Ever since I could remember, I’ve been attempting to grow up. Understanding the ins and outs, it’s the circle of life. They say our parents are our role models, so mine should be no exception, so I’ve mimicked my father in his every direction.
“Dad, dad look! I can tie my own shoes, pour my own cereal, ride a two-wheeler. I cheer for our favourite team; the Bengals, and I always boo the Steelers.”
“Father, father look. I think I understand, what it finally takes, what it takes to be a man.”
“Son your shoes are coming untied, you poured cereal before your milk, when dogs bark; you run and hide. You…confuse quarterbacks with the DB’s, do some more growing up, then maybe we’ll see.”
So I grew up, and I learned more, I followed my father’s footsteps. Independent, confident. When they took a right, I took a left, I made my own money, I drove myself around id become my own man before they buried me in the ground
“Dad, dad look! I’m going to college next year. I found myself a good job, and even pierced my ear, I’m a straight A student, fought in a few fist wars, I help around the house and even do some of your chores.”
“Father, father look, I think I understand, what it finally takes, what it takes to be a man.”
“Boy ,you been working that same dump for years get some diversity. Yeah you’re going to college, what about university? You’re late for work, stay out late, and always late on rent. When I told you to be man, you think this is what I meant?”
So I grew up, and I learned more, followed pops every move. No longer was I the boy who was proud to tie his shoes. Got my own place, and my own kids, my own pets and a wife. So I went to back to father, to seek approval of my life.
“Dad, dad look! I’ve got a senior position next year. Beautiful wife, healthy kids, a dog that freezes intruders in fear. I can bench two-hundred and fifty pounds and I can chug a beer.”
“Father, father look, I think I understand, what it finally takes what it takes to be a man.”
“Listen kid, you’ve come far. I won’t dismiss that fact. What if your wife is sick in bed? Behind on bill’s, how would you deal with that?”
So I lied, cheated, stole, from all but my own. To provide at all costs is how you show how much you’ve grown.
And I sat across my wife, with glass between the two of us. My father passed away the other day, I never made it to his funeral. He left behind a loving wife, and a few of my step-siblings. My poor wife, I think to myself, I’ve left her all alone, the pain in her heart is visible, and It resonates through the phone.
“Darling, darling, look! They’ve stripped me down to the bone. I’ve fought with cell mates, been stabbed and harassed. I just want to go home
Baby, baby, I love you! You accepted me for who I am, I think I finally know what it takes, what it takes to be a man.”
My son comes to visit me every week. He picks up the phone, but never speaks. I entertain most of the conversation. He nods his head occasionally, to give me confirmation.
“How’s your mother?” He nods
“And your sister?” The same
“You got a girlfriend?” He nods, but doesn’t tell me her name.
And it goes on like this for several years, till one month he doesn’t come to see me. Out of sheer boredom at age 55, I flick on the prison’s TV
There’s breaking news about a bank robbery downtown. The suspect fled the scene by car and foot, eventually apprehended; tackled to the grown. The broadcast is cut-off, the screen switches to the steps of a courtyard, LIVE reads the broadcast; this wasn’t part of the forecast. The voice of a reporter talking to the criminal, as my interest peaks. They ask him several questions, but he never speaks. That is until they ask him for remarks before he goes on trial.
“Dad, dad look! Can you see? Then comes his laughter
Being a man is about actions. Words come after.”
“Father, father look! Open your eyes, sperm donor I hope you finally see
Being a man really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”