July 9, 2016
So I’m driving east on Delmar Avenue toward the drug store. Just past my friend Asta’s plant emporium, The Greenery, on the right, written in magic marker, is a large sign: “Guy Stuff.” Parallel lines of yellow police tape decorate a driveway leading toward a ramshackle house.
I am tempted to turn in and investigate, but I keep on driving.
Because I’m a guy.
To be sure, “Guy Stuff” could mean a little boy’s collection of toys, or a teen’s old electronics. It could mean some middle-aged man’s workout equipment. It could mean Grandpa’s last used medical items. It could mean a lifetime collection of “Playboy Magazine.”
Or a lot worse.
Because guys – how do I put this – guys think and do strange things women only imagine. (I can’t speak for gay guys, but they’re guys, so I imagine it’s about the same.) How do I know this? I’m a dude.
For instance, according to statistics, dudes under fifty think about sex every 6.5 seconds. Older dudes slow down. Now I only think about sex every 10.2 seconds.
I am not prepared to go into detail, but guy stuff can downright, uh, icky.
To a red-blooded American male, just the word “stuff” can be so loaded as to require therapy or a confession booth. Other loaded guy words: Caress, cuddle, yoga pants, panties, stiffies, hard, soft, peaches, ta-tas, melons, hooters, bazooms, built, honeypots, vees, cracks, belly buttons, butt-anything, ass-anything, nipples, nip-slips, bullets, all-day suckers, oh mamas, yo mamas, cheerleaders, dancers, nurses, Jennifer Lawrence, Beyonce, Jennifer Lawrence-and-Beyonce, boobs, boobies, a pair, twins, triplets, sisters, and beer.
Bless me, Father, I have sinned: I was at an art gallery opening last night, the theme of which was racial justice. Yet, I found time to admire women in summer dresses, flimsy, flowing, flammable, fusionistic, fulsome, flavorful. Sweet God, forgive me.
I was at the grocery store buying wholesome spinach and carrots and peaches. Peaches: And there was this young woman wearing pasted-on black cloth around her hindquarters and thighs, her hips dancing to an inner song. Bless me, Father, I am a sinner, a lustful lardass. Ass. “Behind the refrigerator door, Lucy broke some glass; first she cut her finger then she cut her ask me no more questions and I’ll tell you no more lies.”
So no, I don’t go peruse the “Guy Stuff.’ That driveway leads straight to Hell – I am sure of it.
Instead, I drive to Walgreens and buy Vitamin B-6. I ignore the temptations of rows of chocolate candy and Dots. I walk right up to the counter and the winsome girl clerk . . . drops her keys on the floor, and she bends over . . .
This is why I’m not religious. As an innocent lad, I read the Bible cover to cover several times. I noted the directions to pluck one’s eyes out if said eyes had sinned. And I knew right then: I was going to be a blind boy. And I read those Psalms, where the women have breasts like honeydew melons. And I knew right then – never mind what I knew right then.
On the drive back to home, I pass the “Guy Stuff” sign again. I feel the car being magnetically pulled into the driveway decorated in yellow police tape. I roll to a stop before the closed blinds of the house.
I get out of the car.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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