I’ve been trying for an hour to come up with something coherent to say. I’ve got nothing. The Professor and I went to the park. Mrs. Wigglebottom behaved like she’d never been outside before in her whole damn life. That was annoying.
After I dropped the Professor off, I heard “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band on the radio. I have a soft spot in my heart for that song, and “Rainy Day Woman” by Waylon Jennings.
They’re cheating songs, but they’re not your normal cheating songs. No one’s lying there with Linda on his mind. No one’s acting like some kind of martyr for love because the hardest thing he’s ever had to do is holding her and loving you. No one’s standing at your door because he’s left the one he left you for.
They’re love songs without demands. I just like that.
The Professor and I were talking about men on our walk and then at lunch. And we were talking about some dumbasses we know who seem incapable of articulating, even to themselves, what they want.
And as we were talking about all the ill-at-ease men, I realized that this is exactly what’s so disconcerting about the Wayward Boy Scout. Here’s a man who comes across as utterly at ease. Hmm. No, maybe not at ease, but open to being pleasantly surprised. No, he’s definitely open to being pleasantly surprised. I stand by that. But I also think he is really at ease–maybe not with the world; I don’t know that a man running around armed could be called at ease with the world–but he comes across as being at ease with himself.
At one point we were sitting in a bar and I was saying something witty and obnoxious and feminist and he said “I’m sorry. I didn’t hear what you were saying. I was busy staring at your tits.”
Now, this is not the kind of thing most men could say and live. But I also doubt most men would have been so blatantly staring at my tits, either*.I think it was the mix of unapologetic and appreciative that utterly disarmed me**.
But talking to the Professor about this made me wonder if men have any idea that this is how women think about them. Do y’all know how much we like you and how dear you are to us? Do you have any clues about all the ways we’re fond of you or do you think our reactions to you are all reducible to anger and resentment?***
So, I think I’m going to spend more time thinking carefully about and writing about the men I know. I think it might be useful, not just to me, but to y’all.
I had this weird dream last night that the Butcher came home with a baby and said that some Katie or Kathy girl had given birth to his baby and now he had to raise it. And in his arms was a baby chimp wearing a pink dress. As I was trying to figure out how he could have a chimp as a baby, he handed her to me and she grabbed my cheeks and shook my face and I went “blurb blurb blurb” and she was really strong for a baby. She had a really firm grip. I guess because she was a monkey.
*Though, really, if you want to, boys and girls, who can blame you? Stare away. Write poems about them. Conquer lands in honor of them. They totally deserve it.
**That and the fact that he was obviously also listening, not just staring.
***I said this to y’all once upon a time ago, that it cracks me up that feminists are considered the man-haters when anyone who’s ever stood in a kitchen washing dishes with a group of women who think feminist means “man-hating man-wannabe” will hear some feelings about men so vile it’d make you more than glad to be out in the front room watching the game. You think feminists are the ones who hate men, you’re just not overhearing enough kitchen talk.