March 29, 2014 by Manny Wordsmith
I’ve wasted most of my love on pretty faces and nice legs.
I’m a slave to the mystical effects of the female form. I could write a book solely on misadventures brought upon by senseless pursuits of the opposite sex. I’m a firm believer that most of the fun is in the chase, but c’mon, even Wild E. Coyote deserved a taste of the Roadrunner.
I mostly blame The Beatles.
Them and their flowery pussy songs. Playing “Love Me Do” has never gotten me laid. Or anything from the Please Please Me album. That’s why I now only listen to Beatles songs that have grit, like: “Back In The U.S.S.R.”, “Helter Skelter” and “Come Together”. And this is in totally defiance. And I’ve told some of the biggest Beatles fans that I feel this way. And it’s funny looking into the eyes of a pacifist and knowing they really, really want to punch you.
Frank Sinatra didn’t help either.
As a child, I idolized Mr. Sinatra, Billy Dee Williams, Clint Eastwood and Bruce Lee. In 1992 I figured that they made the perfect combination of what a man should be. What woman would be able to resist a man who can sing, drink, fly the Millennium Falcon, pull a pistol faster than anyone in the West and tear hair from Chuck Norris’ chest?
While all the rest are admired for their characters, I admired Mr. Sinatra for his stage performance and songs. He made me think that if I could just get a hold of a tux, a glass of whiskey and a band, I’d be set. Do you know how hard it is to get those things as a pre-teen? I would’ve been happy with a clip on tie, some ice tea and a person who could make trumpet sounds with their mouth. I would practice singing “My Funny Valentine” in front of my mom’s bedroom mirror, trying to raise one eyebrow and wink. Failed, but I’m still working on these things.
Now, as an adult, I realize I was crazy. What 6th grader wants to be serenaded? And that’s all I wanted to do! Just snap my fingers and sing aloud till ladies fell desperately in love. I would write lyrics on notes and pass them in class, just to get the “What the hell is this!” face from the girls when they read them. You know what I mean ladies. The face you give guys when you’ve hinted at wanting some Tiffany earrings, but when you open up the bag, it’s a Shake Weight and a $15 gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings.
Oh and how can I forget Billy Shakespeare.
That guy fucked me over royally. The sonnets alone were an ordeal. I lost sleep trying to create the perfect octaves and sestets. For what? I might as well have been writing in Japanese. But this guy, this literary genius, has spent multiple centuries molding mushy minds into more mush, magical mush. Thanks Bill for teaching me iambic pentameter isn’t a good first date subject. Bastard.
At this point you’re probably wondering how no one attempted to control my growing imagination about what love was and how one would find it in another. I ran around as a prepubescent teen just eating things up Yakeru Kobayashi. Just stuffing my face and drawing the craziest conclusions. And I’m not even the only child…if you were wondering. I have three older siblings who never thought to tell me that knowing every line from the balcony scene in Romeo & Juliet wasn’t gonna win any hearts at the age of 13.
I used to admire all these quirks about myself. Now, I’m just impatiently waiting for what the finished product will be. And to think, at 22 I thought I’d have it all together.
No one ever pointed down an easy road. When my mom brought my family out of the hood and into the burbs, she never thought about how it would affect our identities. She never thought that giving us free rein to create ourselves would end up being something unaccepted by the people in the bland cesspool called Warren, Michigan. But here I stand, a patchwork, navigating through love.