Thursday, July 29, 2004

Jigsaw

A small sidestreet near my house traverses a train trestle, and while crossing it today I noticed an extraordinary example of natures beauty trapped in its guardrails. It was a butterfly, magenta, tangerine and black, but it was not really traped so to speak. The railing had a grate which stood about eight feet overhead, then curved inwards toward the walkway, to deter people from throwing objects at the train I suppose. This buttetfly, though, seemed determined to head in the direction forbidden by the railing, and everyime it tried to fly over it, the cruvature prevented his doing so. I watched for a minute or so, recalling that some butterflies migrate enormous distances, and guessed that this one's navigational queues where about to be the end of it. So I climbed upon the railing and waved my arms, continuing this until he flew around a small precipice and on his way.

Thus I was late to meet a new acquatance and his friends, not daring to explain why. Erin, I suspect, would have understood, but not knowing his friends I didn't want to risk embarrassing him. Of course, later on, I realized they where a pretty neat bunch, and should have come out with it right away.

Erin seems to be turning into a friend, but an unusual one for me. The other day he and I where with some people we know, and the subject turned to a virtue of femininity which I particularly admire. When Erin didn't participate it was no small surprise, I don't suspect he has a Heisman trophy on his mantlepiece, if you know what I mean. Anyway, as we all tried to awkwardly steer the subject, he just turned and said to everyone "hey, I'm gay, not blind, those things are pretty damn fascinating". He didn't say it to shock anyone, nor did he look around for a response. He was letting us off the hook. Anyway, he's pretty well adjusted, and that's what I think I like about the guy.

Yesterday I heard Erin mention that he was in Alcoholics Anonymous, and it kind of surprised me. I wanted to figure it out. He said that he grew up in the Mid-West, the son of a man who owned a welding company, a guy who frequents Alaska and Africa to haul back trophy heads for his den. There was a lot of pressure to go into the family business. He kind of smirked as he indicated his appearance, fastidious and slender.

So he probably spent the first part of his life taunted not only at school, but also at home. He made no reference to that, but I bet it was a struggle to get through every day. When the time came I'll bet he got the hell out of the Mid-West as fast as he could. And that made me think of his demeanor and how easily he handled the tits situation before. How he came to be so easy to get along with.

I grew up with a John Wayne sort of vision of masculinity. You kind of swagger and shoot your way through life's challenges. I didn't really have a gliplse of the kind of fortitude necessary to grind through the mechanics of a difficult situation. When I think about it, most of the guys I know verge on emotional collapse just from hitting a golf ball poorly.

I have traveled a long way in my life, and I'm beginning to understand that power and strength are two entirely different things.

1 comment:

Iza Firewall said...
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