A New Installment of Fragments of Fiction

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More About Georgie

If you were to ask me why I started hanging out with Georgie I wouldn’t be able to give you an answer. I don’t know why. It is the kind of answer or should I say non-answer that used to infuriate my father. When I was a child I could never have gotten away with explaining that I didn’t know why I had done something. An answer like that would not have been acceptable to him.

Of course like most teenagers I had responded to most of his questions about what I did or didn’t do with the very thing I just mentioned. It is part of a rite of passage to try and irritate your parents and I was a master at it. One of my father’s favorite movies was Cool Hand Luke.

Maturity is a wonderful thing as it allows you to look back and see what a jerk you really were. All those times you thought you were being cool, all those moments when you thought that you were just like James Dean have a way of being colored by time to your advantage. But if you stop and think about it, if you are honest and truthful you find that most of the time you weren’t that cool and you might have even been a complete asshole. Maybe I am being too egocentric, but I suspect that I am not the only one who sees their past this way.

My father worked hard at trying to maintain a relationship with me. He tried to be my friend and to stay involved in my life. I hated it. The simple questions he asked me felt like an interrogation so I did my best to be difficult so that he would stop.

Often when he would try and speak with me I would quote Strother Martin’s famous line:

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach, so you get what we had here last week which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it.”

After all if you are going to try and aggravate someone you might as well take something they love and twist it, offer it to them in some perverse distortion of itself. And it worked. After a while my father just stopped speaking with me. He gave up and I got angry. It is kind of silly because he was only doing what I wanted him to do, but all it did was piss me off.

Maybe that is what pushed me towards Georgie. I didn’t have any older siblings and without my father there was no longer any sort of male role model in my life. Not that Georgie was any older than I was, but he did have some life experiences that I didn’t have and he had a certain kind of charisma. I can’t explain it, won’t even try other than to say that he had a magnetic personality that attracted people.

And he was confident. Lord was he ever confident. Georgie walked like there was nothing in the world that could stop him from going wherever it was he was headed. He moved with an attitude that radiated from all sides of him. Mean, nasty, arrogant, cocky, bold and confident. He was all of those things and proud to be described that way.

If you asked Georgie if it was better to be feared or respected he would have picked feared without hesitation.

Georgie’s reputation for violence was earned and well deserved. You already know about Georgie and the Tree Man. I’d like to say that you have seen Georgie at his worst, but it wouldn’t be true. There were moments that matched or exceeded the treatment that the Tree Man received. There were many times that Georgie made it clear that he had more than just a mean streak.

A streak makes it sound like a little thing, but that is just not accurate nor true for Georgie. He should have been the model for some Country-Western song, the kind that tells you a story. But the reason why he couldn’t is that those songs almost always have a happy ending and stories about Georgie almost never did.

She knew long before I did that my friendship with Georgie was going to be a problem. She knew me so much better than I knew myself, but the problem I had was that I was young and male. My ego wouldn’t allow me to listen to her. The woman I loved so desperately knew that I was in trouble and I was too stupid to listen to her.

The thing about Georgie was that not only did he have that magnetism, but he was both shrewd and clever. He manipulated the situation so smoothly I didn’t have much of a chance. As he started reeling me in I began to hear bits and pieces about a woman’s place, her role in a man’s life. And it wasn’t as his conscience.

So when she started asking me to back off and find someone else to be my friend I took it to be demeaning, controlling and obnoxious. I wasn’t about to allow some woman to have that much control over my life. And I told her that. I let her know in no uncertain terms that I wouldn’t have it. I was the man and if she wanted to be with me she needed to just shut up.

We had a few fights, some disagreements before this, but never like this. I had never told her to shut up with the kind of venom that lay behind those words. I had been poisoned and I was too dumb to recognize it. If I think back I can see the hurt in her eyes and I can feel the pain I caused her. When I spit those words out at her she flinched and actually drew back from me. And it just got worse from there.

For a moment I was sorry, so sorry that I had hurt her. I wanted to take her in my arms and just apologize for hurting her. I wanted to make her understand that I hadn’t meant any of it, but I couldn’t do that. I didn’t know how because I couldn’t figure out how to apologize and still show her that I was an independent and strong man.

The confusion and guilt only made me get more upset. I became even angrier that she had brought this up. I was furious with her and started screaming. For a moment she stood there and just looked at me and then she just left. She didn’t say anything, didn’t yell or scream. She just gathered her things and left.

There was a definite roar, but the silence was deafening. And if I had been a real man I would have stopped her from leaving. I would have insisted on talking it out and made amends, but I didn’t. Instead I let her go and allowed three days to pass before we spoke again. And when we finally did I didn’t mention it and neither did she.

It was the elephant in the room that neither one of us would forget or ignore, but could not speak about. It was the beginning of the end of something special and dear, the first of many cracks that would eventually cause us to shatter and split. Where there had been nothing but good there was now an ugly bruise that just ached.

And like so many other couples it was only a matter of time before the topic reared its ugly head again and the bad feelings came back to the surface. Another fight, another argument and more pain. It became a pattern. We would fight, make up, fight and then make up again.

Eventually I tried to do the right thing. I tried to break free of Georgie so that I could prove to her again that I loved her, but the problem was by that point in time there were so many nasty remarks, so much bad blood she couldn’t just believe me. I wanted her to believe in me again, but I couldn’t bridge the gap.

“We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Why can’t you see
What you’re doing to me
When you don’t believe a word I say?

We can’t go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can’t build our dreams
On suspicious minds”

Suspicious Minds- Elvis Presley

After it was over I can remember kidding around with Georgie that once the trust was gone in a relationship it wasn’t fun lying to your partner any more. We both laughed, but my laughter was hollow.

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