A Hustler’s Wife… In Theory

Okay, so I’ve recently rejoined Netflix and it’s been great, making me fall in love with TV all over again. My newest addiction is a canceled A & E show called “Breakout Kings,” about two U.S. Marshals who put together a special task force using criminals to catch criminals on the run. It’s my kind of show, kind of fast-paced- but makes you think. Anyway, one of the convicts on the task force is a convicted “gangbanger” named Shea Daniels (played by Malcolm Goodwin). Shea is the head of an entire outfit called the Syndicate- he’s your typical hustler, confident, arrogant, street smart. Even though he’s locked up- he’s the boss- and he knows it. He thinks outside the box, knows the criminal mind, knows how to get in your head and make you respect him- whether you like him or not. He’s both a boyfriend and a businessman- and seems to manage both with the same intensity. And as you can probably already tell- he’s my favorite character.

As I watch the show, I’ve been trying to figure out why I like Shea so much. At first I thought it was just that he was so attractive (he is, you know). Anyway, the more I watch, the more I realize that it’s his character I love. I love that he’s confident, that he’s the man, that he doesn’t take shit from anyone, convicted felon or not. I love that he’s a hustler… as strange as that sounds… he’s powerful (in his own way)- and I like that too. Now I don’t want anyone to think that I have a fetish for drug dealers, or convicted felons- because I don’t (at least I hope not). But I have to be really honest- I swoon a little for a hustler’s confidence, for his swag (for lack of a better word) – I LOVE  it. I can’t help it.

Most people would say that it’s the typical good girl/ bad boy complex, but I think it’s more than that (for me, anyway). Now, for sure- that’s where it starts. Danger is a bit more attractive to me- I call it my inner Kelly Kapowski reaching for Zack Morris- but that’s just where it starts. I love the fact that guys like that have a goal- and they stop at nothing to reach it. They fight hard, for themselves, for their lives. They’re strong, and sure- and even though the daily lives they live may be dangerous, for some reason you can’t help but feel safer when they’re around. Guys like that are protective- they’ll take on the world for you. And you know it. It’s like Michael Ealy said in Barbershop, “She gotta know that at a moments’ notice, you will put the pimp hand to Jesus himself- if he ever made the mistake of disrespecting her.” I don’t know if I got the quote exactly right, but that’s the general idea.

They’re problem-solvers- and they’re doers. They don’t waste a lot of time talking. Another thing I love about them is that above all else, they value respect- and loyalty. Maybe it’s my Leo coming out, but loyalty is everything to me. If I feel like I’m down for you in a way that you’re not down for me, it’s a betrayal of the worst kind- and I don’t forgive betrayals. I don’t hold grudges, but when you’re not loyal- you get kicked out of my circle- and you don’t get invited back. For guys like that, the unloyal are eliminated- I respect that.

I’ve often wondered if it’s my super-independent, self-sufficient, stubborn nature that reaches out to this man. Maybe subconsciously, I feel like that kind of man is the only one with a personality strong enough to handle mine. Maybe I think that man is the only one who will be able to stand up to me. Whatever the reason, I think that this swag I love so much is also what prompts my fascination with mob and gangster movies. Those movies have the basic themes that I connect with: Family is everything, Wrongs are righted, Loyalty is valued- and Betrayal is punished.

I don’t want anyone to think that I’m pining after actors, living in a fantasy movie set world- I’m well aware that Shea Daniels is just a character on a show, like Michael Corleone, Frank Lucas, and Sam Rothstein. But they all represent something that I love, something that I want, something I identify with. My dad is this guy (with a legal job, of course). He’s been around a while- so most people in his corner of the world respect him. If they don’t, then they fear him. He always speaks calmly- but seriously. He won’t take your shit- ever. And I feel safest… when I’m with him. I have cousins who have had their run-ins with the law, and kind of live that street life, but when I’m with them, I feel like I don’t have to be afraid of anything. It’s that confidence, that arrogance. It’s their assurance that nothing’s going to happen that I don’t want to happen. It’s a kind of power that on a non-related guy, I’m extremely attracted to. 

Now I know someone’s going to point out that the attitude I love so much usually gets the hustler killed or jailed in the end (like Shea Daniels), but that’s why I don’t want the actual guy- just the personality. But can I get that personality on normal, law-abiding, citizen? Lol. That’s a ten million dollar question I don’t have the answer to today. Until I get it, I guess it’s back to “Breakout Kings” and fantasies about Shea Daniels. Maybe I’ll switch to mobsters for a little bit… I haven’t watched “Once Upon A Time In America” in a while…

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