The Eye in the Sky

eye-blue-800px“Talk me out of something.”

Those words could only come from one person: my buddy Stan.

He always calls to get help working out his conflicts.

Unfortunately, most of his conflicts occur shortly after bar closing.

“Don’t do it,” I told him.

“You don’t even know what it is,” he complained.

“It doesn’t matter,” I said, “if you have to ask, that is reason enough.”

“Don’t you want to hear what it is?”

By then curiosity was getting the better of me.

“Sure.”

“Daphne is out of town for the weekend and I…”

“Stan,” I said, “you are married. The answer is no.”

“See,” he said, “I knew I called the right guy.”

“Good night then…”

“But it is not that simple.”

“Yes, it is.”

“This girl is a client,” he said.

“So?”

“It is all about getting business.  So here is my problem: is it right to do the wrong thing and make a lot of money, which is good, or is it wrong to do the right thing and lose a lot of money, which is bad?”

“You are giving me a headache, Stan.”

“I know, it hurts my head too – because everyone cheats sometime or other.”

“No, they don’t.”

“I know you don’t but I am richer and better looking than you are and fidelity only goes as far as a guy’s options – and I have more options than you do.”

“That doesn’t rationalize cheating.”

Then he almost whispered, “Daphne will never find out.”

How could I tell him that getting away with something doesn’t make it right?

Stan and I went to the same Catholic school and while most of that experience bounced off the both of us, a bit more stuck with me than with him. Perhaps that is why he calls me.

I wish Stan believed in God. I might get more sleep then – but more than that, Stan is one of those people who really needs to have something divine looking over his shoulder. It is why I am bothered by the rising tide of atheism. Atheists sound like little boys running around a department store and shouting that there is no Santa Claus…without ever having understood the lessons of Christmas.

If nothing else, religion is designed for people like Stan and I had no idea how to convince him to act morally, so I punted.

“You know she’ll find out,” I told him.

“How?”

“I don’t know,” I said,” but ask yourself, have you ever gotten anything past her?”

“Ohhh…..”

“Have I talked you out of it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Stan?”

“I gotta go…”

“Stan?”

***

It was not until he hung up that I realized he didn’t want to be talked out of something. He wanted to be stopped from doing something.

So I called Daphne.

She picked up before the first ring.

“What do you want?” she snapped.

“Call Stan,” I said.

“No need,” she said.

“Just call him,” I told her.

“Because he is cheating on me?”

“I can’t say…”

“I know all about it,” she said, “I have Critter Cams mounted all over the house and I have been watching him on my laptop since he got home.”

“Oh…”

“Yeah,” she said, “and the cameras are hooked to our sound system. In a few moments, Stan is going to hear the voice of God.”

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

48 thoughts on “The Eye in the Sky”

  1. Wonderfully told. Here was the heart of it for me: “He didn’t want to be talked out of something. He wanted to be stopped from doing something.”

    Stan may be a big boy, married and all, but there’s that kid lurking around, hoping someone else will impose the limits he hasn’t internalized. As I watched the goings on at Middlebury College recently, I couldn’t help wondering if a whole mob of Stans wasn’t waiting for someone to show up and stop them. Well, I didn’t think of Stan, specifically, because I hadn’t read this yet. Still….

    1. The first thing you learn in law enforcement is that there is this thing in brain called a prefrontal cortex. It is responsible for higher order thinking. In females it matures in the early twenties, in males not until the late twenties. In some people, it never matures. They have poor impulse control and are often amoral. Stan is a collage of that archetype. As for the college kids, they have some maturing to do both mentally and physically.

    2. Keep on trying to be an example to Stan to hopefully bring him closer to God. Don’t forget to pray for Stan and yourself. Pray if God wants you to be the one bring Stan closer to Christ. God may have someone else to bring him close to God… Yes I agree that cheating is wrong. Prayerfully Joe

      1. I appreciate you note, Joe, but like I say on my “about” page, what I write here is mostly fiction. Stan is a amalgamation of a number of people that I knew and know, many in need of prayer.

  2. This post gave me chills. I’m also way on the cheatings-not-an-option end of the spectrum, but now I’m imaging my wife installing hidden cams connected to a speaker that she can trigger whenever nap-time wins out over my househusbandly duties.

  3. More options….really! That’s the slimy egotistical aspect of this guy that is not respected by me. I love how his wife is “on” it however, and am glad I have a keeper. As always….fun reading.

  4. “I wish Stan believed in God. I might get more sleep then – but more than that, Stan is one of those people who really needs to have something divine looking over his shoulder. It is why I am bothered by the rising tide of atheism. Atheists sound like little boys running around a department store and shouting that there is no Santa Claus…without ever having understood the lessons of Christmas.”

    That is precisely why you need to keep talking to Stan. And all the Stans out there.

    1. The two childhood friends that I based Stan on, both died of cancer years ago. So in that sense, they know more about God than I do, but yes, it is why I write about them and their transactional morality.

    1. Stan embodies what William Golding was writing about in The Lord of the Flies. Civilization, morality and social capital are but a thin veneer over human nature. Stan is mostly harmless – but he is scary.

  5. Lol….what a great story. I love Daphne. She knows Stan all too well.
    I also love your definition of atheists. Did we go to the same catholic school?..:)

    1. Both Stan and Daphne are savants. Stan is a machine whisperer, Daphne is a Stan whisperer.

      We probably did go to the same catholic school but there were so many kids there, it was possible to be in the same class and still be strangers. My classroom had 58 students.

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