What do Men Keep in "The Man Cave" ?
Fathers write with such ease when daughters dance on the end of their pen. There is a tenderness allowed in choosing words. There is an unspoken prerogative to employ the warmth of sentimentality in conveying our loving feelings for them. Men speak to women in such a way without fear or challenge to the authenticity of their masculinity. They write of daughters, free of the encumbrances, that are necessary when writing about their sons. Words written for men by men are measured by the testosterone content of what is expressed or not expressed.
How then, does a father write of sons? How does he write of love, that is ounce for ounce, equal in measure to that which he reserves for daughters? How does one extract sentiment from language without leaving it empty and sterile?
Is there a secret way in which men must speak to men? Perhaps, it is simply the absence of anything said? Some unspoken language which protects the sanctity of holy masculinity? Secret whispers that never part the lips and thereby, insure perpetuity upon our stupidity. Some where deep in the man cave, which is absent the light of day, our feelings cling to dark walls that keep secrets enclosed from spoken or written words.
It is altogether appropriate for men to past the torch of absurdity from one to another, because in doing so, although we might be stupid, there is no arguing that we are surely men. It is in keeping with such an age old tradition and in the interest of preserving "the right of passage" for all men everywhere, that I should keep such sentimentality from my sons and conserve such luxury, to shower exclusively upon my girls. There is a sacred ground, fenced by invisible boundaries, which define a mans place of comfort. We dare not trespass or violate such ground because comfort is essential to the preservation of our ability to not communicate. Things said in violation of the "rules of engagement" would cause our eyes to examine the ground, as though something had fallen there, we would find need to shuffle our feet and to muddle and mumble some incoherent response. There would arise a need to display the discomfort imposed upon masculinity, by the expression of feelings appropriate only for the women in our lives. I will, therefore, uphold the rules impregnated in my soul by the men who came before me. I will cling to my inherent right to silence, to translate feelings into secrets that can then reside in the cave reserved for their coming.
I will not tell my sons, the depth of love that rains upon my life from nothing more than the thought of them. I will keep that for my daughters. I will not tell them that everyday, I lift them so high in prayer, that only God and I can see it lite upon the sky. It is right that I do so, but, inappropriate that I should express such mushy reality. I will not yeild the whisper, that would reveal to them, that the very sound of their voices, moves my heart to meet the sound, before it even reaches me. No, I will not tell them that every day away from them, leaves some portion of emptiness clinging to my want for them. I will not write such things, for it is not for men to write such things to men. I will keep the whispers safe from leak and nail the words to the dark walls of my inner cave.
Unfortunately, my sons will read from this and know that I have sprung a leak and I will be found for who I am, by others more proficient at preserving the silence that validates the image of real masculinity.
It doesn't really matter. My sons have never listened to me anyway. They do not keep secrets in the cave. Their mother nailed shut the entry, too many years ago. As their father, I failed my duty. I fell asleep at my post and consequently, my sons are more, much more, than they were destined for!