- Sasquatch tells you so.
- You stitch your loved-one’s name into your socks.
- Suddenly you start liking death metal.
- One afternoon you decide to make dioramas of the best scenes from Say Anything, but you replace the main characters with you and the person you love.
- You give up your religion, your family, and your community.
- Their goitre doesn’t bother you one bit.
- In conversation with your friends, you say “Their feet don’t smell that bad.”
- So their apartment’s infested. So what?
- You tell them you hate their sexual orientation.
- When you think about them you get nauseous. This could also be indicative of salmonella poisoning or existential angst.
It was a an early day and though a haze seemed to break the sunlight into a thousand intimate shards, a glow of beauty hung about the city as Dirk Benedict and I strolled along the edge of Central Park. Smiling gently, as he often does, he pricked an already yellowing leaf from a nearby tree. Instantly he identified it to me as a North American white oak, of the species Quercus alba.
Continuing our saunter in the direction of the museum, he spoke a bit on the subject of forestry and of conservation. Never one to preach or even cajole, Dirk Benedict instead told me of the beauty of Montana and as his words melted into the sweetest of poetry, I thought I saw half a tear form in the corner of his eye. Not a tear of sadness, but a simple illustration of how moved by beauty Dirk Benedict can be.
Tossing the leaf aside in his robustly casual manner, he began to sing a lovely song of the Old Country and we picked up our pace and bounded up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With his Diner’s Club card in hand, he of course offered to pay for my entrance fee, but I declined his ever-present chivalry, though he did smile and assist me as I struggled to clip the little orange pin to my lapel. We made our way right, toward the Egypt section. It’s been said that Egypt is the gift of the Nile. Well, I must add my own comment that enjoyment is the gift of Dirk Benedict’s company.
As we strode down each hall, he would point to various works of art and make their beauty and history come alive in his eloquence. Mere oils on canvas became living legends as Dirk Benedict explained their significance. His words brought alive the torture and pain of each artist’s soul. In the hall of armor, Dirk eyed each suit of glistening metal intently, as if he could look into the past and see the glory and pageantry of ages long gone. Breaking the rules, as independent spirits oft do, he patted one of the suits of armor, closed his eyes delicately and almost beneath a whisper, released the ancient soul to Valhalla.
Before we left, he made certain to pause by a portrait of George Washington, and as Dirk Benedict’s eyes met the portrait, he inhaled defiantly and then invoked the painting, with a simple wish that our nation never fail to live up to the standards and dreams of the Father of Our Country. For a moment, I turned, lest I interrupt this private tête-à-tête. But before I could even look away, Dirk came springing up behind me with a playful twinkle in his eye.
You see, Dirk Benedict had an idea and I couldn’t help but go along with him.
Leaving the museum he paused by the door to recycle our pins and then out into the sunlight we went, where, from a vendor’s cart, he procured a couple of ice cream sandwiches and we enjoyed their cool, creamy deliciousness all the way back to the train.
Dirk Benedict came over on Sunday, mid-afternoon. He didn’t take haste in coming, for our time together is leisurely. In answering his knock, I opened the door to find that dashing man upon my verandah. Standing tall and full of life, he sent vibrations near and far.
With bloody maries already at hand I invited him to sit. Oh did we wile away the time, sipping at our cocktails; discussing Aristophanes and macroeconomics. Dirk Benedict, I say, is a masterful economist. with command of theory, practical experience and a rapacious imagination. Later we happily switched to sangria.
I gently bade him enter now, for a fine repast I had awaiting. His eyes were twinkling as he dug right in. His mane is cherubic when he’s eating rye toast and fried ham, and almost laughing at his eggs benedict. Dirk Benedict enjoys that jape, no matter how many times it’s done.
A Specialized Editorial by Samuel Sharrington IV
If you’ve ever heard the expression “it’s not the dress that makes you look fat” then you understand the concept that it’s not the love that makes you stupid. You are being stupid, plain and simple. Just to reassure you, here are my Stupidity Credentials.
In high school I dated Lenore. An evangelical Christian at the time, she obsessed over the idea that we would never spend eternity together and gave this as a reason we couldn’t be together.
Not being together essentially involved being together when she felt like it and her feeling guilty afterwards. For months. Did I take the hint? Nope. I walked into it like the biggest slack-jawed yokel you ever did see. I might have unwittingly left out anything reflecting poorly on me, but we do have space limitations.
Later I fell for Penelope. We were together for some time and I never screwed up. Not once. Really. While at college she started spending time with Peter. Letters went unanswered and calls were less frequent. In each rare call Peter was mentioned more frequently. It’s easy to see that it came as a surprise when we broke up. Later Penelope and I dated intermittently.
I noticed several weeks into one Summer that while the season began with sex it was currently at a state of fully-clothed kissing. Like a puppy I was weaned, but unlike a puppy I didn’t know enough to raise a fuss about it until it was too late. Smart cookie, that one.
The next serious relationship was Scarlet. When she ended the relationship, I in no way behaved like a stalker and don’t suffer awkwardness with anyone involved to this day. Anyway, it took months to realize we were into each other. Things strolled along quite well for a while, but then something happened. That something was The Moon.
She stopped sleeping with me and rather than tell me it was over (or me realizing it was over) Scarlet blamed it on the phases of some four and a half billion year old rock in the sky. I don’t remember the breakup very well. Maybe it was based on chicken entrails or a Ouija board. Again, I did not behave in the worst, creepiest fashion of my life at the termination of this relationship. Really.
After some intermittent dating, I think I became smart as evidenced by my newfound desire to date a heroin addict. Melissa was rather active for a heroin addict and only occasionally (every third day or so) looked sickly, pallid and weak.
Her roommate Katrina was more fun. She liked to snort coke off of a framed picture of Captain Picard (which might have been autographed). I wanted her and she wanted me. She also wanted a few other people on the side. (I may have been the one on the side.) By gumption, I wasn’t falling for this again!
Right now I’m in a long-term relationship with the third roommate, Octavia. She rocks, and even so I’ve done plenty of stupid things. But we’ll have to leave those out for, again, lack of space.
So I’ve pretty well locked down my authority to say that the love’s not what makes you stupid. The stupid’s all on you. Remember: the next time you feel like telling someone that you have a rare tropical disease, rather than tell them you don’t want to be with them, just own up; and the next time you want to believe such a tale, don’t blame love for making you stupid.
Sharrington is the author of several books on national Middling-Seller Lists, including Nobody Understands Me, No Really Means No, Things Were Never That Good to Begin With: A Rebuttal to Things Will Never Be That Good Again, and Bleak Expanse: A Positivist Outlook on Relationships.