Therapy, more therapy….
The linebacker was one huge kid.
Emma thought that the quarterback was huge, but the linebacker made the quarterback look like a high school player and herself and Mitchell look like midgets. Emma thought the couch would crumple into a heap when the linebacker sat on it and then had lain down on it. She had to keep reminding herself that he was a ‘kid’, because she thought that only giants from another world were as big as the linebacker was.
But what he talked about wasn’t ‘kid’ stuff nor was it something from another world.
And once again, what he came to share with Mitchell wasn’t even mentioned in the dossier that Dr. Hancock had given Emma to read.
“I’ am gay, Doctor Hancock,” the linebacker blurted out.
I definitely didn’t see that in his file, mused Emma.
“Hocus-pocus! Do you know where that adjective came from?” retorted Mitchell.
“What’s an adjective?” asked the linebacker, which caused Mitchell and Emma to chuckle.
This hurt the linebacker’s feelings, and Dr. Hancock tossed up his yellow pocket kerchief that he always wore when he wore a sports jacket to work (yes, it was tweed and yes, it had elbows had patches on them).
“Fifteen yards for piling on,” he yelled as he tossed the kerchief in the air and imitated a referee at a football game.
Emma didn’t get it (she wasn’t that versed on the game of football yet).
The linebacker knew what piling on was, but didn’t know in what way Dr. Hancock was using it yet.
“You just opened up your heart to me about your sexual orientation which took a lot of courage, and I laughed at something you said right after that. I am so sorry for doing that. I’m going to give you a quickie lesson on adjectives,” Mitchell announced. “An adjective is a describing word and football is a great game to use describing words. Tenacious defense, menacing outside rusher, punishing runner. Now, you try.”
“Vicious hit, smash–mouth football,” the linebacker said.
“Now I know why you’re a linebacker,” Mitchell said with a grin. “Do you know why the word ‘gay’ is used for homosexuals?” Dr. Hancock asked him.
“It sounds better?” the linebacker guessed.
Emma didn’t know the word’s origin and she perked up her ears to hear what Dr. Hancock was about to say.
“Gay means literally joyful or carefree. It’s the word ‘carefree’ that led to gay being an adjective to describe men and women who are homosexual — and you’re right kid, it does sound better.”
The linebacker smiled.
“In the old days, let’s say the late 19th century and even into the early 20th century, people who lived sexually active lives were given the adjective carefree,” Mitchell explained. “A ‘carefree’ woman was really a slut. A ‘carefree’ man was really a womanizer.”
“I get it,” said the linebacker. “Since most homosexuals and lesbians, at least the ones I know sleep around a lot with each other are ‘carefree’ with our sex lives, ‘gay’ became the best word to describe us.”
“I didn’t know homosexuals and lesbians slept with each other,” Mitchell said jokingly.
“Fifteen yards for piling on,” the linebacker said as he grabbed the kerchief from Dr. Hancock’s pocket and threw it up in the air. “What should I do Doctor?”
A question for the ages, thought Emma.
“You’re good enough to go professional, are you not?” Mitchell asked the linebacker.
“Yes,” the linebacker said rather meekly. “I knew I was gay a long time ago. In high school it was easy to hide. I had a good friend who was a girl who just happened to be a lesbian. She was my beard.”
“I haven’t heard that term in a long, long time,” a surprised Mitchell interrupted. “Do you know what a ‘beard’ is Emma?”
“Of course I do,” she answered, but Hancock had a hunch that Emma didn’t know what the linebacker was really referring to when he used the term ‘beard’ and Mitchell felt like showing her up.
“Go on then, tell us,” Mitchell urged.
“It’s facial hair on a man. Doesn’t have to be a big bushy one to be considered a beard. It can be stubble,” she said confidently.
It was the linebacker’s turn to laugh and of course Mitchell followed suit.
“What is so damn funny?” a defiant Emma asked them both.
The doctor nodded to the linebacker to answer her question.
“When a homosexual or lesbian use a ‘beard’, it means someone who knowingly helps the other one hide their true sexual identity,” the linebacker explained.
“Bravo,” said Mitchell. “Well spoken.”
“Sort of like a straw man,” Emma said.
Now it was the linebacker and Dr. Mitchell Hancock’s turn to not know a term.
Like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz?” the linebacker asked.
“I am with him,” said Mitchell. “Never heard that term used before.”
Emma felt good. She could now demonstrate a little one-upmanship to Mitchell. The linebacker she would help by giving him a better word to use than ‘beard’.
“I had this really knowledgeable history professor when I attended Wittenberg. According to him, the commandment that was most broken, after the one about not committing adultery in the 17th and 18th centuries, was that of bearing false witness. People, especially men would hang out around courthouses with straw sticking out of their footwear. This meant that they could be bought as a witness and lie for the defense or the prosecutor as long as the money was right. They were ‘beards’ of a different sort, but ‘beards’ nevertheless,” she boasted.
“I like the term ‘beard’ better than straw man,” Mitchell said.
“I can’t believe what people will do for money, even back then,” sighed the linebacker.
“It’s even worse now kid,” Dr. Hancock pointed out.
“There is no way I can escape my sexuality in the pros. No way,” a disappointed linebacker said.
“Think of the money you will be missing out on. Certainly all that money will buy you a lot of ‘beards’ and other smoke screens to hide behind,” the good doctor pointed out.
“I’m sick of hiding,” the linebacker said.
“Then don’t,” replied Mitchell.
“You mean just come out and deal with it, right?”
Hancock nodded yes.
“That’s what my lover said.”
“He’s a smart man,” Mitchell said.
“Yes, he is. Would you like to meet him?”
“Sure, set it up with Emma when you leave.”
Years later, Emma was watching TV and saw the linebacker. He was now the most popular wrestler in the WWF and his entourage included the most muscled men and women Emma had ever seen anywhere.
“I wonder if he is still gay?” she asked out loud.
Her question was answered by the signs that the camera showed greeting the ex-linebacker now turned superstar wrestler.
“Fag,” was written on one.
“Homo,” on another.
“I bet he is laughing all the way to the bank, twice,” she said as she changed the channel. Emma Everly Hancock was not a fan of WWF.
Fifteen yards for piling on, she wrote in her diary before she went to bed.
For many reasons, Emma fell in love with Mitchell. She ignored the warning signs of his four failed marriages. Although she had once been critical of her older sister’s marriage to an older man, older than her, she cast aside that negative and put a positive spin on Mitchell being 48 and she being 26.
“I’ll learn from his experiences,” she told others all the time, thinking that was what Nomi said!
And the experiences that Emma learned from Mitchell’s total dedication to his students and patients, not to mention his genius in his speeches and articles submitted for publication made her realize that he was very special (Four failed marriages aside). Emma grew not only as a woman, but as a psychiatrist; all because of the uniqueness of Dr. Mitchell Hancock’s intelligence. She also grew very pregnant.
At first, they both discussed Emma having an abortion.
“After all, Ohio State isn’t too keen on professors and quasi-students sleeping together,” Mitchell predicted after she informed him that she was indeed pregnant.
“That worry must have been a closely guarded secret while we were love making, because all you ever talked about was cumming –not getting caught,” she shot back.
“I thought you said I screamed?” he asked her.
“More of a moan, but I am about to scream,” she cautioned.
“Let us abort,” he said matter of factly.
She slapped him across the face, rather hard. “You can’t have your ecstasy and eat it, too,” she sobbed as she ran into the bathroom and slammed the door shut.
“What are you crying for, I’m the one who got slapped,” he said as he walked to the bathroom door. “Open up. I’m sorry. I was being selfish.”
“I am not having an abortion. I want the child, our child, and I want to get married, too,” she said with gusto.
There was silence. After all, Dr. Mitchell Hancock had already been married four times before he had hit the half-century mark.
“Okay,” he said weakly. “Open the door, but don’t hit me,” he pleaded.
She opened the door and they embraced. “I’m sorry I hit you, but your selfishness really pissed me off.”
“That wasn’t selfishness. The way I screwed you was selfish,” he replied.
“Being older than you, I wanted to perform. I needed to perform. I didn’t want to ejaculate too quickly, so I have to keep my mind occupied on not doing so,” Hancock pointed out.
“What in Woody Hayes name are you talking about?” she said, very happy that she had inserted the legendary Buckeye football coach for God; but of course, many Ohio State football fans really thought that Hayes was God.
I start repeating the names of all the Ohio State football players I can think about by their position to keep it up,” he honestly said.
“Oh boy,” she groaned.
Dr. Mitchell Hancock was right to be worried about being caught banging one of his assistants. He needed to be reassured (not by Emma, but someone who knew and understood the rules).
“Even consensual sex is not good,” the best law professor at Ohio State told him.
Mitchell had gone to see him, because the law professor was a genius when it came to jurisprudence, and Hancock knew he could trust the man, because the law professor had come to him as a patient to ask Mitchell what he should do about the three affairs he was having with his students.
“But you know this and keep on doing it?” Mitchell said.
“I like sex with my students,” the professor confessed.
“Emma is going to be my wife,” Mitchell said.
“I have the perfect solution. Move someplace where no one will ever see you, get married, but don’t promote it and commute from your new home. Emma will have no problem finishing what she has to; you’re her boss.”
“That’s brilliant, but will it work?” Mitchell wondered.
“If you get away with it,” he said. “By the way Mitchell, you are a very smart man. Can you name the only thing that has never been defeated?”
Mitchell started thinking about Ohio State football at the mere mention of the word ‘defeat’. He knew that the law professor’s question wasn’t about OSU football, so he shook his head.
“It’s pussy. Undefeated yesterday, today and tomorrow. After all, look at what it has had us doing!”
So Mitchell and Emma took the law professor’s advice and they moved to Emma’s hometown of Kettering, Ohio, and in with her parents.
“I always thought I would move in with you or your sister,” Emma’s mother said to her after they finished unloading both Emma’s and Mitchell’s cars of boxes, bags and a few pieces of furniture.
“What about me?” Emma’s father said to her mother. I thought I went with you and vice-versa.”
Emma’s mother laughed and Emma’s father took her aside and asked her “if the professor was an egghead?”
Emma giggled and thanked them both for opening their home to them until the baby was born, and the house became too small for them all.
“What’s a family for?” both her parents answered in unison.
And she loved them that much more.