The Answer to All Marriage Problems!

Okay, so the morning started off like crap, truth be told. First, I was just waking up from my dream about an amazing world, where everyone was beautiful, kind, rich, and had cat paws for key holders and good luck charms. Then came the what-to-wear dilemma, or in my case, figuring what what pair of pants my cats have yet to mutilate in the wee-hours of the morning in revenge for my dressing them up as poodles for Halloween. And then came the thick, tangled web of miscommunications among CTA employees, who know as much about city happenings as I know about clothing-optional parties in Korea. “Yeah, there was an emergency at Jackson”, “I think some lady gave birth on the tracks”, “Oh, the trains are running backwards today”. Really? Because I heard your mother gave birth backwards at Jackson. So there.

Anyway.

Eventually I just hopped on the first available cab, already twenty minutes late and four excuses deep for work.

The cab driver was the size of a tree and looked like he was capable of pushing his head through the roof of the cab if he had just straightened up his back a bit more. He had a shaved head, like mine, which made me think immediately that he was person of exquisite taste, sophistication, and glamour. A person with an eye for avant-garde haircuts who would hold his head out his bedroom window and let the morning dew water caress his scalp as he–

“Mind if I turn up the radio. It’s a good show.”

Sure, so he may not let me finish my thoughts, but still, there was something to be said for–

“It’s about this guy who has a girlfriend. The girlfriend is now knocked up and he doesn’t want to marry her.” Okay, strike two.

While I was willing to entertain the idea of chatting about life, love, flowers, and cats with Prenatal Obesity Syndrome, he was cutting off my thoughts just as I was willing to let my guard down and feel that the world was a safe place again. But then again, it was only going to be a five minute ride, so why build up these expectations. Maybe because he seemed so atypical, I guess. I could tell he was young. He was dressed in jeans and a dress shirt. I already mentioned his unsurpassed eye for haircuts. Or in other words, he looked, well, like me, and by “me” I mean “a ‘mo”.

“I won’t mind, turn it up.”

And then the man’s voice on the radio said “See, I love my girlfriend, man, but I also love my wife, and just ‘coz she pregnant, it don’t mean I have to leave my wife.” I looked over at the pine tree operating the cab and his big, joyous grin made him look like the Holiday Spirits incarnate. Throw a couple of ornaments and he’d pass for a hanukkah bush. He held on to his steering wheel with both hands and great anticipation, as if I had told him we were going to the annual Bunny Treasure Hunt at the Playboy mansion. And he was definitely not gay.

The radio lothario continued his musings. “So, you know, man, I’m like totally stuck. Totally, man. I mean, I don’t even know how she got all knocked up and shit. And I love her, man, I do, but shit.” The sheer strength of poetry.

Both the cab tree and I were shaking our head in disbelief, but I would soon come to realize, for totally different reasons. I began my big schpeel by lowering my voice by two octaves and then stating “What a douche, bro. I mean, common, he can’t keep it in his pants? And he loves them both? Dude, please.” I was very conscious of my tone and made sure I sounded as supremely straight as possible. It was all very Brokeback as far I was concerned. I thought I passed with stellar marks. Well, maybe not stellar, but a solid B. My cab tree was still shaking his head, which made me think that maybe it was the wind coming in from his cracked window that was causing his head to sway back and forth like a reed.

So I continued. “And…” I cleared my throat in aim to channel something butch–but not too butch; something between my dad and Joni Mitchell. “And, I mean, what the hell, dude? Like, what the hell?” Apparently my arsenal of straight words is limited to monosyllabic words. I definitely passed now. I sighed in relief.

“You know what I think” he began. “I think that all of this man’s problems would change if he converted. Seriously, man, think about it! If this guy became a Muslim, he could marry both of them, and then they would know about each other and everybody would be on the same page, and he could be with both of them and there would be no jealously. That’s all he would have to do, and it would solve everything. Trust me!”

I sat and thought about it a little longer. Sure, I don’t know that I, exactly agreed with his viewpoint. That said, at the end of the day, he made no apologies for who he was or what he believed in. The longer I considered it, the more I actually began admiring him, even if I disagreed with the content of his speech. In fact, he made me realize how silly my original response was. Why should I try to disguise my being when he took so much pride in his? Where was my self-pride? And where was my self-respect? Did I really think that if I sounded all-too-obvious then my response would somehow be diminished? That I would count a little less? That’s insane.

In fact, therefore, he has since inspired me to adopt his own strategy and no-apologies attitude, and formulate my own solution to the problem. After thinking long and hard, I think that all of this man’s problems would change if he converted. To Homoism. Seriously, people, think about it. If this guy came out, he could never marry anyone, and then he and ladies would all be on the same page–attracted to men. He could be with anybody he wanted, and, if anything, it would be expected of him. In fact, both of his ladies would probably forgive him and believe him when he said “It’s me, gurl, not you. I just feel different these days, like I need tighter shirts.” There would be no jealousy. That’s all he would have to do, and it would solve everything. Trust me.

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