Whilst it’s probably true that the competitive spirit which is a part of maleness is a progressive force, it strikes me that it’s all too easy to turn negative.
Consider this for a masterpiece of small mindedness.
Monday I left the house early for our office ‘Monday Morning Meeting’. It was fucking cold, though Yorkshire in January … what could you expect?
But then, what was this? A rose in the garden! Alone, at shoulder height, it had forced itself through the lattice-work fence which separates the house from next-door.
As if to confirm that my eyes weren’t deceiving me, I walked over to inspect. Seemingly sturdy, it was quite big, well big-ish, at least an inch and a half left to right, and a deep, deep pink. I looked at it and smiled as I heard myself say “brother, have you got a big pair of balls!”
As if in response the petals seemed to fluff out and upwards with confidence, then it stared straight back as if replying, “yeah, well, that’s the way I am”. It sure was one of nature’s arrogant little fuckers.
I walked away somewhat reluctantly. Its presence had gladdened my heart and I was chuckling to myself…..
…..but as I hit the pavement to walk to the office my mood suddenly changed.
Less that twelve hours earlier I’d been having dinner with a Friend. At one point our conversation veered into the possible sources of the Life-force, its origin and what sustains it. (I think this is what used to be called ‘Vitalism’ – maybe it still is for all I know as I’m not a science-man.)
As I walked along I thought about what we’d discussed and this deep pink fucker having the chutzpah to trespass into my garden to do battle with the Yorkshire winter, and all quite naked …. versus me, with my cashmere socks, my thermal undershirt, my long-johns, my fur-lined boots, my overcoat, woolly scarf, gloves and Canadian racoon hat, the entire combination of which had failed to prevent my shrivelled dick from hiding out ingloriously from the North-East wind.
I checked out the rose when I returned home. It was still there, nakedly sustaining itself, its petals still turning upwards creating a tiny smile and the ‘yeah, well, that’s just the way I am’. Neither of us said anything.
Tuesday, it was
still there but I didn’t go over so no smiles or words were exchanged. I could see it was still balls naked; meanwhile I was remained covered in ‘fur’.
During the day it was much on my mind so in the evening I made a point of going over. Unfortunately it was so dark I couldn’t tell whether it was still greeting my like a mate or giving the Canadian racoon two fingers.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I gave it a nod of recognition morning and evening ….
….. but then on Saturday I could tell from the six yards between us that the Yorkshire winter was calling the shots. The petals were drooping and the upturned smile was fading.
I suddenly had a feeling of guilt. Maybe if I’d been more welcoming the rose would have lasted longer. Okay, it isn’t the quantity but the Quality of Life that’s important (that’s the central message in the What Men Do Guide). Still, if the rose had had an intuitive element it wouldn’t have smelled a potential closeness from my fur-covered envy. I was just too anxious to parade that, between us, I was the head honcho.
Now it’s gone and I’m left with ‘that’s the way I am’.
I wish I was that sure of myself.