The Gorgon Enchantress & The Maturing Mind

16 May

It was a wet and windy evening and I was speeding down the A406 cutting traffic like a butcher on my way to the cinema. After all my boasting about being the only black man who ever turns up to anything on time, I was actually running late – 10 minutes late, but late nonetheless. I already had my excuse. It involved being a shoulder to cry on for a distraught female friend who I could not leave to continue her relationship with a man who obviously did not appreciate her and treated her like property. It was my duty. Of course I could not tell her the real reason I was late – which was that after the phone call, my mum had sent me on an errand and had threatened not to let me eat anything she cooked unless I went and got her onions and palm oil. At 26, I somehow I did not think that would be a turn on for any girl – so the dutiful friend story would simply have to suffice.

As I was parking the car and running down to the cinema, I pondered how it was that I had ended up in this situation. I had met this aesthetically displeasing girl with a nice voice at a friend’s promotion celebration a week ago. She was hanging on my back like a rucksack and despite my best intentions to ward her off with stories of being a chauvinistic womaniser, she just didn’t get it. To be fair though, I did not try that hard – ok, did not try at all. Men know that women are attracted to men other women are attracted to. SO if I am a womaniser (as I alluded to the tale countless times), it means other women like me…marinade on that! She was unattractive, but she was all over me, and we guys like that kind of attention (in the right doses) as much as women do. It appeals to our egos and the hunter gatherer in us growls, clubs her over the head and drags her to the cave where we promptly cage and gag her pending the desire for amusement. We then pursue other girls and return to this one when we require ego regeneration after subsequent rejections from other chicks. Her only function is to make us feel good about ourselves. So what was the problem then?

Like I said, she has a very nice and lacy voice. Therefore, over our subsequent late night phone calls, I found myself listening to that seductive voice with my head on my pillow and slowly, my mind had begun to replace her face with one that matched the sexy voice. Soon I began to fall for her – or at least the new improved version my mind had created.

Thank God for Facebook though. By visiting every now and again, I was able to remind myself that she was a Gorgon (what Medusa was) with a voice like my own personal brand of an illegal white powder. Nonetheless, she had a lovely personality and charm about her and by the time she asked when we would meet, I felt more than obliged to organise something; so, in my infinite wisdom and plethora of wit and imagination, I chose the cinema. You see, it’s dark in the movies, so you do not have to look at her much, and if you do, the dark makes ugly easier to look at and the damage to the eyes is somewhat diluted. Also, you do not have to whip out the verbal repertoire. When she starts to talk, you just say “shhh” and give the excuse that she’s disturbing other viewers – with the added bonus of perhaps looking as though your cares extend beyond your own personal needs. I would get to fill the gaps with a movie which I had chosen and which would likely entertain me more. So she gets to be with me, and I get some sort of company while watching a movie I’ve had my eye on for a while – win – win situation! Let no man say I am uncaring.

The only problem, when I saw her, was that she wasn’t the Gorgon I remembered. This Medusa had tidied away the snakes she called hair, removed the endless layers of foundation and eyeliner which followed her into the bar in which we’d met and had a smile I did not notice at first. Her arms extended for embrace and she was wearing the kind of smile which suggested that she was happy to see me. For a brief moment, I felt like an executioner who has been sent to put down a puppy, but when he sees the pup, it runs over to him barking excitedly and happily and starts to lick his face. Suddenly the weapon of choice seems heavier. She looked…decent and for a moment, took my breath away.

After an enjoyable movie, during which we both provided a hilarious running commentary on what we thought was happening, we found ourselves in Nandos – yes, I am posh like that! She continued her charm offensive, breaking down my walls of shallowness with every witty remark she caught and threw back at me. We eventually got back to her house. With the falling rain beating on the car, I felt as though the movie had extended into reality as we looked at one another. She leaned over, invading my territory like an American soldier and gives me a kiss on the cheek which triggered something…primal in me. I immediately threw my door open and made my way over to hers and whipped it open (the car door that is…dirty minded people!). To her surprise (and mine) I extracted her bodily from the vehicle and planted one on her. Then we planted some more. I sat in the car and watched her make her way back into her house. She stopped and blew me a kiss on the way in. I melted like cheese on a flame grilled B.K. Whopper.

I had found a picture of myself at two years old a few days beforehand. I was clutching some icing at somebody’s birthday party. I stared at the picture with mild interest – then something hit me. The person I was looking at was not myself – at least not physically. The body is in a permanent state of flux; changing, adapting and regenerating to match our lifestyles and environment. Old cells die every day and new cells are created to take their place and continue the circle of life. This only ends when we die. This is part of the miracle of creation. So, where do the new cells come from? We are literally what we eat. In the infinite wisdom of the Creator, our bodies are designed to break down everything that goes into the system. It analyses the food for proteins, for fibre rebuilding, carbohydrates for energy, fat for storage and poison for destruction. This process of replenishment and regeneration is a testament to the ingenuity of our design and is as involuntary as the reaching out for something to grasp when one experiences a sudden fall. We are not in control of it. What has this got to do with anything?

While most people have given some thought to the process of physical renewal, most of us have not really considered mental and psychological renewal in the same way. As the physical “baby Sentinel” was regenerated away and replaced some twenty-something years ago, so was the mind behind it. The process of state education and the interactions between our families, lifestyles and environment means that the mind that sat behind that child in the picture no longer exists. The fact that I have no recollections of the day or who took the picture is a testament to that fact. However, unlike our bodies – over which we, for the most part, have no control over how it responds to that which enters it, we have absolute control over that which enters our minds and the ways in which we want to disseminate information. The same piece of information which makes the man on your left laugh out loud causes rage when whispered to the man on your right; the difference is the ways in which the information was accepted and interpreted by the minds.

Did I mention above that the body seeks out poisons and destroys them? I think I did. If only we did the same thing with our minds – and herein lies the major problem. Most of that which the average 21st century Male consumes is at best absolute rubbish. While I love my hip hop and R&B, I acknowledge that when the beat is stripped away, the vast majority of the lyrics wouldn’t pass for primary school poetry. The glorification of guns and violence, the categorisation of women as no more than objects of sexual lust, the edification of decadent lifestyles with no responsibility to anybody but you, all these are poisons and my mind recognises them as such – but the beat is like sugar and honey which makes the crap easier to swallow. We now have easier access to pornography than ever before and a growing number of young men will get married and find their sex lives to be crap because they spent so much of their young adolescent and pre-marital lives with their trousers around their ankles behind a locked door with a dustbin that always seems to contain nothing but tissues. This is another poison. Not all poisons are so easily identified though. What about shows like Eastenders which immerses the audience in a storyline which serves little other purpose than the tenderising of our morals before the insertion of government dogma and the popularist agenda and propaganda? After all, if “everybody’s talking about it” they aren’t talking about the things that matter.  What I had just experienced with said girl was one such poison. She had seeped her charm into my head and was suddenly replacing the previous faculty of physical and sexual gratitude with real interest in the monster coming over the hill. The possibility of a relationship had suddenly presented itself for assessment.

I mused on my way home as to what had changed the game so dramatically and the answer hit me as I was joining the A13 at Barking. There are two “M’s” that we men put off as much as possible for as long as possible – marriage, and maturity. I was experiencing the latter. You see, I had got to know her a little over the conversations we’d had every night for almost a week and despite what I told myself, it was not the voice that I became fond of, but the character of the young lady – which, like a Hip Hop beat, made the other crap easier to swallow. We were very different in many ways, – and opposites attract, but similar enough where it mattered. I pondered over how my friends would react seeing me with her – I imagined they’d say I met her in the dark (which is technically true) and had my eyes closed the rest of the time. But there-in lays the truth, because when I closed my eyes, I saw her as the beautiful woman she was.

Anyhow, so what happened between the two of us in the end? Well, she is not my girl, and we no longer talk. Apparently, she thought she had romantic feelings for me and she’d wrestled with it, but had decided that it was just physical and would do well to stay away from me as she could really see me ripping her heart out. She was right about that bit.

Bloody Gorgon!

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2 Responses to “The Gorgon Enchantress & The Maturing Mind”

  1. Atticus May 17, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    Very well written, a captivating read. Spellbound by the Gorgon maybe lol

    Interesting to note how the chemistry of the relationships ultimately dictates everything yet from the outset our eyes are clouded by the pursuit of physical dynamics (appearance etc).

    There’s a moral to this story (if that was intended), it is that – Beauty is not real. Beauty only exists in perception.

    • nachmo May 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

      With the failing rain beating on the Car….. I went home. ( FULL STOP- but no you felt you have molten white gold pumping through your veins.)

      And that ladies and gentlemen is the Achilles of men. Ego / Self Assured /They-cant-surely-resist-me-mentality.

      The price was paid but don’t lie Sentinel if you had to again you will still have taken the same actions and blame something apart from will power.

      As men our egos seem to tell us we are always in control in these situations but statistical the outcome shows otherwise. If a female don’t want you then nothing will happen that is just that. Ask any female this question!

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