Saturday, September 14, 2019
The Shrewd King 8.6: Bonus installment.
Hunter Chernovsky needed a day off to get his head straight.
Gimp said he would keep an eye on things.
Hunter rode his bike into the City of Eaton Rapids in the early morning.
He found Justin, his former boss, in the auto repair shop. Justin was attempting to fit an electric motor on to a bike frame.
“Hey boss. Got a minute to talk.” Hunter asked.
Hunter did not have many people who he could confide in. In his mind, he was able to lead because of his aura of invincibility.
“Sure.” Justin said, putting the electric motor down on some scraps of cardboard beneath the bike. “This ain’t going anywhere fast.”
“What’s on your mind?” Justin asked as he sat down in one of the deck chairs in the shade of the building. It was going to be a hot day and it was already warm.
Hunter sat in the chair next to Justin. “I need advice.”
“I am not sure you came to the right guy, but I will do what I can.” Justin said.
“I got women problems.” Hunter said.
Justin shot Hunter a quick look. “You gonna be a daddy? Is that what you are telling me?”
Hunter said, “No. I got one I like and she isn’t knocked up. I know that for a fact.”
“You came to the wrong guy.” Justin said. “I don’t know ANYTHING about women.”
Hunter blinked his eyes a couple of times. That is not what he expected to hear.
“I don’t think so.” Hunter managed to say. “You have been married, like, twenty-five years, right?”
“Actually, I have been married thirty years. I don’t tell very many people this, but Sharon is my second marriage. The first one lasted about five years.” Justin said.
“So how can you say you don’t know anything about women?” Hunter said.
Justin looked around the parking lot, trying to think of a way to explain his thoughts.
“Women ain’t like spark plugs.” Justin said. “I can take a new spark plug out of the box, check the gap and throw it into an engine and I KNOW exactly what it will do. Don’t matter which what spark plug or what engine...as long as the gap and torque are right, it is going to fire.”
“Women ain’t a manufactured product. EVERY ONE IS DIFFERENT.” Justin said. “Never forget that.”
“I can tell you what makes Sharon happy but it will be worse than useless to you because your girl ain’t Sharon.” Justin said.
“Everything you ever heard about ‘women’, plural, get it out of your head.” Justin advised. “I mean other than common decency. Nobody wants to be called ‘fat’ or ‘stupid’ or be freezing cold.”
Hunter was not the smartest guy, but he certainly wasn’t the stupidest.
If Justin was right, then everything he had ever learned drinking beer with the ‘bros’ was useless.
“Lemme guess.” Justin said. “You and your girl had a fight.”
“Not so much.” Hunter said. “Not a fight. She said she wanted to get married and I said I didn’t.”
“I think she was crying when I dropped her off at her house.” he said.
“Oh-oh. That is a toughie.” Justin said.
“Absolutely dead-set against marriage, are you?” Justin asked.
“No. I just don’t think it is for me.” Hunter said.
“Lot of young guys think that.” Justin said, agreeably.
“And old guys don’t?” Hunter said.
“How many old guys you know that got divorced and then remarried two, three years later?” Justin asked.
“ ‘bout a hundred.” Hunter said.
“It says a lot that those guys who just went through the sausage grinder of divorce court weren’t totally turned off by marriage.” Justin said. “It means that ‘marriage’ wasn’t the problem with their first marriage. It means they weren’t a good fit or, more likely, one of them wasn’t ready.”
“That would be me. I ain’t ready.” Hunter said.
“So does she want to get married this week?” Justin asked.
“No. That is not what she said.” Hunter said.
“Why don’t you tell me what she said, as exact as you can remember it.” Justin said.
“She said ‘If we ain’t growing, we are dying.’ she said ‘My clock is ticking.’ “ Hunter said.
“What did you say?” Justin asked.
“I said I wasn’t the marrying type.” Hunter said.
Justin winced. “Bad move.”
“Well, I ain’t.” Hunter said, defending himself.
“How do you know that?” Justin asked. “Women aren’t like spark plugs. Men aren’t like spark plugs. Marriages ain’t made with cookie-cutters. Marriages look like all different kinds of things. How do you know that you and whats-her-name can’t work something out that will work for both of you?”
“Because I am on-call, 24-7. Because I can’t be there to help with the kids.” Hunter said, a little bit of anguish leaking through the words.
Justin had to think about that a bit. Finally, “Did Grand Valley stop playing football after you graduated?”
Hunter looked sharply over at Justin to see if he was being made sport of. “No.”
“Did they play defense without Linebackers?” Justin asked.
“No.” Hunter replied.
“How did that happen?” Justin asked.
“They recruited Linebackers every year I was there. Some washed out. Some moved to other positions. Some were back-ups for when the we got injured or needed to catch our breath after a big hit.” Hunter said. “When I graduated, a player almost as good as I was stepped into the right-side Linebacker position.”
“Are you doing that with your fighters, developing talent to replace yourself?” Justin asked. “If you aren’t, why not?”
"So what do I do?" Hunter said. He had made a hash of things and didn't know how to start putting things back together.
"Tell her you were wrong." Jesse advised. "If you can't look your girl in the eye and tell her that you screwed up and want to make it right, then you aren't grown-up enough to be married. And, at your age, if you can't admit you were wrong and change direction, its likely you never will be able to."
Hunter Chernovsky was a much happier man riding back home. But first he had to drop in on Janelle and have a little talk with her. He decided that maybe he was the marrying kind of guy, as long as it was with her and that they had time to sort a few things out before they tied the knot.