I have a reasonably high sense of myself, but I know my limits; and when I don’t recognize them plenty of people around me are quick to remind me of them. So, if I were to sing praises about anyone, I would sing not about myself but about my fictional PI, Joe Kozmarski.
In short, he’s more of a man than I am. He’s six feet tall to my five feet ten. He tips the scale at two hundred pounds, and I weigh one sixty-five. He has a full head of hair, and I have this weird tonsure thing going. He has admirable abs, and I have one nice ab, I think, though I’m having a hard time finding it. He has two lovers (but wishes for just one). I have one lover (but wish for . . . no, no, no: I’m more than happy with the one I have).
Our weight differential pretty much sums up our relationship. Two hundred to a hundred sixty-five. Very roughly, he’s twenty percent more of a man than I am. And it’s the twenty percent that makes a difference – that little extra that enables him to stand back up and solve crimes when I would be down for the count.
But – and this is where I find some consolation – his twenty percent is both for good and bad. It may be true that while I run a couple of miles each day, he often runs four or five, and that while I pass out around two in the morning, he keeps going until dawn. But it’s also true that while I like a glass of good bourbon, he loves a glass of bourbon (good, bad, or indifferent) and then another and then another. If my occasional irresponsibility endangers myself, his endangers himself, all of his loved ones, and more than a few innocent bystanders. If I have bad habits, he has worse.
Would I want to be like him? Would I want to do the things he does? Only in my best dreams and worst nightmares.