Joe Kozmarski, my fictional private detective, has an ex-wife and a current girlfriend. He still loves his ex, and he thinks that she still loves him, though she sends mixed signals. His girlfriend, a former cop who now works with him, is full of intense energy. She loves him, and if he gave her a chance he could love her. His love life is complicated. He has no time or energy for other crushes or fantasies (Salma Hayek).
He’s also forty-three years old and has decided that he wants to avoid the mistakes of his parents’ generation in which many men, as they tumbled into middle age, grabbed for straws, which often looked a lot like attractive younger women. That’s not for Joe. He’ll keep his hands – and his mind – where they belong (Salma Hayek on a bicycle).
Joe takes care of his eleven-year-old nephew. When Joe isn’t busy with a case, or with sorting out his love relations with his ex-wife and his current girlfriend, he throws football with the nephew or talks with him about aphids or explains to him why punching a classmate is wrong even if the classmate has tried to ignite the nephew’s pants with a Bic lighter. Joe’s mind is simply too full with the stuff of life to spend time fantasizing about women he’s unlikely ever to meet (Salma Hayek in a bikini on a bicycle).
And, for Joe, that thing is having a middle-age crush. If he had more time and energy, would he have a crush? Sure, why not? If he ever did have a crush, Joe suspects it would be on . . . Penelope Cruz (or Salma Hayek).