I am a man and as a man I’ve been engendered with certain expectations, rites, roles and responsibilities many (if not most) of which I have failed throughout the brief curtain of my life.
Often I didn’t care.
More often I defied them.
Sometimes I held true to the tropes of Promethean browbusts because a dick is a dick is a dick and my dick knows enough about me to live free of the traps set by normatives or die in the mouth of a loveless lily lie (my untruths should always be imbued with same great manner of affection) and we just can’t have that.
Can’t. Can’t’. Can’t.
(three determinatives are as good as any conjuring)
Not because Mam and Paps were so fucked they imploded into a broken rib, two facial scars and a one heaping shitpile of a psychic mar though they did but that shouldn’t account for anything more than the happenstance of growing up or growing old or groaning through the terrifying tumult of dreams settling into dust while the world spins new every morning and the hours tick and the knees start to crick and anyone and everything outside your immediate (and modest) walled-in shell of middling adequacy seems like the most illustrious of lupine lusts from pussy to press to early, opulent death.
And yes, I’m talking violence.
I’m talking suicides and crashes and gunshot and gore and, while that used to seem such a raw inevitability, it now strikes as a romantic fancy.
I mean, seriously.
It’s embarrassing to confess because once you break through the Jesus line you should be expected to take this tired race the whole fucking way until your eyes milk out and your tongue gets hair and your ears ossify and the wheels left worth spinning are the cogs that stumbled out of your insulting retirement watch but who even has the chance to retire anymore? My mom did and she got all fouled up with champagne and God. My dad did, I guess, but his retirement is one of those everyday American messes that are well worth a doctorate consideration if there was even the slightest interest in the depressive denouements of men who slanted simple too early to every be remembered for their talents and who, with willing concession, work to mete their time out with a partner who is compatible if not fuckable while the system they thought they would outpay, one day, just plays up the starch in it’s pap.
And you get fat and you get tired and you get out of the city and into the sticks and then, when the sticks demand too goddamn much from your swollen, American frame, you move to some place with a fruit in its name with a good dose of aridity and – if you’re lucky – you’ll call that place your grave and if you aren’t…
Well, I just don’t have a context for that beyond the shit-stained ancients that roll on the trains after ten when the only other folks riding this way are nurses and twenty-something plying drunk to try and make a name and though I’m right there with them I know my goddamn name. It is the name of my father and his father before him and his father before him and that should cut me into a certain cloth but it doesn’t and I’m fine with that.
I am. I am. I am.
But all that fucking off is starting to do a number and that number’s real goddamn close to a certain parodical age and I can’t stop it coming. I mean, I can but I can’t because who would mend my determined passing with songs of tormented praise?
But they’d be wrong not just for the glomming but for the shore because you can’t just die of your own accord once you’ve crossed the Rubicon. You have to keep going. You have to figure it out. You have to stutter and stammer and suffer and slay because you’re a man, goddamnit.
And a man earns his way out.