There’s this time I was meeting Reina at Kilimajaro Lavish, along Moi Avenue. It was date night. She was winding up a meeting with two of her girlfriends and so I joined them for a brief chat as they prepped to leave us both. I was either doing some research of sorts or maybe playing shrink when I asked one of the ladies, ‘what is it you don’t quite understand about men?’
Her response; ‘I don’t understand how a man cheats on his faithful lover yet she’s stuck with him through the ups and downs, always loving and supporting him, sacrificing so much for him. To make matters worse, he goes on to marry the other lady. Why does that happen with you men?’
I clearly didn’t have a solid answer to that question and I still can’t recall what I told her. But tell you what, there’s one reality I’m scared about. It eats at my peace. Wrecking my conscience however it feels. The fact that, men are super messed up! I say this not excluding myself or trashing some good men’s efforts to change the tide and the bad narrative on manhood. I say it because it’s true. Men, are messed up. We are broken and sometimes, one man’s brokenness may not seem too different from another. (Read All Men In One.)
I’m also convinced, the biggest love mistake a man can ever make is this; The Affair.
There’s this man called Noah. He’s a school teacher and a struggling writer working on his second book. The first one didn’t do too well. He has a loving wife and four kids. One is a teenage girl who brews a heck of a storm in everything she does. She a spoilt brat and uncontrollable even. Raising her is hell on earth. Her name is Whitney.
Noah takes his family out for a vacation at his father-in-law’s place. His name is Bruce. He’s an accomplished author and has plenty of bestselling books to his name. Noah’s wife, Helen, is Bruce’s only child. He’s never approved of his son-in-law and at any opportunity, he delights in belittling him and his efforts. He thinks Noah’s first book sucks but won’t tell him to his face.
The thing about Noah that will intrigue you the most is the fact that he’s never been with any other woman apart from Helen. He’s remained faithful to her in their marriage, through all the hardships of raising their kids and constantly living under the shadow of Helen’s dad. Who’s also supporting them to take their teenage daughter, Whitney to a private school. Plus, a whole bunch of other expenses they have, including fitting the bill to publish his first book.
But before you fall in love with Noah, he’ll disappoint you. Noah, at forty-five years old gets into an affair. During the vacation, he meets this married woman called Alison. It starts off as a fling then grows into an obsession that neither of them can shake off. It threatens to destroy a grounded marriage, that of Noah and a rather shaky one, Alison’s.
The story unfolds in the most unsettling of ways. It will break your heart to see Noah make one bad move after another. Betraying his wife Helen and much later choosing to get separated from her. He believes that he’s found true love in Alison, such bullshit! Choosing his family, a wife and four kids – four freaking kids Amigos – for another shot at love. Believe me, it will irk you. It will make you question love. It will also make you question your sanity. And for the men, it will make you question how broken are you and to what extent will your brokenness take you?
Sorry for reigning in on the details of the first season of The Affair, the series. I haven’t entirely stripped it naked, there’s much I haven’t mentioned. There’s a lot of meat on that bone and for the record I’m assuming you’ve probably watched the damn thing already, I heard it’s on season three as we speak. I didn’t quite enjoy watching the series for reasons best known to me, one been, I found it very dark (save for the sex scenes of course, ahem!) So, the other seasons are out of the list for me.
There’s this part I liked the most. Noah goes to meet his best friend Max to tell him that Whitney is pregnant and also discloses to him that he wants to leave his wife for Alison. (Max is divorced.) He listens to his best friend and uses a golden metaphor; the best thing I heard throughout the entire ten episodes.
Max: ‘It’s true love?’
Max: ‘Then, it will last.’
Noah: ‘What do you mean?’
Max: ‘She’ll wait…if she loves you…if she really loves you, she’ll give you time, to figure it all out, won’t she?’
Noah: ‘I guess so…yes she will, I know she will.’
Max: ‘Good, then, maybe you can get Whitney off to college –‘
Noah: ‘That’s in fucking nine months –‘
Max: ‘And then, you can revisit it all again, next fall..’
Noah: ‘I love her Max, I wasn’t looking for this, I tried to get away from it but I keep coming back to her, this isn’t some mid-life crisis.’
Max: ‘I didn’t say it was (pause). But you loved Helen, didn’t you? I loved Val…it doesn’t last buddy. You live in some school boy fantasy, it’s time to grow up. Women are like the stock market, you put your money on a high performing mutual fund and you leave it alone. You don’t pull it out and invest in some sexy start up…99% of those companies fail and you will get fucked! Leave your money where it is, trust me, I made this mistake. Leave it alone.’
Two things I picked up from that scene; one, every man needs a real brother to knock sense into his head when he’s acting stupid and making bad choices in his life. The second thing was this relationship advice when the grass may seem greener on the other side; Leave. It. Alone.
ION: Have you heard about Cuento De Amor?