Friday, February 5, 2010

Call Me Jasper

Call me Jasper. Captain Ahab is the name I have given to my neighbor at the public servant training sessions. He is a fifty-two year old African American man who is gregarious and astounding in his kindness. I like Ahab. We embody a yin-yang. The Captain served his country for many years in the Navy. I have spent many years looking for loop holes in tax laws and oversleeping on election day. Ahab is a devout Christian who counsels youths at his church on Wednesdays. On the few days I attended church the only God that was on my mind was Ronald McDonald and his sausage egg and cheese sandwich that was promised for my attendance. As for taking time out of my schedule for youths, I once woke up hung over in a puddle of my own urine on a friend’s kitchen floor when I was supposed to be babysitting. Last but not least, Captain Ahab has been married to the love of his life for nineteen years bringing up three children together. Jasper Cornwallis can’t keep a member of the opposite sex’s interest through a moon cycle and has sent many potential children down the swirl of a flushed bowl in wads of tissue.
Ahab and I have become friends mainly because our proximity in the training room. Our only similarity is the fact that we are the only two who bring our lunches to eat on site. Its funny how an off the cuff line in a conversation about the benefits of a job that has you basically exercising while working took the friendship to a new level.. My line, “Then when you get home you can tell your old lady to get you a beer ‘cause you is tired,” opened a door. This aeemingly innocuous string of words brought forth the nineteen year heart wrenching love story of the captain and his “old lady”. Let’s call this “old lady” Doris for the story. Ahab tells how he shows up to a friend’s wedding in the ultimate panty peeler, his navy uniform. I mean what woman hasn’t moistened her underthings while watching “An Officer and a Gentleman.” That uniform has probably even gotten Captain Crunch into a few poop decks for god’s sake. Anyway, Ahab didn’t use his uniform for peeling panties. Instead he used it peel back the layers of Doris’s heart. Before she left the wedding she slid over a paper on which was her name, Doris for the sake of this story, and her phone number, 867-5309 for the sake of this story. They date for weeks and then Ahab is called back to the sea. Then months down the line when stationed in Germany Ahab receives his Dear John letter, Dear Ahab letter for the sake of this story. Doris writes how she can’t keep up this long distance relationship and that it is tearing her up inside. Ahab then tells me how when he finished the letter, his sauerkraut, and went to do the only thing he could do. He divorced his first love, the sea, and went back to America and the loving arms of his Doris.
I pick up the conversation as if it is a one act play.
Act I

Ahab and Jasper sit in community center conference room. Ahab with coffee and an unfinished peanut butter sandwich. Jasper with tea and the remains of CVS trail mix.

Jasper: (amazed by Ahab’s story) Wow.
Ahab: Do you ever think you’ll get married, Jasper?
Jasper: Weirder things have happened I guess but I ain’t holding my breath It’s not like I don’t like cake or getting drunk in front of family but I could give you the numbers to my three ex-girlfriends and they could tell you how uncomfortable I am to be around for extended periods of time.
Ahab: Oh, but you want to get married though, right?,
Jasper: I might want the complete dvd set of “Gilligan’s Island” but I’m not going to pay for it.
Ahab: Don’t you want a warm woman lying next to you on those cold nights?
Jasper: I’ll pay for a space heater.

1 comment:

  1. more please. For the sake of this story, Jasper, you need to write a novel