Jonny was a bad boy. So bad, they nicknamed him it. All the girls swooned for him. There wasn’t a day on the earth that he didn’t get a swoon. Every day since the day he was born. In the 3rd grade, he wore Cole Haun shoes, which mattered because they were cool, and in the 3rd grade, cool starts to matter. By the time he reached high school, he’d made out with enough girls to catch mono three times. These are facts confirmed on his medical records. In high school, he was the consummate master in the role of heart breaker. By the time he graduated, there was an after school support group for the girls whom he’d deflowered. He paid for college with the support of women twice his age, who taught him the beauty of wine and aging finely.
One day, a few weeks before his 30th birthday, Jonny found himself in a predicament. The clusterfuck he crawled himself into was uniquely his, but the thing he needed to free himself, is a desire for us all. This is the story of Jonny B. Good
- A Few Years Ago
“OH MY GOD! I can’t believe you.” The door was flung open. “You…”, she cried. Jonny turned slowly, half expecting a barrage of bullets to hit his spine. “How could you? In our bed?”, she yelled. The girl beneath Jonny lay frozen as he jumped to his feet. “Baby, calm down. I’m sorry. It’s not what it seems.,” he rebutted. Jonny knew he was lying, but he knew he could lie well. And even though his dick was 8 inches deep inside a girl he’d barely known 3 hours, he was able to convince his live in girlfriend Sahara otherwise. His face always made it easy to forgive him. Sahara was not blind to this. She struggled with this constantly. If she were beastly, she might have been more of a bitch. On the contrary, her beauty was bounteous. So when Jonny asked her to engage in her first menage a trois, right then and there, she gave in to his desire.
When it was over and the third wheel was gone, she finally spoke. “Jonny. I don’t have any idea what just happened. I can’t believe what just happened. And I’m sober. What the fuck is wrong with me? I can’t control myself for you. What kind of voodoo have you put on me to make me want you so?” She sobbed and continued, “Would you do that for me? Would you forgive me and make yourself that much more vulnerable in a moment. In an instant for me. Could you prove that you love me unconditionally ever? Because that’s what it feels like I just did for you. Are you going to say something?”
Jonny looked at her big waterfilled eyes. She looked like a anime cartoon. Sahara’s big brown eyes were filled to brim. He didn’t gauge his reply. “I didn’t tell you to do that”, he blurted. He was too tired to think of her heart.
As Jonny slept, Sahara wept. She slunk away to the living room, burning cigarettes, waiting on Jonny to rise, so she could make him happy with her again.
- A Few Months Ago
Like a vampire that feeds for the first time, Sahara gave in to the taste. After a few more escapades with Jonny, she gave him an ultimatum. “It’s me and nobody else or else”. Jonny hated ultimatums. And in one fell swoop, their relationship was over. She cried tears to sanitize the soul, cut her hair, lost weight, and found her inner chi, but she never found another man that compared to Jon.
Jonny never wanted another woman like Sahara. He grew old with the shy type so fast, that cheating was inevitable. He developed a fetish for the bad girls, and started to choose girls based on their number of tattoos.
When he first met Rachel, who had 7 tattoos, she was spinning old rap records in a bar. It was the first time he’d ever wanted to make a request. She looked like Shannon Sossamyn in the old Gap commercial. Jonny never knew love, but he knew he liked her at first sight. It doesn’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine.
Within weeks they were engaged. It was so sudden, people close to the couple assumed they had a baby on the way. They didn’t see Jonny settling any other way.
The wedding hall was beautiful. Huge round tables made of oak were scattered across the room. Candles sat atop white tablecloths that flowed and fell inches from the floor. The sunlight beamed in to kiss the bride and groom who stood beneath the sky light in the apse of the church. The congregation awed for nearly a minute after their first infectious kiss.
But minutes later it was as if they never were. Rachel caught Jonny with his face between another girl’s legs.
“What the fuck is going on in here?”, she screamed. Jonny could not hear her with his new ear muffs.
“Shit. Jonny. Stop.”, Rachel’s sister said. “I am so sorry. Oh my god.” She pushed away from Jonny. He looked at her face of stone and knew. He turned to see his wife. “Baby, calm down. I’m sorry. It’s not what it seems he added. The taste of wedding cake and pussy made it no easier to swallow his poisonous lie.
“What is it then? What the fuck is it?”. There was no sadness in her face. Only anger. Her tattoos peeked from under her dress, dancing and moving about on her body as she fillet us with words in some magical dance of skin, ink, and raging blood. The dragonfly on her wrist wiggled up to her her neck and back down the other arm. “And with my sister? How dare you? What the fuck am I supposed to do now?”
And somehow before anyone outside knew, a plan was hatched and a pact was made to never tell anyone. And the wedding continued. The adulterous honeymoon was to be grey cloud in a clear sky.
It rained for days after the wedding. From the moment that they pulled away in their car painted “Just Married”, it rained.
He woke to silence. Normally, he woke to the sound of a blender or some morning show with a strong feminine lead barking about the latest gifts for girls. Every morning since the wedding was a quiet morning.
She lay naked in the bathtub.
He proposed because of the way she looked in a bath tub. After days of carrying a two ton rock in his suit pocket, he followed silently behind Rachel as she slid into the tub to relax after her long day at work. He was energized when he saw the towel fall from her waist to the floor. Her hair fell on and over the edge of the tub, soaking the floor, as she soaked and he stalked her from the doorway. He smiled at the glow in her face. She smiled like she knew he was there. She smiled like the troubles of the world were rinsed with her bath water. She smiled like their was never a sad day in her life. He could never bear her smile.
He stepped into the room so quickly, he lost his footing and slid into the legs on the tub basin, cutting his toe open. Blood covered the floor tiles by the time he said his piece. When he said his piece, she said yes.
That was then. And now again, she lay naked in the bathtub. Blood filled the water that filled the tub around her dead body. She gave her reasons on a sticky note stuck above the faucet.
“I don’t love you anymore.”
Jonny didn’t go to the funeral. He couldn’t manage to build enough courage to fight the shame.
- A Few Weeks Ago
Sahara and Rachel were two of many girls that loved Jonny in his lifetime. He felt guilty for toying with the hearts of women. He found himself depressed when he wondered if he ever loved them.
She found him alone at a hotel bar sipping Macallan straight. There was no sadness in his eyes so she knew it was him. As she approached, he thought briefly of a great one liner before he abandoned the notion to flirt. Old habits die hard.
But She made the move. As she passed, she pushed against his seat back, rubbing the scent of perfume against the back of his neck. “Is this seat taken?”, she asked. Each word purred from her lips like Eartha Kitt’s. Jonny did a half nod half head butt okay to her request. “I haven’t seen a man like you in here before. You must be hear on business?” She smiled and waited for Jonny to respond. But nothing. “So you are the quiet type? I like that. That means you are a great listener. Nod if you agree!”, she giggled at her own joke. Her laughter was familiar. It reminded him of Sahara’s. “Now don’t get mad. I’m just kidding with you. Well, if you have to show some emotion or some sign of life, go ahead and get mad”, she laughed again, baiting Jonny to turn his head. He was dumbfounded by the familiarity of her face. She looked like Rachel. Not identically, but there was this same grace in their eyes. She had his attention. “Finally. The statue awakes. What’s your name statue?” Silence. “Fine then. I guess I know when I’m not wanted. Pleasure was all mine.” She rose from her seat and turned to leave.
“Wait. I am sorry for being rude. My name is Jonny. Please, sit. How are you? What’s your name?”
“Well, Jonny. They call me the girl of your dreams. And you almost let me get away.”
She sipped a vodka tonic and he held another Macallan slow as he opened up about his past relationships with women. She listened to every word. And before long they retired to a room.
- A Few Days Ago
Jonny woke the next day feeling sick. He knew something was wrong. He couldn’t sleep. But he went to the emergency room and after every test and every STD check known to man, he was proven healthy. Friends thought it was all in his head. But not me. Jonny was too cool to be a fool.
He knocked on my door early Wednesday morning. He pushed pass me in a panic. I closed the door, worried that he’d been stalking my house the entire night.
“Mega. Listen man. I need your help. I gotta talk to you. Sorry to bust in.” He sat down on my couch then got back up. “You not gone believe this shit bro.”
“Well, you got me up at 630 so make me believe it. You look like you don’t need coffee, but I’ll offer anyway. So what’s good?”
“I’m dying. I got less than 48 hours to live. It’s the most fucked up shit and I’m sorry to say I accepted it as a reality too late.”
I’d never seen Jonny this agitated. “Why are you on this armageddon shit man”. I was awed.
“I’m really fucking dying”, he said. He sat down finally and lit a cigarette as he began to explain. I’ve got about 30 hour left on this world unless I find a cure.”
“You look fine to me man. I hate to ask. What the fuck are you on?!”
“Nothing man! Listen. I’ve been poisoned or something. I was sitting at this bar and this girl I met. We had sex and the next morning I woke up and she was gone. But she left this note.” He waved the yellow paper at me. “She talking bout I got 7 days to live. And the only way I can survive is to find true love. I got 30 hours left man. I’m fucking dead!”
“Wait. What the fuck are you saying? Somebody poisoned you? You aint go to the doctor yet?” His face wasn’t tight or rashy. Nothing was different except the fear in his eyes.
“Yeah man. I went to the doctor and they said they can’t find nothing. And since they can’t find nothing, nobody believes me. But I can feel…”
“-Hey man you came over here at 630 to tell me this shit for what? If you dying, what the fuck can I do?”
“I need your help man. Help me google her address. I think I have her name.”
“So you slept with her and don’t know her name?” Again I was awed.
“I think I got it now. She said she was the girl of my dreams. She is a fucking nightmare.”
“How did you get her name.”
“I didn’t pay for the room. So I did a few things and paid some people to get the guest list. I’m just hoping its a real name. That’s why I need your help. Can I use your internet?” Jonny was done with his first cigarette and about to chain smoke the next. Search Gina Raven.”
The search beget one name and one name only, peculiar for any search engine, but definitely for Google. I thought there was some error, so I searched it on Bing. Same thing, one result to a website of the same name. I clicked it.
Cure Your Love Sick Heart. Take this quiz now and see if you know what love is all about I clicked it. A screen popped up with an option to subscribe to the site for 199.99. “Hey Jonny. Did you bring your credit card. I don’t think I can afford to save your life right now.”
Jonny tossed his card to me and I banged away, pushing through the menu until a confirmation number and address appeared on screen. Jonny sighed as he leaned over my shoulder and read the address. I saw his face on the glare of the television. There was no reflection in his eyes.
“1816 Golden Nugget, Houston, Texas”, we said in unison, followed by “Who’s driving.” I wasn’t quite sure if I believed him, but if he was willing to pay 199.99 plus gas money and food, I couldn’t argue with a spontaneous road trip. My girlfriend was in Mexico. I needed some action.
The drive was 5 hours. By the time we reached Houston, Jonny would have 24 hours to live. We considered the possibilities the entire trip down. What could we do save Jonny’s life?
When we arrived on Golden Nugget Drive, the sky was fallen black. Smoke steamed from the chimney on the old rickety Tudor. 13 black cats with glowing green eyes strolled about the lawn and front porch.
Jonny stepped on and over them as he rushed to bang on the front door. I would have hesitated if I didn’t fear being alone beneath the haunting elms in the front yard.
The door creaked slowly open and I almost pissed myself when I stepped into the foray to fall into a chute that plunged us into the ground. I landed on what felt like a bale of hay. The room was pitch black, except for the flicker of a nearly burned candle. A voice creaked through the night. “Welcome Jonny. And friend. I see you made it. With a few hours to spare.” A creepy crawly thing skirmished across my neck and face. “Who the fuck are you?” I yelled. “Jonny, get ur phone light out man”. I pissed myself, this time there was no almost. “Say something man.”
“Mammsuna Mumba Mumba Mu,” said Jonny. “Mumba Mu Mu Sana”
“He who doesn’t know the language of love, doesn’t know the language of us,” said the voice in the dark.
“What the fuck you say? Turn on the fucking phone light man. Use the flash light app. Its dark in here so hurry the fuck up!” Jonny’s iPhone screen lit up the area around his face. I felt a sigh of relief that he wasn’t deformed or different. The flashlight app was turned on next and Jonny waved his phone light like a light saber, chopping through the darkness until he spotted the woman in the wooden rocking chair. Her face was gray and wrinkly. White pupils floated inside white eyeballs sitting in dark eye sockets. The voice in the shadow spoke again. “What is love Jonny? What is it? Do you know it? Have you felt it? Prove to me that you have loved. Put love on your lips and grant me a kiss and I will lift the curse.”
“Mumba Mumba,” Jonny said.
“Curse? Why would somebody want to curse him.” It was a stupid question.
The voice in the shadows said, “Silence friend. You must go now. Your heart is full of love. Your speak is your truth. You have no place here. Shizaballam!” The hay turned into quicksand and I fought to stay afloat as I was submerged under the grains of sand. When I awoke, I was sitting in the car with the engine running. I looked to the gates of the house and considered a rescue. But there was no saving Jonny.
Yesterday, I sat on the couch thinking about the night before last. Was it a dream? I didn’t think so. The hangover was too real. Was I was lucky to be free? I’d been friends with Jonny a very long time and honestly, if you asked anyone, they would have likened me identical to Jonny. That’s a compliment I would’ve taken before that night. Now I was hungry for love. I couldn’t live a cursed life anymore. I reminisced on girlfriends past and what versions of love we shared. I needed to understand why Jonny was cursed and not me.
In the dusk of the day, a knock came to my door. I hated uninvited guests, but was jaw dropped to see Jonny on the other side of the peep hole.
“What the fuck is going on? I thought you were dead and done man. Shit dude.”
“Yeah man. I thought so too. I couldn’t figure out the clues at all. I was worried as shit. But one thing lead to another and I got my dick out and she put it in her mouth and…”
“Hold on, what the fuck?” I wouldn’t have gotten head from that zombie with your grand daddies dick.
Jonny smiled from ear to ear. “Yeah man. I fucked her face. But it was crazy. The more I put it in her mouth, the younger she got. It was some Benjamin Button shit. She ain’t look to bad in the end. Nice dumb blonde,” he said and we laughed like the shit was never bad. “But I gotta relax. Got any weed man?”
We spent the next few hours talking about the meaning of love and how the experience was going to change our lives and playing John Madden. Jonny broke out when he was attacked by the munchies. I made a protein shake and got ready for the last day of the workweek.
I got the call on my lunch break. Jonny was dead. His mom called to ask if I would be a pall bearer. He died in his old room, in his old bed. He spent his final night on earth eating dinner with his family and drinking beers with his dad. I wondered if he felt the end was coming and smiled to fool us from the scent of death under that nasty ass Axe body spray he loved.