Our Man Thoughts

I have complex man thoughts. Not to sound sexist, but I don’t think women can appreciate what goes through a man’s head. There are heavy issues to deal with, and we have to carry that burden and internalize it. Men need time to relax, drink a beer, maybe take a massive Godzilla crap, and have a cheeseburger in silence while we work through our complex man thoughts, man emotions, and man courage.

I was playing Red Dead Redemption the other night and was forced to kill a bear in order to save my son. That was some heavy shit. That bear knocked me off my horse and sent me tumbling through the dirt. It was going to kill my boy. It took me a moment to realize what I had to do, scrolling through my possible weapon choices before settling on a stick of dynamite to blow that bear to hell. But afterward, I started thinking about how it’s all interconnected, that bear with the rest of the natural environment and how I respect that bear but have to do a man’s job to protect my son. I don’t think a woman could ever understand these burdens…

It’s not that I think that I have more intelligence than a woman, but I do think that as a man I have a harder time waking up in the morning. The world is a crown that sits upon my brow, and my mind is a Gordian octagon. I have to wake up in the morning and think about things like how I’m going to kill Dutch, the outlaw who was like a father to me in Red Dead Redemption. Have you ever had to kill your own father? A woman could never understand that because the relationship between women and their mothers is much less important to me than that of fathers and sons. In some ways, males want to kill their own fathers, but then we become men. Men carrying that heavy load, and we begin to appreciate what our fathers went through. We understand how complicated their thoughts were on cold nights in January, when they were drinking Coors Light and wondering why they were cursed with being men.

Consider the Boston Celtics fan. Think about the pain he feels as he watches his favorite team get throttled like crash dummies, and he’s spent his entire miserable life drinking piss at the local Irish pub. He works a crappy job, was touched by Catholic priests, and when he talks he sounds like Fran Drescher being scraped across a chalkboard. All this man wants is a moment to believe that he’s still a boy watching Larry Bird lead the starting lineup against the ’84 Lakers while his drunken father is patting him on the head telling him what a great mechanic he’ll make some day. But instead, he has to watch a bunch of bricklaying sissies and some guy named Rondo who looks like the crackhead that Huggy Bear used as his informant. You think that man doesn’t need a couple days to get his thoughts in order? Is it easy, waking up each morning knowing that your team’s a bunch of crybabies who would’ve been weeded out of the Western Conference in Round 1?

I recall my own father spending many a weary Sunday leaving abruptly after a Denver Broncos defeat so he could take a long walk beneath a cold December sky. To a woman, the sport of football may seem like just a game, and that’s what my mother would say. And he would remind her that she didn’t understand football, and that the call had clearly come down from the NFL corporate office for the refs to throw the game against the Broncos as part of a conspiracy against John Elway, and that Broncos coach “Dan Reeves” wasn’t a name but a word that meant “shit” in some French language, and why doesn’t she just mind her own business, and that he was going for a walk, and he didn’t know when he’d be home.

A man’s heart is a well, a foot wide but a hundred miles deep. My mother never understood that, and my wife doesn’t either. The complex man thoughts of sports, westerns, and the male curse are not trivial musings, but the ether from which man created civilization. He thought of great men like Abraham Lincoln and Kobe Bryant when he was building the Golden Gate Bridge, laying highway across the West, or capturing King Kong. A man’s greatest nemesis is his own essence… whoa… think about that shit.

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