A pair of Words of Well-Being(tm) from my book, “What There Is To Love About A Man,” which, alas, is currently out of print. Used or imperfect copies are available here and there on the Internet.
Just a heartfelt collection of waxings poetic by a woman honoring and celebrating masculine qualities of body, mind and spirit. Glorioski! Imagine that!
Who first planted the idea that real men don’t cry? They tense and tighten every muscle, hundred-weight pounds of pressure to prevent the escape of that first tear, while the rest of us wait and root for the get-away water. Men’s tears slip out when they most expect them and never expect them at all. In the office men’s room, pink slip in hand; at the movie where the guy and his Dad reunite after thirty years; on the assembly line for who knows what reason; when his daughter stands up in front of them all and smiles and spells and speaks her mind; when his son does the right thing. Men’s tears are crying to touch the light of day, to spill out onto the telephone when he gets the call that his brother is gone, that his old buddy slipped away in the night. They gather in the corners of his eyes and seep out slowly when he holds his first-born, one and only, in his arms. Salty tears! It’s a wonder they haven’t crystallized after all these years, crashing and breaking instead of slipping, sliding, gently rolling tears.
He keeps them in cedar-scented boxes or bubble-pak envelopes or displayed where he can enjoy them every day. Sometimes they’re in his car, hanging from the rear-view mirror, or next to the seat where he can touch them anytime. The tiny note that was taped to the bathroom mirror the day he left. The shells he picked up at his favorite lagoon. The stones shaped like hearts that he finds whenever he takes the time to look. The military medal his Dad gave him when he was nine or ten. Dried petals from the one time someone sent him roses. The glass vial of dirt from the family land. Meemaw’s favorite china teacup, with the chip in the rim. The stale half-bar of chocolate they promised to save until next time. Pesos from Mexico, his lucky token from the Reno truck stop, the garnet that someone pressed into his hand moments before the crash. Pictures of everything that was perfect before it soured. Pictures of what’s perfect now. Rings returned and watches wound down. Collections collecting dust and trinkets turned to treasures.