Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Morning, February, G-Train

A guy on the G this morning was loudly talking to another guy, about his crazy night. Quote: "Yeah, man, and at this point it must have been at least a quarter past five. And you know this guy was not giving in, he was ready to fight. So I gave him my address and told him to come there in fifteen minutes, and I'd fucking kick his ass."

And in my head I was like, hold up. Why the need to defer the fight? Let's not complicate this. Let's just get in there and tell a fight story. But the more he talked, the more clearly I heard somebody who didn't fight a guy, but who still wanted to tell a story about (at the very least) almost fighting a guy, yet didn't want to outright lie about what took place, while obviously also wishing to avoid coming off as a puss-puss. So he opted to tell a story of fight-delay, which allowed him to claim that he was willing to fight at the same time that it gave him a legitimate excuse for why the fight never actually ended up happening. He had kind of found the best of both worlds there, narrative-wise, and he made sure to speak so that everyone around him could hear him. He definitely had something to prove, even though some combination of his story's delivery, content and tone betrayed that deep inside it was an old plastic bag filled with horse shit.

So...keeping one's masculinity intact gets complicated, right? Not for a lot of men; not really for any of the men I'm close to (I think?). Well, maybe with the men I'm close to, it's just that they learned to make jokes about it, air it out a little, see how funny and normal it all is, and so there's not a lot of opportunity for manhood-based doubt to fester in there. Or I'm just completely mischaracterizing my male friends' relationship to their own masculinity and they're just as fucked up about what it should mean as dude-on-G-train. I doubt it though, both because I love my Y-chromies and because I'd like to believe that I have some degree of character judgment.

Anyway, I really wanted to laugh (or something) at how this guy's attempt to hide his vulnerabilities totally backfired, and the story of all his inner turmoil and his definition of male self may as well have been engraved in excruciating detail in a stone tablet hung 'round his neck (...way too lazy to think of more evocative metaphor than this). I wanted to laugh, but really I was just grateful that the only gender obligation us girls need to contend with is to have no gender obligation. Not to say that we don't have obstacles, but provided we have been lucky enough to be born into a situation where we control our lives, aren't our obstacles almost 100% external? Aren't we just patiently waiting for some outdated memes to die out? I feel like my whole commitment to femininity is doing a bunch of stuff I like, all the time. I don't have to come up with complicated stories for why I would have fought that guy, but didn't.

But then again, maybe the guy was just a grade-A douche and I'm reading way too deep into it like some kind of girl.

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