays and tomorrows no longer mattered.
“What the…” jumps Nick.
“Son of a…” whips Mark.
At that moment the realization hits them and they turn to each other to chorus, “Mickleson!"