It Only Got Worse

by RJ Young


All right, before you judge me, you have to understand what I was dealing with. No matter what any man will tell you, there is nothing on Earth more tempting, coveted and chased than a beautiful woman. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, all men are messed up.

Some chick named Delilah took down the strongest Israelite the world has ever known. Some chick called Jezebel killed enough Israelites to be remembered as the symbol for all fallen women, while convincing her husband, the king of Israel, to change gods. Not for nothing, but you know that woman’s got some powerful goodness between her legs to have a man change gods. Some chick named Bathsheba seduced the leading scorer of the Old Testament All-Stars and one of God’s all-time favorites in David, king of Judah, while the man was married, and she convinced him to send her then-husband into battle to die. Bathsheba gets points for giving birth to Solomon, but she’s still, in the immortal words of Trina, da baddest… you know the rest.

Women are a supernatural force. I mean, they even have their own commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife…” Notice, he didn’t put “thy neighbor’s husband” in there. Why? Because He knew men are feeble creatures with no real hope to have any real dominion over the opposite sex. Sure, there is scripture that speaks to women being subordinate to men, but I’m beginning to think that is all a ruse. I mean, if we were truly meant to lead women, would God have made men so weak? Why I couldn’t I have simply said, “No, Constance, I’m married. I shouldn’t have sex with you because that wouldn’t fix things. It would only serve to compound my problems. I think it’s best that you take me home to my apartment and leave me to sleep in front of my door because my wife will not be letting me in.” But that’s not what I said. Those weren’t the words that came out of my mouth. I didn’t hear God, Jesus, or even Jiminy Cricket pleading with me to stop.

Why didn’t I hear His great booming voice issuing me a grand warning from the likes of a concrete sky? Why didn’t God reach down with his almighty hand and say, “Whoa there, my good son. Do you really want to knock boots with this woman? Here? Now? Shouldn’t you be at home thinking of your unborn child?” I’ll tell you why God didn’t say anything to me: God is a spiteful person who gave birth to a spoiled—if once crucified—Son who will never let us forget it, who I presumed to follow into the depths of the damned. Yeah, that’s right; I followed Jesus straight to hell. The difference between Jesus and yours truly: He was able to leave after just three days. I have been here for twenty-odd years. And apparently, Highway-nine leads not only to Purcell but straight to hell. I know this because I woke up with a headache that felt as if John Henry was hammering away at my brain. My pants were around my ankles, and Constance was lying on my arm next to me. Her pants were off, but her shirt remained. I nudged her with a forceful poke in the shoulder to wake up. She slowly came to, and looked just as awful and disoriented as I felt.

“What the hell happened last night?” I said. “My head feels like it was split by the sword of Damocles.”

“You promised you wouldn’t pass out. Don’t you remember?”

“I’ve got a pretty good idea about the big picture, but I’m more than a little fuzzy on the details.”

Constance gestured to my pants, then to hers. “Do you need it drawn out in crayon? We’re screwed, okay? We were both drunk, and we made a mistake.”

There it was. The truth as naked as the day I was born. Crap.

I looked at my watch and saw it was just after six in the morning. And then an ominous feeling came over me. I’ve never liked having that feeling. It always foreshadowed my doom. It had shown up right before I bombed my ACT. It had shown up right before Roy Lee and his cronies jumped me at Norman North for talking to his girlfriend—a beating that left me hospitalized for several days—and it had shown up right before June had made that fateful phone call to call off our wedding.

“What day is today?” I said.

“I don’t know.” Constance pulled on her pants.

I gasped. “Today is tomorrow. Crap, crap, crap—crap! You have to drive me to the Tribune.”

Exerpted from It Only Got Worse by RJ Young, published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises. RJ will celebrate the Tulsa launch of his book Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at This Land Press HQ, 1208 S. Peoria. Click here for more information.