the love below Archives - The Jose Vilson

the love below

Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, Friday

On this sunny, brisk day, two young shapely women in well-fitting sweatpants walk past me to my left. Concentrated on getting my bookshelves together, I didn’t think to turn around and do what most men do given such a situation. The guy with his girl in front of me, however, found some longer-lasting misfortunes doing what I didn’t do.

“I ain’t mad at you checking them out,” she said.

I smiled, because I knew what was coming next.

“So then why did you say something?”
“Because it makes me wonder why you’re checking out other girls why you’re with me.”
“It’s natural. Guys can’t help it, and you know that.”

Dude could have stopped right there. He didn’t.

“I mean, girls gossip and guys don’t understand that. Is that not natural to chicks?”

I crossed the street before I either saw a bawl-fest or another whack to the arm, but laughed just the same. He wasn’t going to hear the end of it. Obviously, he has no desire to adopt a mature mechanism for checking women out so he has two options at this point: he can either apologize to his lady and never check out women again around her or he can be blatant and check out every woman that appeals to him around her. Either way, it makes him look like a jerk, no matter how ephemeral his pleasure.

To an extent, he’s right; most guys glance at other women frequently, not to be disrespectful towards their mate. If anything, it’s either a force of habit or nature. Often, nothing more. Like a child who’s looking around the room and finds everything so fascinating, a guy is often looking but not looking for any other reason. If they’re single, they’re often more likely to try something, but even then, it’s more often than not an overt means of expressing something within. At least from what I’ve seen.

Once we get older, we get over it. Yes, we’ll still steal a glance here and there, but the more mature members of our sex will mostly take a deep breath and focus more on what’s important. If I was that guy, I’d probably just tell my lady (because I already have) that guys aren’t as physiologically intelligent and too often our nature takes over our reason, even when our needs are being met satisfactorily. (Read: we’re dumb and we’re learning how to cope with it.) Guys in general eventually catch up and if we really care, we’ll try our best to get on par with what we’re saying to our partners.

But that’s coming from this Dominican male, and not the one that got the crazy side-eye from his woman this afternoon. After the way he turned around this afternoon, he’s probably got more than a neck to take care of.

Jose, whose neck is just fine, thank you very much …

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How To Heal A Broken Heart

How To Heal A Broken Heart

Before my days in college (man, I loved college), I really didn’t much success with the ladies. And by not that much, I mean there was a recession of immense proportions. I looked around and watch my friends talk about female orifices and their indexes feeling on the softest, roundest female bottoms ever. Me? Not quite. I had a chance encounter in Dominican Republic back when I was 10 (I’ve never forgetten it). From then ’till college, contrary to popular beliefs (even my own) I barely got any.

But the couple of things that I always had going for me were hope and optimism. Certainly being nice didn’t work too well nor did the other passive characteristics I took on as a result of my upbringing. I don’t wish to blame the parents (even if it is their fault), but it’s also because society taught me that I was fat, Black, and ugly. No, seriously. Thank G-d for goatees and age. Otherwise, I still would have been that frustrated chump who, in a rather quixotic moment, considered asexuality.

Back to the point, Valentine’s Day was where I laid all my hopes of finding someone to kiss (I had little space for much else). I wanted that romantic love, that movie love, that Corey and Topanga kind of love. And of course, it wasn’t to be. I mean, I went all out for Valentine’s Day, sometimes spending my weekly allowance … with zero returns. There were also the ones where something might have happened if I was less chicken-shit and more Neil Strauss about things. Or the nights when my single friend and I would just have a Lonely Person’s Day, eating fries and ice cream at McD’s. It ranged anywhere from “You’re nice, but can we be friends?” to “I’m your counselor. I may be hot, but I’m at least 3 times your age.” I even got “Ummm … no.”


Nevertheless, all those wasted Valentine’s Days taught me something later on that I probably wouldn’t have learned:

Valentine’s Day is expensive as a motherfucker.

Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

If you don’t consider yourself an attractive and loveable person, how do you expect someone else to love you? If you don’t consider yourself worthy of someone, will you ever be? There are times when you do think you’re worthy and things fail, but the chances of reciprocity are much greater than we have a belief in an idea than when we don’t.

Fortunately, for this Valentine’s Day, I have one person who’s been my 3-peat Valentine (it’s the first time ever, I promise you). Yet, I also know there are those of you who are booing Cupid to no end, and I have to respect that (the grass is definitely greener on this side). Then again, I feel like after all that depravity, I’ve earned love.

Yes, I’ve earned love.

Jose, who assembled his first bed tonight …


This is the third post on love, commemorating that yearly event that happens on the 14th. Today, I’ll get a little into my own background without saying too much. I’ll try not to get too deep into family, but I’ll give a little context for the ideas I’m laying out. I hope to represent these ideas accurately.

Black Father, Son, Shaving

Black Father, Son, Shaving

As a child, I often admired my father: a goateed, handsome Black man with a raspy voice, and a charisma unmatched by any man I’ve met since. It’s funny how so many people consider their fathers the most charming man they’ve ever met. Yet, I wasn’t alone. My father’s expeditions from Haiti to Florida to New York and back around again left many women longing for more than what he could offer. Even into his 50s, he still has that spark in his eye, a qualifier for the lifestyle he (used to) live. However, his wanton ways left reverberations for the many children he left to some of the women he impregnated and left with no promises.

In the book Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters? by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, Kanazawa explains that men are supposed to have as many children as possible because, according to evolutionary theory, they benefit from having their genes spread as far and wide as possible. On the other hand, women usually won’t have too many children because there’s only so many children a woman can have (on average, 25) and, thus, they have more investment in the child they have as they get older because of that cap.

Of course, Kanazawa doesn’t go into what is or what should be. Because, while as an adult, I understand the biological reasons for what men (and women) do at times, I had a really hard time reconciling with the idea of not having a father. My mother, as could be expected, did her best to provide for me, but as I now see with my own students, I also see how a reliable male presence in my life may have in my own upbringing. Seeing all these other faces, whom all looked familiar, but nonetheless were born of other women, irritated me because, as the ghetto so environmentally pronounces, I was a reject even without having actually done anything to be rejected.

And of course, it only got worse when it came to how I learned about the opposite sex. Frankly, I wasn’t quite as versed in the ways of cavorting / flirting as I am now. He wasn’t there for that. I still haven’t learned how to drive a car. He wasn’t there for that. I spent most of my conscious life in fear of my life with a man who had no real investment in my life, and taught me that beating on anyone who angered me was appropriate, and I had the unprovoked welts and mental scars to prove it. My father wasn’t there for that. And I suspect that all my siblings in one form or another had similar hardships.

My mother always told me to love my father. And when I went to visit him when he was on his last breath, I felt the love emanate from all my siblings. From those who adored and looked up to him only to try and grab his attention in the most not-so-subtle ways to those of us who downgraded him to strands of human code, we felt love was the only thing to feel. Since then, those feelings of bitterness and resentment turned to a weird sympathy, respect, and love.

And it’s easy for me to sit here and discuss his failings, but if not for his absence, I may not have had the life I do now, where it’s precisely the lack of a male influence that’s kept me in the “industry” I’m in. It made me want to make my own family. It made me want better for myself. It made me. Plus, I can’t say what would have happened if he did stay. Part of me believes that many of his genes definitely carried through all of us, but another part of me believes I can rebell against that behavior. A huge part of me would like to see love last a long time, and unconditionally.

I’d like to follow that trend someday; I’ve never seen it before.

Jose, who is working on it …


Recourse To Love [The Love Below Series]

February 9, 2009 Jose
I Give You My Heart

This is my second “The Love Below” post. Ever wondered how kids are interacting romantically in public school right now? Read here. Two weeks ago (or was it last week? All of it is getting rather blurry to me), I broke up a fight between a really strong 16-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl who […]

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Short Notes: It’s All Love [The Love Below Series]

February 8, 2009 Short Notes

This week, I’m focusing on my posts on love, and aspects of love not often explored. For now, I’ll be focused on showing some love to posts I’m loving for the week (haters welcome, because your opinion counts). A few links: I definitely needed this for the week. GoDaddy really does suck. (Thanks GiveGoodWeb). This […]

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