Forgive my tardiness; I’ve been splashing self-consciously in a tide pool of doubt. You know, you’re sitting ass deep in tepid waters that are crawling with fear and remorse and grief and guilt, thinking, on the one hand, “oh how familiar it all is” but being freaked the fuck out nonetheless by the creepy crawlies clambering ‘round your backside.
And of course, there were the elections. I live in NC and I believe we can finally say that this state has gone blue. Blue. I do believe in miracles and I see them every day and please note that I NEED THEM. There are too many instances of heinous human behaviors, especially my own, to counter and amend.
I heard myself say several transphobic things during the elections. It’s as if I think I can get away with it. Also, I’ve noticed that when I’m socially agitated, as I was election night (we hosted a party), devious forms of insecurities can emerge from the tepid brine. That day they took the form of prejudice. I said something ageist, too. You watch these gaseous, noxious clouds emit from depths you refuse to acknowledge: barely mined lodes of racial slurs you heard in high school, that vein of Grandfather’s bigotry, your own need, when you feel threatened, to step atop someone else to elevate your own bad self. You see them as if Mrs. Pigglewiggle had dosed you with “BustmeI’manasshole” powder and now you’re condemned, whenever you open your judgey mouth, to emit less than whimsical flatulence from your face in public.
Also, sometimes the testosterone really actives my not-so-inner prick. I wish I was kidding. I can totally channel my dad – who is usually a pretty nice guy – at his absolute worst: sure of his superiority in all things, so confident of your lesser status, your lame belief system, your irrationality bearing further evidence of a weaker mind, and convinced that you will be a better(ed) human for hearing why this is logically true.
I watch myself become the worst in all the men I know when I’m scared, and I wonder if some men aren’t scared most of the time?
When am I the best of men? I think with Gus, Jessica’s two year old, I’m a good guy. He makes it easy though. I think I’m a good guy when I listen to people, especially women with fine asses. I’m listening to you and I'm actually interested. I’ve been observing men with women at school; they appear to be paying attention to that hot youngster they're with, but they’re not. Guys have the capacity to sort out the necessary information from a barrage of detail, and so only need to hear the right three words from their companion’s pouty mouth to successfully accomplish “listening.” I am attempting to make an art of listening. Like a great many little human on the planet, I enjoy talking about myself too. (I see your eyebrow rise! Shut up! I’m talking about listening here, how deep I am!) Conversation is delicious, and intellect and beauty enhance the experience; testosterone, I’m sad to report, redacts most text, editing a glorious bouquet to a single loud flower.
I guess I’m grateful T has its own built in Humiliator. It keeps me humble. For all the swagger, the dismissal, the overt confidence, I suffer symptoms of near paralyzing fear of public speaking. My ass is incredibly sweaty, which mitigates my offensive narcissism. I really cannot believe you don’t find me handsome. I can’t. Okay, but you have to find me cute, right? But see, when I think that, and then I rise from my chair and my entire lower wardrobe is frantically mopping up butt perspiration – well, it’s like the checks and balance system of our constitution. I suppose I smell, too, but years of past smoking and chronic allergies often render me too occluded to tell. Thankfully, you’re not on testosterone or you would need me to know that I offended.
Am I kidding myself? I’ve always had one large clown shoe hovering dangerously towards my mouth. Still, it’s really important to me to be a decent guy. I don’t want to go through all this drama to be an A-hole. I like men who are sweet, men with confidence; I’m drawn to funny, creative men, who are leaders without being stupidly alpha; I like men with minds that keep me entertained and guessing by their labyrinthine twists and turns. I like men the same way I like women, as it turns out, except without the sexy parts.
Can I be that guy? Am I that guy? At least you won’t ever have to say to me, “my eyes are UP HERE, Buster," that I can promise, and I am listening.