Chapter 8: Mark Jones, February 28th, Year 1

I woke up to the sound of someone trying to be very quiet in my bedroom. I rolled toward the sound, “Hey.”

Helen was in the middle of getting dressed. She looked embarrassed. “Oh, good morning.”

I propped my head up with my hand and enjoyed the view. Helen Hansen was in her low 30’s, 5’6” and with a build that was halfway between a gymnast and a runway model: narrow hips, small well-proportioned breasts, straight black hair that fell to the nape of her neck. She was almost too slim with a hint of a six pack stomach. She was beautiful. My appreciation must have shown (I’ve been told that I have an amazingly lecherous grin) because she brushed back her hair, looked at me firmly with her steely blue eyes and with her usual air of command said, “Stop it.”

I toned down my grin, “You were going to leave without saying goodby?”

She blushed, “Well I know you have a lot to do today, so do I. I hadn’t planned…”

I chuckled, “I get it. You sure you don’t have time to grab a quick breakfast at the Diner?”

Helen smiled. I could tell that she hadn’t expected that. It’s awesome having a reputation of being an inconsiderate jerk. The slightest courtesy becomes an unexpected gift. “No, I’ve got too many things to do today. As it is, I’m already late for meeting. I’ll talk to you later.”

After she left, I lay back in bed again, life was good. Before the Outbreak when I was unemployed and a lot less intimidating, guys would ask me “How do you do it? How do you get so many hot women to sleep with you?”

I’d tell them that I am able to get a lot of play because I understand how sexual attraction works. Once you know how something works, you can control it. The best way to mess up something simple is to treat it like it’s complicated.

To understand sexual attraction, you need to realize that human beings are irrational. Homo sapiens is Latin for wise man. We are not wise men. We are apes that rationalize. Sure we have big brains. One percent of our brains are used to create things like banks, governments, and art. The other ninety-nine percent we waste on illusions. It takes an enormous amount of brain power to force ourselves to believe that we’re being logical when we’re really being monkeys.

Strong emotions by definition are illogical. Most of us think we know why we feel emotions; most of us are idiots. I’ve learned that if I get emotional, everything I’m thinking in the heat of the moment is bullshit. You’re human. I’m human. If you pay any attention to reality you have to realize humans are full of crap; this includes you and me.

The only way to figure out what’s real, the difference between lies and reality is to have testable theories. If a theory is correct you should be able to predict the future. If you can’t, you know your theory is wrong. I was 16 when I saw a PBS documentary on baboons. About fifteen minutes into the special, it dawned on me that baboons and high school students were identical. In many ways the monkeys were smarter than my classmates because they didn’t waste energy pretending to be something that they weren’t. That evening, the Mark Jones Theory of Human Sexual Attraction was born. Since then, I’ve used this theory to accurately predict how women will react to me.

All baboon troops have one alpha male that gets to have sex with any of the females. The prettiest and smartest female baboons get the most attention. The female that gets the most time with the alpha male has the most status. She’s the alpha female and she rules the rest of the beta women. Alpha females don’t use strength; they use politics to stay on top of the other women. Unlike males that usually go at it one on one. The females gang up on each other. In general baboon alpha females are smarter and have more political savvy than the alpha males. Most of the males are betas. They get sex by giving things to a specific female, usually extra food; the female they suck up to are usually lower ranked and on the homelier side. They also help the females take care of their children. Beta baboon males stay clear of the alpha female because they don’t want to get on the bad side of the alpha male.

Alpha males and females eventually get displaced as they get weaker or lose their looks. Being an alpha or a beta isn’t fixed; baboons can transition from one to the other.

The only difference between humans and baboons is that we have larger troops. If a man wants to have sex with multiple women he needs to become an alpha. Just like a baboon, a man can transition from being a beta to an alpha and back. Attraction is instinctual. If the guy can somehow show a woman that he’s an alpha he doesn’t have to be nice or attentive. If he can’t be an alpha, his only option is to suck up. If a guy’s wife starts losing interest in sex, he can get more by either getting a huge raise (alpha) or helping out more with the household chores (beta). The sex is better if he gets a raise.

Helen was beautiful and intelligent. She might even be a genius. When it came to engineering, chemistry, mathematics, or business she was clearly smarter than me and I’m smarter than most. She was the perfect example of the intimidating alpha female. According to my theory there was no way a beta male would ever have the courage to approach her. In all of Salt Lake, there were just three men who weren’t intimidated by her: me, Art Bingham, and Hiram Rockwell. Art was still in love with his dead wife; he didn’t even look at other women. There was no way that Hiram would date a non-Mormon. Even before I became the Federal Director of Emergency Services in Utah there was something about me that made a woman’s instinct scream, “This is an alpha male.” Since the Outbreak, I’ve become the ultimate alpha. Helen is a healthy woman; she has needs. I was the only game in town. According to my theory it was inevitable that Helen and I would get together.

We didn’t have much in common. I got the sense that she didn’t like me. I’m an alpha male; according to my theory I must have high standards. Just like a baboon alpha, I only make do with a beta woman if I have no other choice. Since alpha females have to be intelligent as well as beautiful, almost universally the women I sleep with don’t approve of me. It drives them crazy when they find themselves having awesome consensual sex with me. A lessor man would be offended. A better man would be more deserving. As for me, I like driving women nuts; I find it amusing.

I admit that for a moment last night, I thought my prediction about me and Helen was incorrect. I kissed her and she completely rejected me. I had been certain that she would melt in my arms. I was stunned when she didn’t. My shock was intense, so unexpected that it was hilarious. My arrogance is occasionally so ridiculously grandiose that when I fall flat on my face even I find it funny. I started to laugh. Helen did too. She then kissed me; I responded. The universe went back into alignment. For awhile there I thought I was incorrect; I was wrong.

Chapter 9