Friends and Fidelity
©1997 by Spider Johnson back to Essays
[Excerpt from a letter to a friend]:
Mon, Jan 6, 1997, 3:07 pm
...A conversation last night with Worrell about my dying friend brought back memories of folks, and one in particular, a peer of Worrell's who chose me to share his conspiracy to seduce women he wasn't married to. Now, when I met Worrell, I was 19 years old and needed an "older brother" type to keep me from the fate my childhood chums had already mostly succumbed to, namely mediocrity. Worrell was 32, and his childhood pal, the conspirator, was 30. Both were in graduate school at Texas Tech and I was still an undergraduate. We all became confederates.
Rob took a special liking to me which I much later discovered was part sincere, part mercenary. Worrell was single, Rob was married with two kids, yet they both "chowsed" women. Rob cunningly enrolled me into his women-chasing conspiracy, and I actually believed my actions showed my loyalty, something I was always desperate to do. It wasn't until he chowsed my girlfriend that I began to see him in a different light.
The lure of conspiracies is the secrecy, of course, the exclusive knowledge of something that somehow ennobles and esteems one above the unwashed and ignorant masses, as if that particular bit of knowledge actually conferred more privileges or more money or something. Again, perhaps it's the desperate need to fit somewhere. It definitely was privileged information as far as Rob's family was concerned, and that was enough to make me feel worthy of being entrusted with it and not a little bit titillated as well.
Rob became Dr. Rob, the university professor, and rose to the doubtful inner-departmental distinction accorded most college bureaucrats, and we remained confederates for a few years after Worrell moved to Odessa. I had the cool Quaker Street house (cf. 14th Street house) with a spare room for a darkroom, he had the darkroom equipment--we both benefitted. I had a busy day schedule, he brought women over during that time to have sex with--I was doing my confederate duty. Then one night, he came by while I was entertaining a young lady I had just met, took her into the darkroom, stayed a while, then left before she had to go. He then returned to tell me that, "I knew you weren't interested in her seriously, man, so I put the lip-lock on her in the darkroom. I just wanted to tell you." My deadpan expression hid my shock, because I could not believe that he would do to me what he did to countless others. Later, Worrell told me that Rob did it to him as well. He only got to do it once.
Rob wasn't primarily interested in sex, I'm sure; he was most interested in domination. Sure, he was dedicated to putting notches in his dick (he even told me once he would seduce the pretty television newscaster, and he did), but more than finding women unknown to any of us, he tried to seduce my girlfriend just to keep me in my place.
When I moved to Austin, I never heard from him, which unequivocally convinced me of his treason. I heard that his wife finally caught him, then he got fat, lost his hair, and is still a college professor. And my final revenge is that he has to live with himself...