Flashback to Yard 4
Two Tonys on Love
“In a letter from my sis,” I told Two Tonys, “she says I fall in love too easily, and that I need to stay single for at least a year when I get out, and to date various women. What’s your take on love?”
“I’m goin’ on 66 years old, and as a sailor I had relationships all over the world. The old cliché, ‘a sailor has a girl in every port ain’t bullshit. The only thing that cliché left out was that the girls want gratuities on the way out the door – or sometimes before you go through the door. But that ain’t love. Love is an entirely different animal. I can’t compare love with me runnin’ around in my late teens, early twenties, full of testosterone, with my pecker hangin’ out, tryin’ to bang everythin’ in sight. If you wanna talk about love, I think I’ve been in love, but if I was, wouldn’t I still be in love?
“No. Love is something you go in and out of.”
“Who says?”
“I’m speaking from experience,” I said.
“Were you ever in love?”
“I thought I was.”
“Therein lies the problem. You thought you was. You’re not in love now are you?”
“No,” I said.
“I’m sayin’ when you feel true love, you never fall out of it. It overcomes sickness, desertion, death, and separation. You don’t quit lovin’ her just 'cause she left you.”
“But, it fades away.”
“Now we’re goin’ into the realm of time, which heals all wounds or so the poets say. But does it?”
“In my case it did.”
“And mine too. But when you were in love and the separation came, I bet nothin’ felt worse.”
“I’ve been shot, stabbed, had my ass beat numerous times, my parents have died, my siblings have died, and I’ve never felt any sense of complete aloneness or excruciatin’ mental pain as when someone I loved left me. Love is strictly a remedy for loneliness.”
“I disagree. I think it’s about sharing the joy of life with another person.”
“Why?” Two Tonys asked.
“Because it feels so good to get to know and care about a person, and to share the adventure of life.”
“But you can’t do that alone. You do it 'cause you’re lonely. You don’t wanna look at the Grand Canyon by yourself. You don’t wanna go to Niagara Falls and ride the Maid of the Mist by yourself.”
“Or the London Eye.”
“Exactly. So you fall in love, and you hafta pay a price. It’s not free. It’s expensive – in terms of emotions. Your mom and dad are in love, right?”
“Sooner or later one is gonna hafta pay one helluva price when the other moves on. I’m talkin’ about death. I saw my ol’ man pay the price. It was pitiful. We’ve come to the age old question: is it better to have loved and lost or not to have loved at all?”
“It’s better to love, to take chances, and to experience life to the fullest, including the ups and downs. My sis is concerned that I’ll fall in love right away with the wrong person. She wants me to take my time to find the right woman.”
“That’s your sis. She’s lookin’ out for you. That’s her job. She’s gonna evaluate every chick you date 'cause she’s a woman and they don’t think like us.”
“I think women are smarter than men in love. I’ll have to pay more attention to my sis in the future.”
“She don’t want you to get hurt. She wants you to pay attention to her stamp of approval. But she’s not the one who has to live with 'em. She’s not gonna be rollin’ over in the mornin’s lookin’ at 'em.”
“She’s concerned because in the past I attracted materialistic women – like myself. I got my just deserts.”
“Were you doin’ drugs with 'em?”
“Some of them.”
“You need to stay away from that. But what does your sis expect you to do? Go to St. Paul’s and find some cathedral-goin’ chick? Get on the computer and fill out some Internet datin’ application? Mr. Matchmaker, I like my coffee with two lumps of sugar. I like to wear argyle socks. I like soccer games. I only pick my nose when nobody’s home. Are you gonna rely on some teenage whizz-kid entrepreneur sendin’ you an email sayin’ he’s found you some chick who likes soccer and argyle socks? Of course not. I don’t think you can fall in love like that. I think you become in love. In the movies, a guy sees a broad across a table and they fall in love. You meet a chick at a lonely point in your life and you become in love. Before you were arrested were you ever on your own?”
“No. I’ve been in back-to-back relationships since I was a teenager.”
“Then you don’t know what bein’ lonely means. I was a fugitive on the run in Waikiki and Maui, livin’ in a beautiful house on the slopes of Mount Halakala – an extinct volcano – by myself. I mean, whatthafuck, I was lonely. Even in here, it’s nice to have a friend. To be alone is a brutal thing.
Right now I’m content layin’ on this bunk. I see how love affects prisoners. I saw a gangster one time, in the Walls who would stand on a mound for hours on end, for six or seven Saturday visitation days in a row, lookin’ for his old lady’s yellow Caddy to show up at the prison parkin’ lot. And you know what? She never turned up. She gutted him while he was in the joint and he never regrouped. He was always a shell of a man after that.”
“So what kind of a woman do you think I should look for?”
“She’s gotta be a carin’ and gentle person. She’s gotta care for you. Maybe a bit of an intellectual, or at least a reader. But lemme give ya one piece of important advice: if she don’t care for ya don’t be afraid to getthafuck on down the ramp.”

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

Hiya Jon -
A friend of mine linked to your blog and I read them all yesterday. (in one sitting when I should have been working but sure thats what good writing does, it sucks you in to read.)
I loved your writing style and the window you've given to your situation for us to be able to read not only your experience but also your view of your friends around you. Two Tonys sounds like a natural life philosopher and I think next time around he'll be blessed with the happiness that he touched upon in this lifetime. Xena sounds like a big sister and I hope she also realizes shes more of a woman than many of the women I know. Its what inside that counts. I laugh at Frankie's and George's attempts to woo you. You've put hearts and characters onto your friends inside that otherwise most folks I think would just think are just another inmates and give no thought to.

joannie said...

Hopefully the foundation to any good and healthy relationship is an unconditional love and acceptance. Whether it grows into something more or not, that can always remain and grow. It's so much more about choosing than feeling.

Button Gwinnett said...

Agree with anon here in that I think your blog is very important, because your cell mates are more than just their wrap sheets. They are living, breathing human beings from which many of us can learn some valuable lessons. Sometimes we forget that.

This blog has had a tremendous effect on me. And I'm grateful for that.

Devout Melist said...


This is the first blog entry of yours I have read. I like how you captured Mr. Two Tony's speech pattern. It is a real treat to be able to 'hear' the accent. I dunno, I guess I am goofy that way.


Take care.

Anonymous said...

One of your best post ever jon! This particularly:

"Mr. Matchmaker, I like my coffee with 2 lumps of sugar. I like to wear argyle socks. I like soccer games. I only pick my nose when nobody’s home. Are you gunna rely on some devious teenage computer whizz-kid entrepreneur sendin’ you an email sayin’ he’s found you some chick who likes soccer and argyle socks?"

Beautiful. Hollywood needs to hire this guy. Keep on taking notes Jon!