Earlier this evening while monitoring my friends’ Facebook posts, I came across a Jack London quote that triggered me to pull my loyal ‘Works of Jack London’ book off the shelf. The quote was posted by a good friend of mine, who was actually by my side when I purchased the used book for a measly $3.00 in a used book store established in Huntington Beach. The quote he posted read, “Don’t loaf about and invite inspiration. Light out after it with a club.” I was overjoyed that he posted this because as of late I have been seeking inspiration from anything I can; everything from reading famous author quotes to calling old friends just to see what’s up. I guess all I needed was to read some words from Mr. London himself to inspire the words that I am whipping together into hopefully something read-worthy.

Randomly, I opened up to London’s short story, ‘The Priestly Prerogative’ where a single sentence bulged out at me. The sentence read, “It is a clever woman who can fill out the many weak places in an inefficient man, by her own indomitability, re-enforce his vacillating nature, infuse her ambitious soul into his, and spur him on to great achievements.” After reading this I thought, where are these women? They must hibernate and come out when nobody is looking--or come out just long enough to be broken-hearted by some jabroni she met in an uptown bar. Meanwhile, I see a slew of relationship problems happening all around me from a series of obtuse angles. None my own because I’m personally on a kick of focus right now, and commitment is only a word I would use in a fictional horror story.

Moving on, I know that these rarities exist; I’ve seen ‘em! They just don’t inhabit your everyday common spots. These women are much more challenging to approach than your emblematic bar floozies. Besides, the floozy is much more likely to gnaw your heart and spit it out like a minor league baseball player spews out Red Man chewing tobacco, bitter, because the big leagues never dialed his number.

Speaking of bar, I am reminded of a time last month while hanging with some friends downtown. Some old sailor friends from my Navy past pulled into port, San Diego, where a solid stable of us found a familiar dive-bar (The Star Bar) to have some tasty Budweiser’s and good old fashion in-port fun. There were some common faces, but more new mugs than anything as the Navy is forever changing its line-up. We gathered at the largest booth in the joint. I noticed a poignant young man sitting in the booth with us guzzling a Coors Light like the Rocky Mountains just exploded with beer and was of the plenty. The first words that slurred out of his mouth in my direction were, “don’t everrr haffuh baby wiffuh girl you dint marry.” Clearly he was having some serious personal problems brought upon him by some baby mama drama. Soon after, I kindly thanked him for the words of drunken wisdom and swaged my way back to the bar to fetch another brew.

On my way back, I witnessed this young broken fellah furiously smashing an innocent rose on the table where we were earlier assembled. This kid was hurt, his actions told the story. As I walked by the fallen rose petals that were now lying passionately murdered on the floor, I sarcastically said, “You seem like a pretty romantic guy, laying the petals of a red rose all around; how could she not love a guy like you?” The only response he could muster was, “you don’t even know, man” as he looked up at me with sad homesick eyes. Immediately I felt like a douche-wrench after my snarky remark when I noticed that the last bit of fight he had left was dispensed on the battering of the dead rose stem lying soaked in a puddle of pain-relieving alcohol.

The moral of the story is , for one, be kind to the broken-hearted; especially if you are very aware of it. The broken-heart is weak and mashing it more than it deserves is unnecessarily crude. And dos, he obviously didn’t have the type of woman that Jack London described in his short-story. Where are these women you ask? I’m not positive, but my spidey senses tell me to go hunting on nearby mountains, local churches, farmer markets, or maybe even scoping out a Jamba Juice on a sweaty hot day. There’s also the beach, but unfortunately superficial seems to linger there, depending on the beach. Those girls, albeit not all of them, wear their fake beauty with pride, and have no shame in emptying your already slim wallet. You will do it, too, because any heterosexual man, lost in a trans of beach bronzed bosoms will gladly give up his meager family inheritance for a chance to permissively touch one.

Post Script- The prettiest girls in the World come from the American Midwest. It’s been proven by modern-day science and research.

Comments

RichardBond May 10, 2012 @ 8:57 p.m.

Post Script- "The prettiest girls in the World come from the American Midwest. It’s been proven by modern-day science and research. "

I guess that might include Jack London's mother who was from Massillion, Ohio.

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Jake Peterson May 10, 2012 @ 9:40 p.m.

I did not know that. Thanks for the fun fact, my friend.

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nan shartel May 12, 2012 @ 1:58 p.m.

this is just lovely..heartfelt..i like it!!

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CTMillion May 14, 2012 @ 12:56 p.m.

The full "inspiration" quote by Jack London, which comes from a "how to" article that London wrote for The Editor magazine in 1903 entitled "Getting Into Print," is even more instructive for aspiring writers. It reads: "Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it."

"The Priestly Perogative" is about a loyal and hard-working woman who props up her incompetent and abusive husband despite being in love with another man. She plans to escape her bad marriage but is convinced not to by a Jesuit priest. The priest regrets this advice as the story ends. I'm not sure if the story applies to the heartsick young fellow you encountered; it sounds like she left him.

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Ruth Newell May 15, 2012 @ 8 a.m.

Some interesting perspectives expressed here. Thank you.

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Jake Peterson May 17, 2012 @ 5:30 a.m.

CTMillion, thanks for the extended info. The full quote is much more inspiring. Roody2shoes, I just tell it like I see it. You're welcome, from the bottom of my heart.

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