There wasn’t a lot that the Geeky Guy knew about women. He’d only known a few. His mother was a woman, but she was long dead. His therapist was a woman, but, being one, she couldn’t tell him about women without talking about herself, a serious breach of therapeutic ethics. His sister was a woman, but she was his sister and belonged to a separate category altogether. Besides, she was also a witch.
There was no reason the Geeky Guy would know anything about women. If he was anyone else, the Geeky Guy might’ve learned about women from friends, or women, themselves, might’ve been friends; but he had no friends. Maybe he was too geeky.
If he was anyone else, he might have learned about women at work or overhearing stories about women at work, but he was an engineer, and worked with other engineers, all men, who also knew nothing about women.
He didn’t start off being an engineer. He went to school to study biology, but found he couldn’t understand life, so he became an engineer.
If he was anyone else, the Geeky Guy might have already known about women by having gone out on dates; he was twenty-eight years old, after all; but the Geeky Guy was not like anyone else.
Anyone else would have learned about women from watching TV shows; but the Geeky Guy never watched TV. He and his sister had dozens of TVs, some working, some not; big-assed TVs left over from their childhood and newer flat screens found on the side of the road, only needing a minor tweak to get working again; but he never watched them. The Geeky Guy was a tinkerer and a putterer, not a watcher.
If he was anyone else, the Geeky Guy might have learned about women from movies, but he saw no movies. He didn’t know anything about movies because he didn’t watch TV. When you don’t watch TV you don’t know what movies to watch; you might even forget about movies and not think they’re important.
If he was anyone else, the Geeky Guy might have learned about movies, thereby learning about women, from reading newspapers. He and his sister got a newspaper delivered to their haunted house every morning, and this newspaper had news about movies, but he never read them. They kept the newspaper their parents had subscribed to because they were unwilling to change anything. They would pile each morning’s newspaper on top of the last to save it to be read later. The Geeky Guy thought newspapers were meant to be read in order, no more than one a day, since it was a daily newspaper. It works that way with medication.
He never read newspapers when he was a kid; kids have little interest in newspapers. When he began, he began with the newspaper that had been delivered the very next day after the accident that killed his parents. The first article he read was the article about the accident. It didn’t say much, but it spelled his father’s name wrong and over-reported his mother’s age by five years. It was enough to read for one day. When he was able to return to reading newspapers, he went back to that same day’s newspaper, but skipped that article, since he’d already read it.
That’s why the Geeky Guy never caught up, never read about current movies in newspapers, and never went to movies, learning about women that way.
If he was anyone else, the Geeky Guy might have learned about women from books, but he read few books. In fact, other than those books assigned to read in school, the Geeky Guy had only read one book, an ancient novel left over on his parents’ bookshelves. His eye naturally caught on the title: Kenilworth, by Sir Walter Scott. You can imagine why this book caught his eye. It had the same name as his home town. Both the book and the Geeky Guy’s hometown had been named for the same Kenilworth in England, a town that possessed a famous castle and a mysterious murder. A coincidence, you think? Although the Geeky Guy had scientific sensibilities, he still couldn’t shake the feeling that this was no coincidence and the book, Kenilworth, might hold secrets he needed to know. Therefore, he read Kenilworth over and over again.
Everything he knew about women the Geeky Guy learned from the heroine in the novel. She was named Amy. Whenever the Geeky Guy imagined himself with a woman, and it wasn’t often, he thought of being with Amy. After their marriage, Amy would come to live with him and his sister in their decrepit old house on High Street, but it would cease to be decrepit. Amy would clean it up. She would devote herself to scrubbing the floors and getting rid the piles of junk through the house. She would wash the windows and replace the curtains with a bright, floral design. In the spring, when the ground was soft, she’d pull out the sumac and plant a garden. His sister would continue to live with them; she would take the third floor. Amy would cook them all dinner and she and his sister would be great friends.
Amy would transform their creepy house because, being a woman, she would be able to create life and make people act better than they are. That’s what women do. That’s what the Geeky Guy knew about women.
There were other times that the Geeky Guy imagined his imaginary wife Amy. Shadowy times that involved the lights out, passion beyond reason, furtive guilt, and a wet spot in the bed. Amy would never speak of those incidents in the daylight. No woman ever would.
So there you have it. Everything the Geeky Guy knew about women, he’d read in a Victorian novel.