Here we are again. A moment of truth. Another reckoning of self discovery, on body and mind.
Raise your bitter cups of life, Espresso on the rocks, stirred not shaken. Kiss your smokes with the lips of death, the soldier’s cigarette, drawn not dragged.
Welcome to the Council. Our topic today is: to be an honorable man, think like a woman.
I am a firm believer in physical sanctity and an absolutist when it comes to male whoredom. I constantly judge and police my mental and physical behavior when it comes to interacting with my being, with others and with the world.
I am a Catholic school girl, minus the skirt.
As I puff and sip, remembrances of times when I caught myself wallowing in lust currently fill me up with shame and self-loathing. I ask for forgiveness and I cross my legs.
To be a man is to keep the engine running. This motor is high maintenance, constantly in need of oiling and affection. My mother, my most beloved woman, taught me manhood. She said “son, don’t you ever dare think for a moment that you are exempt from the rules we’ve placed on girls just because you’ll be a man one day.”
I said nothing. I didn’t understand at first but when puberty kicked in like a sledgehammer to the knee and the sharp teeth of time ensnared my conscience, self-respect transformed from mandatory catechism to indispensable truth.
That I, like any other sexual being, had a sanctity to be preserved. For the sake of elevating my humanity than anything else. For the sake of preserving my noble manhood, lest I descend unto barbaric whoredom where the wells of self-loathing run deeper than ancient poetry.
The world of values is so abstract that to translate the divine into man’s word would be more than blasphemous, it would be hazardous. But I can show the world my values and I can respect myself.
I can look away when a defenseless gazelle trots by and quench the inner tiger with the remembrance of God. With the remembrance that I, too, am a weak gazelle being preyed on by the same tiger dancing in my chest, waiting to pounce on any powerless target.
I am a target too. A target of my own toxicity before anyone else is, I am the prey to my own predatory self. I am the woman I degrade with my eyes and thoughts.
I am a man. Because a woman lives inside of me and she is my mother, she is my sister, my cousin, my friend, my wife…
I am a man. Because a woman lives inside of me and she is human.