Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
by Audrey Lynne
I was once told that I had a dangerous mind. I chose to take it as a compliment, though I'm sure it hadn't been intended as one. Of course, I probably started it in the first place with my speculation on the secret life of movie producers and the super-secret code that they were required to follow. You know, like Rule Number Two-Hundred Thirty-the dumber the baddie, the harder he will be to kill. Come to think of it, that one applies a lot in my line of work, too...
It was at that point Daniel looked at me, shook his head slowly, and said, "Jack, it's probably a good thing this base is under a mountain, because unleashed on the general public, you'd be dangerous."
"What?" I demanded, pretending at least to be hurt by the insinuation. It's in the rules, you know. "I'm just thinking, here!"
"For you, that can pretty hazardous," he replied.
So there you have it. My best friend said I have a dangerous mind. Never mind that he was trying to insult me. If I took all of his insults to heart, I'd have serious self-esteem issues by now. Besides, I always manage to pay him back-with interest.
But we love each other. Don't go making assumptions; as a member of the "don't ask, don't tell" United States Air Force, I promise you I am not gay for him, nor is he for me-I hope. It's a brotherly love. We don't have to talk about it, and we're more comfortable when we don't. It's there, and that's enough. Of course, to admit that aloud without any mitigating circumstances would be completely against The Guy Code.
The Guy Code governs all of our behavior, and we don't dare defy it without a good reason. If your buddy trips and falls down the stairs but is uninjured, you're required to laugh at his clumsy ass. If he has only minor injuries, haul him into the bathroom and bitch about having to patch him up as you do it. If there are broken bones, take him to the ER and show appropriate sympathy. Depending on the circumstances, laughing at his clumsy ass might also be permitted, if not well-tolerated. If his injuries are life-threatening, you can hold him until help arrives and tell him that he'd damn well better not die on you-and then start picking on him again as soon as he's recovered. That's The Guy Code. It's a real psychological term, you know. Okay, so it's not, but it should be.
Maybe the stair analogy wasn't the best one. Now that I think about it, picking up someone to hold them when they might have spinal injuries is probably not a very good idea. But that's the realist in me talking; I made my point.
The realist in me can be quite vocal. He's the one who usually pipes up and says, "This is a bad idea." He's at his finest when I'm out traipsing about other planets with my team. I usually end up telling him to go to hell. After all, he's the one who tells me that I shouldn't be running around with a machine gun and a zat anywhere near my person, much less in my hands. But it's what we do, so I continue to ignore him. Of course, every one of the times that I've ended up in the infirmary because of the stunts I pull, he's in the back of my mind, going, "I told you so."
Why do we do these things? Why can't we be satisfied with a simple game of bridge? Why do we feel this need to blow the crap out of something to get our ya-yas out? I don't know. It's hard telling, if that's how we're wired or if it's a learned behavior or what. All I do know is that it's damned fun sometimes. Just like there's somehow much more satisfaction in cruising around town in my truck versus a beat up old station wagon. Blame it on the testosterone.
We don't try to be jerks. Really. At least most of us don't. But most guys my age have grown up in a world where we were taught traditional gender behaviors, where the guy brings home the bacon and he's all tough and macho, etcetera. And then we grew up and society shifted to a world that was telling males it was okay to be sensitive and softer, that we wouldn't be less of males for it. We're adjusting, okay? And some of us are on a different learning curve; let's be honest. Most of us are trying. And, yes, we may pick on women sometimes with our jokes, but I feel very little guilt about that one. After all, just look at the number of male jokes out there told by women! Counselor, I rest my case. (And, for the record, Carter knows some damned good gender-specific jokes if you ever get up the nerve to ask her sometime.)
Where was I? Ah, yes, The Guy Code. I can't outline it all exactly. It's too loosely defined. But it determines our actions constantly-and one of the frustrations of male-female relationships is that it can't be laid out and explained to women. So we do what we do because we have to and they're left to figure it out. I can't tell them the logic in picking the furthest bathroom stall away from any other male in there. Just like I've never been able to get a satisfactory answer for why women go to the bathroom in pairs. Are they afraid of getting lost? Are they going in there to talk about men? It's one of those questions for the ages, I suppose. There are some things I think mankind was not meant to understand.
And that's probably where I should leave this for now, before my thoughts on the matter get too dangerous to handle. In other words, anything I might say beyond this point will only serve to get me into trouble with someone...probably Carter. I don't need more trouble. I get myself into enough of it just fine, thank you very much.
Something tells me I should wrap things up on a profound note, so remember the famous words of some bumper sticker writer, somewhere..."A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste." And when in doubt, punt.