One fallacy is that we love with the heart – nothing can be farthest from the truth. We love with our head. True, Our head is where the analysis, logic, thoughts and that crazy monkey mind reside.  The monkey mind (kapicitta) is a term the Buddha used to describe the agitated, easily distracted and incessantly moving behaviour of ordinary human consciousness (Ja.III, 148; V, 445). He said “Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too, that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night” (S.II, 95). Anyone who observes the vascillation in Basadi’s mind in The Only Distraction I Need and then watched a troop of monkeys will admit that this comparison is an accurate and not very flattering one. On another occasion the Buddha said that a person with uncontrolled craving “jumps from here to there like a monkey searching for fruit in the forest” (Dhp. 334). Bear this in mind as you read Till Death do us Part.

The head, with this monkey running around, is where we think through things, it’s also where fear resides. Look for this in Hands together; let’s Prey for Prostitutes of the Sun-day. Beware, the monkey mind likes to disguise fear as “rational thinking.”  It comes up with all the reasons for you to stay in your safe comfort zone – a relationship or marriage in which you have come to accept the normal.  It fears change so it explains why your proposed change isn’t in your best interest. For years, Phemelo in Till Death Do Us Part remained in a torturous marriage for fear of change. When those fears present themselves, it’s time for your true self to face them and determine how real they are.  Until you do that, your fears will control you and greatly limit you. Sometimes you do the wrong thing like Thato in Journey of the Peacock.

Here is the irony. Falling in love is always a process of change. Where better to contemplate this change than in your head? But when you fall in love the frontal cortex, vital to judgment, shuts down, and love starts to monkey with your mind. this de-activation, scientists say, occurs only when you are shown a photo of the person you adore, causing you to suspend all criticism or doubt. So, be careful how you ask for and send pictures when you have just met someone who interests you – how many of you have jumped to the terminal point of wanting a child with a new flame just from looking at his/her picture? Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuro-Aesthetics at University College London, says: ‘when you look at someone you are passionate about, some areas of the brain become active,’ he further says. ‘but a large part is de-activated, the part that plays a role in judgment.’ Be very careful – a picture is worth a thousand words. No, make that three words – I want him/her! The Buddha asked his disciples to train themselves so as to develop “a mind like a forest deer” (miga bhåtena cetasà, M.I, 450). Because deers are particularly gentle creatures and always remain alert and aware no matter what they are doing. I wonder if deers fall in love. Anyway, Prof Zeki believes the brain may behave in this way for ‘higher biological purposes’ – it makes reproduction more likely. if judgment is suspended, the most unlikely pair can get together and reproduce. Oh, deer. Sorry oh, dear! The irony. Imagine how a single word can have dimetrically opposed effects when you fall in love – Dear: adjective: 1. regarded with deep affection; cherished by someone. “a beloved” 2. expensive. Costly. “costly mistake.” In Beauty so Deformed many men, having preserved themselves for that one night, having preserved themselves for that one right person, and then see the woman for the first time the way he saw her, would have said, “oh dear, what a mistake,” instead he said “oh dear, my dear.”

This doesn’t mean that when you are in love you become incapable of making other major decisions in your lives, like striking a business deal. you still can. It is this sanity that makes it harder for your friends to convince you  ‘you have taken leave of your senses’ when it comes to an ill-advised affair. also, the area of the brain that controls fear, and another region involved in negative emotions, close  down, explaining why you feel  so happy with the world – and unafraid of what might go wrong – when you fall head over heels. Dr. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University, and author of Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love,[1] responding to the question “why does being in love feel so good?” says, “Because some of the most powerful brain circuits for pleasure are triggered. The main chemical involved is dopamine, which produces feelings of euphoria, energy, sleeplessness, and focused attention on your beloved. Biologically speaking, you’re experiencing something similar to a cocaine high.” So, basically, we love with our head – and when we fall in love we start to think for two. Deuce!

Deuce1 |d (y) o͞os| noun 1 n. Amer. a thing representing, or represented by, the number two, in particular: the two on dice or playing cards; a throw of two at dice; informal, dated, a two-dollar bill. 2 tennis the tie score of 40-all in a game, at which a player needs two consecutive points to win the game. Origin late 15th cent.: from old French Deus ‘two,’ from Latin duos. First things first – “a thing representing, or represented by the number two, in particular: the two on dice …” and the “tie score of 40-all in a game” of tennis. Anyone who has ever seriously thrown dice knows the risks he or she takes, and anyone familiar with the game of tennis knows that in tennis, love means nothing. Put together, these two ideas form two of the bases of this collection of short stories – where love means taking chances, where love means pain, where love means nothing, where love means saying goodbye. This is not how it should be, but this is how it (mostly) painfully is. “I love you” now has the same seriousness and weight as a “hello” or “how are you,” two perfunctory phrases people utter to seem polite even to strangers. Ideally, love means self-discovery, love means joy, love means everything, and love means the start of something wonderful. It is, and this is why some people believe that being in love (with someone) and loving (someone) are the same thing. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Understanding the difference and being able to apply the knowledge to your own relationships is key to building a lasting relationship. Here is the difference.

When you’re in love with someone, you want this person – you want to own a part of the other person. you believe this person is so wonderful that you want him or her to be a part of your life, a part of you. When you fall in love with a person, you feel an intense urge to consume that person in any way you can. Listen to Anita Baker’s Body and Soul:

What have you done to me

I can’t eat, I cannot sleep

And I’m not the same anymore, no, no

I don’t know what to do

‘Cause all of me wants all of you

Do I stand alone at the shore

Now once I could turn away

From everything I feel today

But now I wanna walk through your door

But I’ve got to know, oh, body and soul

That you’ve got no doubt, inside and out

We are whole, ho, body and soul

Don’t leave me out in the cold

Just love me body and soul

(Body and soul)

Do you hear me, baby

I’ve wasted too much time

Livin’ for what wasn’t mine

And then came the day I found you

And now I want nothing less

I’ve found a love that Is truly blessed

And I wanna make dreams come true

But I’ve got to know, oh, body and soul

That you’ve got no doubt, inside and out

We are whole, ho, body and soul

Don’t leave me out in the cold

Just love me body and soul

Every day is getting better

The more I trust I feel stronger, stronger

Every kiss brings me closer

It feels good to let you inside

I’ve got to know, oh

Is there any doubt in your mind, oh, yeah

Oh, baby, ho, ho, body and soul)

Don’t leave me out in this cold

Just love me body, hey, love

I’ve got to know, oh

It’s your body baby, yeah… oh… oh… ho…

Is there any doubts in your mind

Tell me, baby, tell me, darlin’, body and soul

Just let me love me

Just let me love me body and, and soul

Oh… oh… oh… oh… yes

Body and soul, soul

Body and soul, soul

Body and soul, soul

Body and soul, soul

Body and soul, soul[2]

Pardon me for citing the entire song, but I want you to pay attention to the fact that she repeats her doubts (throughout the song) if this man feels the same way for her – I’ve got to know, oh …” Read this carefully, because when you are in love with someone – you can fall out of love with that person when you doubts in the person arise.

Being in love is believing you need someone in order to be happy. Being in love with someone means you need this person. You don’t just want — or rather, don’t only want — you need him or her. You need this person to live a happy and healthy life because your happiness literally depends on it. You need him or her to be a part of your life in some way or another, not because you want to own a piece of this person, but because you want to give him or her a piece of yourself; being in love with someone means you deem him or her worthy of owning a part of you. Now, listen to Jennifer Hudson’s Giving Myself:

 

I never been who I wanted to be

I never felt completely free

No one’s ever had all of me

Or made me feel so beautiful and sexy

Now I’m flying like an airplane

Now I’m riding on the open range

Now I’m living out my destiny

I know the truth,

I got it all in you and me

I’m giving myself over to you

Body and soul

I’m giving it all

I’m giving myself over to you now

Like a brand new day

Now you and I, we’re the face of fame

Ain’t nobody got nothing to say, no

And from my feelings

I never have to run away

No more

Because he’s here

Holding me tight

Now every day and night

Oh, baby

Can’t you see?

I don’t wanna be without you anymore

[2x]

I’m giving myself over to you

Body and soul

I’m giving it over

I’m giving myself over to you

For the first time

I can stand in front of someone

Finally

I can be me

I can just let my love spill over

I can cry

I don’t have to lie

I can finally let someone all the way inside

All the way

All the way, baby

All the way

All the way

Handing myself over to you

Body and soul

I’m giving it all

I’m giving myself over to you

I’m giving myself over to you

Body and soul

I’m giving it all

And I’m giving myself over to you now

[Repeat in background]

You know it’s the right time

I know it’s the right night

I know it’s the right life

I know you’re the right man

I know I’m the right girl

Come on now feel it

You feel it?

I’m ready to give it over to you

I know you’re the right man

I know I’m the right girl

Come on now feel it

You feel it?

I’m ready to give it over to you

Oh, baby, I never loved nobody else.[3]

 

Again, pardon me for citing the entire song – removing any part would have distorted my point. Notice she sings I’m ready to give it over to you/I know you’re the right man,” because she deems him worthy of owning a part of her. Listen closely to the part where she sings – You know it’s the right time/I know it’s the right life/I know you’re the right man/I know I’m the right girl/ …Oh, baby, I never loved nobody else.” Notice how she doesn’t express any doubt till the very end “Come on now feel it/You feel it?” Notice too that this doubt is of her ability to prove her love, not doubt in the man’s capability to love her.

Being in love isn’t about ownership. Now read this carefully, because being in love with someone is about wanting only the best for that individual — ironically, something that often means letting that love go when you cannot make the person happy.

Those who find love, or let me put that differently, those who fall in love most times find to their dismay, the person doesn’t love them back or does not love as they love. We find this in Blind Unfaith where a man donates his eyes to his blind lover, now able to see, she doesn’t want a blind man as lover/husband. Anita Baker asks I’ve got to know, Jennifer Hudson asks You feel it?” This is when the dice throwing starts, until they get to deuce – 40-all. The point (of impasse/climax) where they lose what they feel and the one they feel for maintains the status they have always held. Usher expresses it well in his song climax.

 

Going nowhere fast. We’ve reached the climax.

Were together now we’re undone.

Won’t commit so we choose to run away.

Do we separate?

Don’t wanna give in so we both gave up.

Can’t take it back. It’s too late.

We’ve reached the climax, climax.

Before then threats may be uttered as Chris Brown does in his song Deuces:

 

All that bullshit’s for the birds

You ain’t nothin but a vulture

Always hopin for the worst

Waiting for me to fuck up

You’ll regret the day when I find another girl, yeah

That knows just what I need, she knows just what I mean

When I tell her keep it drama free

Ohohohohohohohoh… [X2]

I told you that I’m leaving (deuces)

I know you mad but so what?

I wish you best of luck

And now I’m bout to throw them deuces up[4]

Tyga explained the song’s lyrical concept to MTV news succinctly when he says: “basically it’s about you getting rid of this girl, you tried to make it work, but you got to move on. So you put up one finger, put up another, and then ‘deuces.'” At this point when you say deuces, you are literally saying “good-riddance.” But does this mean you are not hurting? Does this mean you have found peace? Does this mean at 40-all you have found the points needed to win?

Now, let’s go back to the definition, “a two-dollar bill.” I take this metaphorically to imply an amount you pay twice for the same thing. In love, you pay for everything twice – with your heart when you fall in love, with your heart when it is broken. The short story, Shhh exemplifies this. It doesn’t mean you don’t have moments of thrills – like when you buy something nice with the two-dollar bill. But has anybody truly seen a two-dollar bill? I haven’t, if you have please come forward because you have found something to truly cherish. Am I speaking metaphorically here now, well, that’s up to you. Flip the two-dollar note and you discover it doesn’t have the same inscriptions on both sides. On one side it says “in God we trust,” on the other is the face of a human being. You cannot serve God and man – you can trust in God, but can you trust in man? Let’s reconsider this. If you are a Christian, you have no doubts regarding loving God. If you are a Christian and you meet a new woman or man and you fall in love – you have doubts, you’re taking chances, you’re throwing dice. So you cannot serve God and woman/man – still remember Anita and Jennifer? When two Christians fall in love, they are really only falling in love with God not themselves. This is just my take, you can dispute it if you want. The man believes as long as the woman loves God she wouldn’t stray, but he cannot have such confidence if it is just him the woman claims to love. Now, as long as both of them love God they love themselves. The moment one stops loving God, doubts sets in. Again, this is just my impression. That’s why what happens in love closely resembles what happens when you have a plan – if you are not the only one implementing your plan never expect equal commitment to that plan – or that it will come through. It’s a game of chance when we plan – like throwing dice. The same is true of love.

Now, let’s go back to the definition “the tie score of 40-all in a game, at which a player needs two consecutive points to win the game.” Two points to win? One point – you leave, second point you find peace – you win (The Only Distraction I Need). One point – you leave, second point you don’t find peace – you lose (Lessons from my Mother).

Deuces means “peace,” you raise one finger, then the next and say “deuces,” which means “goodbye, peace, see you.” See you? In this usage, the one who says “deuces” usually leaves with content. We see this in Broken Dolls Don’t Mend. You also might have been hurt, but you leave content – you are finally rid of something that causes you pain. Yea, right! Read Diary of a Mad Motswana Woman, The Last Hour, My Six Months Dream, and Collateral and you know leaving is never final. But we always hope our memories of hurt don’t destroy our present memories of love like in Beauty so Deformed.

Be warned, it’s not only when we are in love that the mind monkey plays havoc with us, read Steel of the Night, and Everything is Race, Race is Everything and you will see how the mind monkey plays havoc with the minds of the three main characters. Sometimes, the monkey lives outside our heads like in Check/mate and High Risk. Being social animals, monkeys hate confinement and being alone. Monkeys hate flying squirrels. Monkeys hate Humans teasing them with peanuts. But more importantly, monkeys hate humans who are mean to other humans – ironic isn’t it. Whatever you do to/with your monkey, sit back and enjoy this collection of short stories, and in/at the end say your “deuces.”

[1] Fisher, Helen. (2005). Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

[2] Baker, Anita. (1994). Body and Soul. Rhythm of Love. Elektra.

[3] Hudson, Jennifer. (2008). Giving Myself. Jennifer Hudson. Arista/J.

[4] Brown, Chris with Tyga ft Kevin McCall. (2010). Deuces. Fan of a Fan. Jive