Apologies. Somehow, last Friday’s column was truncated in transmission; and while I was quite put out when the mishap was brought to my attention, it allowed me the chance to fine-tune my invention. So, let’s get back into the workshop, shall we?
I had paused, just at the point where the break occurred last week, to think of what else I would need to put into this man I’m making and on whom to model him. But knowing how stories get tossed about, and to avoid being accused of wandering eyes or light ears, I decided it was safer to hark back to the Bible for inspiration.
Now, Adam, the so-called first man, for all the blame he has endured, was really not a bad feller if you look at things objectively. Silly macho men and some resentful preachers call him weak, but I prefer to ascribe to him my favourite adjective: uxorious. The man just loved his wife to distraction and was trying to please her; that’s all. And though they lost Paradise and he was sentenced to sweat in order to eat bread (which is quite okay by me, since I despise men who don’t work), never have I read anywhere in Genesis, or beyond, that, behold, Adam lifted up his arm and smote the woman. And even after they discovered there were other people living beyond the gates of Eden, there is no record, either, that he ever took the fruit of his field to another woman’s tent, leaving Eve (Cain and Abel being gone) without bread or raiment. So, for dedication to his wife, in spite of his change in fortune, I would incorporate Adam into my composite man.
You know, I would have to stir in, as well, several facets of King David, the Biblical figure of whom I am most fond, because he was so real, so flawed, so human, among a group of fellers whose primary job, it seems, was to play god and pass judgment. Here was a man who loved music, loved good wine, and, when so moved, would dance until his clothes fell off. In other words, while he loved God (and, Lord, did God love him!), he loved this earthly life, as well, and knew how to appreciate it.
He also knew how to be tight with his best male-friend without losing an iota of appreciation for women. I love, especially, that, despite his thousand wives and ten thousand concubines, the woman who caught his eye, to the point where he just had to have her, was one who, by inference, looked like me and you, Sisters: black and comely, as Scripture confirms of her son Solomon. So, for his joie de vivre and discriminating eye, I’m adding a measure of David.
Now, since the son inherited his dad’s talent for composition, I have to stir in two pints of Solomon, too. I mean, just check out his book in the Old Testament. That love story alone is enough to have turned the Kindle into the Kindle Fire, carrying as much heat as it does. But, seriously, this wise king understood what millions of men, living and dead, have failed to get: Women love men who talk to them. And I don’t mean barking orders or relating stories from the office, either.
Listen to this: “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely….” Those are the type of lyrics the Queen of Sheba travelled weeks to hear.
Today, however, the best a discriminating woman my age can hope to get, from a few decades back, is Brother Bob’s, “When I see you around the corner, you make me feel like a sweepstakes winner,” or, maybe, a little “rock-away/drift-away” sweetness from Beres Hammond. Either way, it’s all second-hand in an age where, I am told, men do their courting on Facebook and then break up with a woman by text-message. And even then, she doesn’t get the courtesy of a few good words; just a “C u l8r,” accompanied by , if she was really nice or he’s in a talkative mood.
I really am trying hard not to be superficial, Sisters, but I confess that my composite man must also be attractive, like I imagine Sampson, the strongman, was. I choose not to say “handsome,” because that is rather subjective, and a feller with the right lyrics and the right amount of demonstrated care can be an Adonis in some cases. But I must confess that, earlier this week, when one of my few acknowledged hunks told me he was relocating, my heart slid into the toes of my sling-backs. For while a suggestive word has never been exchanged between us, it’s enough for me just to look at that man. So, since I would hope to be gazing at my composite man for a long, long time to come, I wouldn’t want to have to remove my glasses to blur his features.
It should go without saying, but my hand-made feller must also be intelligent; and that, obviously, was Sampson’s shortcoming. For all his beautiful flowing locks, there wasn’t much going on under them, apparently, or else he would’ve known, after the first two times that she tried to sic the Philistines on him, that Delilah was big-big trouble. So my composite man must be smart enough to stay at home, where he’s safe with me, and not go lusting after strange women.
Finally, because this recipe is getting long and too many ingredients complicate things, this man must be clean. I’ve never seen it in the Bible, but I had it drilled into me during my youth: Cleanliness is next to godliness. And the words of my mother and her sisters are gospel to me.
… Anyway, I think it’s time I put this man into the kiln to bake, see, Sisters. And you just keep your fingers crossed that this upgraded model turns out okay; because, as a bright-bright feller said to me just last week: When God made man, She was joking….