Monday, April 12, 2010


I've been remiss in my manly duties of late.

I often carry cash in my pocket, but it is seldom that I can afford to spend it. I've usually looked out for myself, rather than those around me, be they women, friends or strangers. I can cook eggs, which is something; but I don't eat them, so there's that. I have all but given up on the television, but I don't really make things any more.

I want to make a bookshelf (and I want to put a secret door in it), but I've never made a rock wall or a table or tuition money. I've never rebuilt an engine or a watch. I've never had a fortune that needed rebuilding either.

There's no one looking for my kind of expertise. I've squandered my know-how, and so it will not survive my passing. So I am no longer immortal.

But I can speak to dogs, and there is kung-fu living deep inside me somewhere. I know how to sneak a look at cleavage, and I don't really care if I get busted every once in awhile. I can be good at my job - though I often am not. I go to work but have no avocation, I rarely pay more than lip service to my hobby, and I have no real career. I'm very good getting a new job if I don't like this one. Too good, I think.

I have learned to look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, I made you. Suitcase, watch, posture. I infer.

A man owns up. This is why Mark McGwire is not a man. And neither am I. I hate this. I often fail to grasp my mistakes and I seldom lay claim to who I am and what I was when I do not like them. Too often I assume no one has noticed my mistakes and I let them pass.

I love the human body. The revelation of nakedness. The sight of the pale breast, the physics of the human skeleton, the alternating current of flesh. I am thrilled by the snatch, the wrist, the sight of a bare shoulder. I like the crease of a bent knee. I often feel that thrum that only a man can feel - but I seldom act on it.

I seldom do the dishes, though I look out for children. They stand behind me. And I do know how to bust balls.

I have had liquor enough in my life that I no longer need sound breathless, clueless, or obtuse when I order a drink. I don't need to think. I order Scotch or something on tap.

Never the Sauvignon Blanc.

I shy from the coming of age, though it should free me. I shied away from the upper hand and I fear now I won't know when to step aside.

Maybe I never will, but I figure I could knock someone, somehwere on their ass if I had to.

I often rely on rationalizations or explanations, winnowing winnowing winnowing until the truth is humbly categorized, intellectualized, written off with an explanation. I am lost in the great sweeping maw of humanity. It's what makes me a liberal - but not a very good one.

I do get the door without thinking. And I have stopped traffic when I needed to.

I question belief and while I don't embrace ambiguity, I accept it. I revisit my beliefs frequently. This is why I am a conservative - though not a very good one.

I don't know much about tools, though I know all too well how to lose an afternoon drinking, playing Grand Theft Auto, driving around aimlessly or shooting pool. God I miss pool.

I could lose a month too.

I don't listen very well, which means I don't argue very well. I spit opinion, and I hate that.

I love being alone, actually. I sleep.

I no longer stand watch though. I have not interrupted trouble in some time. I am no longer a state policeman or a poet, when I should be both of them.

I do loving driving alone, however.

I had style a decade ago. Now I feel contrived, with no set rules.

I understand the basic mechanics of the planet, but I cannot look up at the sun with squinted eye and tell you the time of day. I can no longer readily discern north, where to find food or where fish run. I understand electricity better than most, but the internal combustion engine is a mystery to me. The mechanics of flight make sense, but a pitcher's ERA is like Greek to me.

I don't know everything, but I too often try. I feel threatened by what other men know.

I can tell you I was wrong. I did wrong, and that I planned to. But I avoid the conversation at all cost. I apologize too readily, just to put an end to bickering.

I do not wither at the thought of dancing, but I avoid it.

I watch. Standing on a street corner watching stuff. Considering. But someone had to teach me this - to be quiet, to cipher, to watch. To be like a zoo animal, captive and free. But too often, I think you know what I'm thinking, or who you think I am, or what I may do next.

This is personalized, but nonetheless plagiarized blatantly from Esquire Magazine's "What is a Man."

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