I am fond of Studs Terkel
, very much. I have not manifested the opportunity to meet him in person despite my intentions, but I've seen him interviewed sympathetically on the television by the Mr. Bill Moyers
and heard him give talks by way of the National Public Radio
, although now he is getting to be considerably older and as a result almost appears like a parking meter with only a few minutes left in him.
He seems like a warm and throaty man, very much so. Someone aware of how other people, our fellow Americans from everywhere, are doing (you and me and the bumble bee like my old mother said back in the Ukraine where it does not rhyme at all like that). The ordinary man is what he has concerned himself with largely, as recorded in his books of oral traditions. He's been to the stockyards of his native Chicago and the cotton fields of the South, the coal mines of West Kentucky, Appalachia, and the unemployment lines as far as they stretch and as wide as they do in some small towns.
He is a little somewhat older then me, perhaps about thirty years or so I'd guess, and so I grant that he may know something I do not. However, his last book, published back awhile, I cannot agree with (although my brother the Cuckoo would). It's called Hope Dies Last and that's just not the case with me. Currently things are going downwards. As with many situations, things on the surface appear normal, but it feels that life is futile. I would imagine there is little evidence from my clothing or personal cleanliness to make anyone think different of me. It's not as though they spend much time in consideration of my state of being as it is. Understandably, rightly even, we are all mostly busy with the business of ourselves.
"Edvard Gruner?" they'd say. "What is it that we know of him? What can be told?" While it is true that in an obituary or eulogy the speaker has had the opportunity to consider his words, and the person involved, even to research a little, but neighbors happened upon as they leave for work, confronted by a local news reporter or perhaps actually at work, called in by the HR Manager, at times like those the assessment can hardly be more than a word or two. The safely prevailing view.
"He was quiet enough mainly. Kept to himself. Didn't say too much. Could be stand-offish. I never really spoke to him. What happened?"
Yes. What happened? Where is my reward, my little piece of gristle. The gossip I can go back to the cubicles with. The bon-bon mote of knowledge I can use as currency? Where is it? What happened to him? Brown-shirt sex, scandal, suicide? Years ago, when I was a far younger Gruner amongst the cubicles I too wanted my six ounces of skinless tossed-in-garlic perfect breast. And I want to tell you that it's better now, and it is, but my expectations, those secret hopes, were also higher before than lying here prostrate on the floor.
Prostrate. Not that other thing wherein Katie Couric gets 50 dollars for every hand that you consent to in your colon. For science, Katie and you both. All lies and we are used to lying. We are Mongols, gypsies and liars and have been always. A family scattered but for my brother, who has been our ticket into the future. He is a marvelously destructive and single-minded Cuckoo.
The Cuckoo is a man who has found meaning in natural selection. His single drive, his purpose, which he pursues with Olympian dedication is the successful impregnation of women who may carry his progeny to term and see his genes, in profusion, continue and expand. He is all about the fulfillment of his line and that is why he is filling up women all the time.
He is physically taller than average, intelligent, has poor teeth but that due to a lack of dentistry rather than some genetic flaw in his enamel. He travels far and wide, although travel may not be the right word for he never arrives and never returns. He has no home and no need of one. The population of women is his destination.
He is not selective or, better put, he does select, but not based on some supposed quality of stock, but on one factor above all others; readiness. He has an uncanny, almost supernatural, sense of a woman's hormonal place. In a bar or a lunchroom, on the subway or at a party he has just now inveigled himself into, he can detect the woman closest to ovulation and she is his target. Nothing else matters. No other criteria as to race, weight, age or apparent attractiveness concern him.
As he has refined his method over the years, he has come to realize that the removal of all other factors leads to more successful encounters, a higher completion percentage, more hits to strike-outs. After all, and if nothing else, and even if they're not fully aware; they're ready.
Upon selection (and he's always selecting) he puts every inch of his being into successfully copulating at least once with his target. While he could, obviously, choose force, he understands from an evolutionary aspect that is a poor strategy. His aim and desire is that those women who are impregnated, in as many cases as possible, choose to birth the child and look after it. He realizes that there will be a percentage who, having become pregnant will choose to abort the fetus rather than give birth alone (and they are always alone. By the time, a few weeks later, that they begin to suspect they may be pregnant he is long gone).
Consistently with his overall goal he is a great advocate, a champion even, of abortion, just not for his fetuses. In his view, the more of other mens' children are prevented from competing with his the better. He tells no-one of his work, not seeing profit in so doing, although he has described his methods to me, his only brother, in a manner that suggests that familiarly I am not doing my duty by not putting my own hand to the pump, as it were.
While he has been proven to be very fertile in terms of natural sperm count, he takes excellent physical care of himself and keeps to a regime of carefully researched supplements and vitamins. B12 shots are his friend. He claims that when he began this great work he ceased masturbation, wanting always and at any time to be ready.
Beyond resorting to bald-faced lying (Vasectomy, I'll pull out, don't worry), he has developed a number of successful tactics to deal with the scourge of contraception. In addition he has been pleased at the health scares regarding women's long-term use of oral contraception and has found women in their thirties to be close to ideal, being less likely to be on the pill, and also if childless, potentially more susceptible to feeling that the time is going by after all, and while this is hardly the ideal circumstance, but then again....
Of course, women in their thirties also likely have a little money and a more stable lifestyle within which to raise his progeny. Most favored as potential incubators are married woman who will likely keep the original assignation(s) a secret. This of course is the best scenario and he will always choose an ovulating woman who has a partner to one who is alone. He is very partial to Roman Catholics.
There is little revolutionary about his approach, save his utter single-mindedness and within his territory that gives him a wide advantage, as does the fact that while unostentatious, he does have a good deal of money which he employs to his benefit. In addition, and this may be his unique sales proposition, he is utterly unaffected by rejection. He has a few days at best to succeed with a particular prospect and if he makes no progress he is already on to the next alternate. Of course, knowing their hormonal/emotional state while they don't know that he knows, nor the scope of his purpose, helps considerably as well.
Why does he do this? He says an open schedule and the needs of evolution. He says that this is as close to God's work as he can imagine and what we were designed for, what we were for millennia before self-restraint and platonic hand-holding. The fact that we never knew our father might seem to play a part to most amateur (and otherwise) psychologists, but then I have not pursued women and at this date feel the idea of adding more of me into the population seems like the very description of suffering, but for the Cuckoo, hope does die last, or at least in a few days before blooming again between the legs of another.