He really wasn’t all that Gorgeous, George. But he was built like a wrestler, and Gorgeous George was a wrestler, or maybe he was built like a linebacker, football really was more his game. Funny, I don’t think I ever knew his football position, oh wait, no, he was one of the fearsome foursome, he and his brother Chuck and Eddie Sabella and Butch Vernon, (I wonder if Eddie is still alive, Chuck and Butch, no, George, I don’t know, and yes, I wonder sometimes). Butch was the tallest but still not all that tall, both George and Chuck just naturally barrel chested strong men, both Eddie and Butch guys way overweight in high school. Both of them got much fitter as grown men. I think they might have been the defensive line. Maybe the offensive line, I don’t know, but George was not a linebacker, at all.
No, he was up front, crashing into the other team. A powerhouse of a man.
All four were well out of high school, almost ten years, by the time I met George, through Chuck, and Chuckie Chuckie Chuckie is a whole ‘nother story. Chuck, the madman, Chuck who died of AIDS, bisexual brother of my second great love, Gorgeous George.
In the Heartthrobs Trilogy that gives mention to all the Great Loves of my life, George is forever dismissed as dumb as dirt. Many times I’ve considered writing an alternative version of that piece of poetry, one that regales the virtues of all of my real life heartthrobs and points out the flaws of the fantasy men more clearly. Because all of my heartthrobs had plenty of redeeming qualities, make no mistake, none would have been a heartthrob if a complete douchebag. Well, there was Dan, but really, even if George was dumb as dirt, and he was, he was a beautiful human being with all sorts of great qualities.
I was madly in love with George. In this image, I’m wearing the Promise Ring he bought me, a tiny chip of a diamond set in some cheap 10K gold, I remember when we went to get it, it cost almost $20 or something, a big deal to a guy who dug ditches for living, shoveled asphalt, worked the county road and bridge crew, something that chain gangs do in some places, prisoners still do, I’m pretty sure, but he probably got paid a buck sixty or two an hour to do it.
And he did it, all day, every day. He was a powerful man, liked to brag about how many tons he’d shoveled that day. Every day, he came home smelling like a goat, or that was the expression we both used, he smelled like a goat, and I tell you what, when a man has shoveled asphalt all day in the way hot of south central florida, he stinks. He’s dirty, too. Schweaty balls? You betcha. Luckily, there are showers, a body can get clean.
When we came home Promised my mother about had a fit, not in front of him of course, and not really in front of me either, she held back on her fit throwing and just very gently but firmly asked that I please, please, please not marry George, even if I’d promised to.
Even if he was a sweet guy, he wasn't nearly bright enough for me. My mother had clear convictions about what one didn't want in a man.
I probably gave her my seventeen year old “whatever”, the kind of thing seventeen year olds give their mothers, I’d probably already been with George for a year by then, we were together for three, almost four, he lived there at the house with me and Mom and my sister.
Mom liked having a man around the house, and a powerful man at that, even if he was dumb as dirt. He could play the guitar, and was sweet, a gentle and caring lover, he had no idea what he was doing, mind you, but then, neither did I, so that worked out well enough. He was halfway handy with household fix-its, not any that took much in the way of brains, but he was just awesome with brawn, and could follow instructions.
And I was madly in love with him.
Right up until that New Year’s Eve party at Rose and Sam’s house, the one where Charlie Hatch, the alpha, came up at midnight and asked if he might kiss the prettiest girl at the party. George was playing darts. I said sure, and got a nice kiss from the tall, good looking guy that so many folks there seemed to look up to. He was really tall. It was another six months or so before I left George, and another six before Charlie and I hooked up, but hook up we did, for years.
The promise ring broke, literally. It wasn’t until years after I broke George’s heart that it did, but it did, the gold (assuming it was gold) band fell apart, I don’t remember how. I do still have the tiny chip of stone in the crappy little setting and half a maybe gold band.
My Broken Promise Ring.