Posts Tagged 'masculinity'

The Curse

Men are born into our society with something. Some men wear this something like chainmail, denying how heavy it truly is, displaying their pride in how well they carry it; never to actually think that it’s possible to take off and live somewhere where it’s not needed. They like to laugh at the other types of men who threw theirs away long ago, to claim they were going to live where they wouldn’t need it. They have no idea why anyone would want to live without it.

But these exposed men, free of the weight they believe to be dead, laugh back at those still burdening themselves, having seen what it’s like to be free of such personal constriction in a world that will walk all over you like a forgotten cigarette given the chance. They relax in the forest beyond the river, in a land where there is no possibility of battle.

Then there are even others that are simply conflicted, and don’t know what to do with this something. They’ve already taken it off, but due to an external circumstance or two that strikes deep, they cannot get rid of it… So they carry it on their shoulders. They’ll still expose themselves, but they just can’t find the heart to throw it away; a battle could be just around the corner and they made need the protection.

Something feels that it would be wrong, that they’ll have failed if they simply throw away what the rest of the world believes to be smart; yet they won’t feel smart by holding onto it their whole lives, since it holds them back from seeing how fast they can truly run… So they keep it up there on their shoulders, walking to the riverbank whenever possible to gaze into the horizon: waiting, wondering, questioning, doubting.

The great part for this conflicted group is that they can see eye to eye with both other types of men, those who have kept it on and those who have thrown it away. The men’s men will see that they still carry this something, even though other factors may affect our methods of appreciating it like they do; they may judge, but they will not disrespect. They know that the conflicted will all be alongside for the battle should it arrive.

The exposed men will see that those conflicted would like to get rid of it, but can’t cross the river just yet… Not until something’s out of the way, or something makes them run to hide in its flowing tides… The exposed may not have stumbled along the same path, yet they still arrived at the river and were able to cross it without anything weighing them down. And they have no problem returning to see what life is like in the land of the chainmail: they learn from it, being different and sometimes even mocked.

Thus the exposed and the conflicted know a similar journey, seeing things differently than the others, who have never caught more than a glimpse of the path leading to the river, seeing how their lives had never brought up this opportunity. The exposed and the conflicted share some awkward bond, that cannot be expressed in anything more than a look in the eyes when a conflicted crosses paths with an exposed while walking through town one day. The conflicted looks with a dreamy envy into the exposed eyes, and they both smile, sharing a thousand stories in an instant.

Maybe call this something masculinity… maybe pride… maybe values… I’ll still call it a curse.

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Another twenty some odd young adult who believes he sees things from a unique perspective. Here be my poetry & prose, short stories, favored school papers, rantings, and "blogs." Comment, critique, and profit.