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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Lesson In "Manhood..."

Once, I thought that Manhood was like a musky cologne… or a dangerous R & B song that came on strong, like Otis Redding did. In my young and ignorant thoughts, Manhood could flip the script and be like a switchblade, flicking long and sharp and deadly from the pocket.

I once thought it MANifested in a jock-strap, a fly new Cadillac, in a designer suit; that it possessed a mad smoooove rap, and a sufficient amount of neighborhood juice.

See, Manhood had these strong hands, huge-ass biceps, hairy knuckles, a broad chest, and it always drove fast and recklessly.

It was measured in wallet size, clocked by the way I used my fists; determined by the width of my shoulder span… and proven by the frequency of my one-night stands…

But strangely, none of these things ever made me a man. Instead, they left me longing, left me empty, kept me reaching for some Deeper Meaning.

I once thought Manhood was in a sliver of meat hard, thick, menacing, and full of promiscuous tricks. It was in the ability to make others feel inferior. It was this magnificent presence inside my posture and it didn’t have shit to do with my interior.

I once thought that Manhood consisted of:

A snarl, a frown, a furrowed brow, a cuss word on my tongue to show I was down. A bottle of Hennie, cheap wine or a 40… my hand on my crotch, my third-eye on watch, a quick fuse, a simian bop, a well-timed middle-finger to prove I was nobody’s punk!

Yeah... Manhood was some strong shit! I wanted to wear it like a musky cologne… and whip it out, like a switchblade, that was sharp, useful and deadly in my pocket.

It was in the style of my swerve, not in the honor of my word.

However, I’ve come to believe to truly BE a Man is to survive Adversity… to rise from my knees and thrive in my humanity. It’s to calm down and to step up… it’s to holler in a righteous tone, without raising the sound of my voice. It’s to own up to my mistakes… and to handle my responsibilities. It’s to take full ownership of my actions and reactions.

Manhood… it’s something you earn. It's not something you’re given… but something that you must learn to possess. To be a Man is a rough gig, yes... but it’s real, and it’s honest. It’s full of pain and fears unafraid to be acknowledged.

It’s the song and the poem composed of myself. It’s my own unique and singular sonnet... And I try Like Hell to sing it daily; because no other Soul can compose its lyrics…

But me!

copyright © 2010 by L.M. Ross