Thursday, March 24, 2011

Joe in Love

Joe Kozmarski, my fictional private detective, has an ex-wife and a current girlfriend. He still loves his ex, and he thinks that she still loves him, though she sends mixed signals. His girlfriend, a former cop who now works with him, is full of intense energy. She loves him, and if he gave her a chance he could love her. His love life is complicated. He has no time or energy for other crushes or fantasies (Salma Hayek).

He’s also forty-three years old and has decided that he wants to avoid the mistakes of his parents’ generation in which many men, as they tumbled into middle age, grabbed for straws, which often looked a lot like attractive younger women. That’s not for Joe. He’ll keep his hands – and his mind – where they belong (Salma Hayek on a bicycle).

Joe takes care of his eleven-year-old nephew. When Joe isn’t busy with a case, or with sorting out his love relations with his ex-wife and his current girlfriend, he throws football with the nephew or talks with him about aphids or explains to him why punching a classmate is wrong even if the classmate has tried to ignite the nephew’s pants with a Bic lighter. Joe’s mind is simply too full with the stuff of life to spend time fantasizing about women he’s unlikely ever to meet (Salma Hayek in a bikini on a bicycle).

He doesn’t even look at internet porn (Salma Hayek in a bikini on a bicycle with a monkey). Everyone else does, but not him. Again, it’s a matter of time, not inclination – He likes naked women, and he likes sex. He likes them very much. But when one is sorting out love relations, chasing down murderers, and throwing football with one’s nephew, something’s got to give.

And, for Joe, that thing is having a middle-age crush. If he had more time and energy, would he have a crush? Sure, why not? If he ever did have a crush, Joe suspects it would be on . . . Penelope Cruz (or Salma Hayek).

(Already here) (Coming in June)


Jen Forbus said...

Go for Penelope, Joe!

Meredith Cole said...

Joe is such a complicated guy... But I'm glad he has time for a little fun/fantasy--even if it has to be in parenthesis.

Michael Wiley said...

I agree that Penelope would be a good choice, Jen. Even her name is good.

Michael Wiley said...

I wonder whether all fantasy is parenthetical. I'm pretty sure that all of reality is not.

Thanks for sympathizing with Joe, Meredith.

Reece said...

But is it really so wrong to punch a classmate who's just tried to ignite your pants with a lighter? I wonder what Joe would have done in that situation ...

Michael Wiley said...

Oh, Joe definitely would have punched the classmate. He does the equivalent at the adult level all the time. That's the problem: he knows that his own behavior is worse than the behavior that he can allow for his nephew.

My kids -- and many other kids now -- attend a school with a zero-tolerance policy for fighting. That means if one student holds a Bic against the butt of a second student, the second student will be suspended if he punches the first student. (Instead, the second student is supposed to report the butt-lighting to a teacher -- presumably with butt still on fire.)

None of this, by the way, has ever happened to my kids, and if it did, I would let my kids know that their punching was justified. But then again, I'm generally less conflicted than Joe Kozmarski. I think (Selma Hayek) (or is that Penelope Cruz?).