I have a super-annoying g-d cold, a fact which I am taking very personally. I have created a mythology in myself that working in a hospital has created in me some sort of super-immunity and that as a result, I Never Get Sick, and especially with something as pedestrian as a run-of-the-milll cold. But here I am. I knew it was coming. I could feel it all week, starting with a mucus build-up in my eyes and a runny rose, which culminated in the full-blown cold I am currently suffering through. I hate this. I was up much of the night with a sinus-y headache and a bad case of the sneezes, and I am extremely cranky and not up for Mr. Typist’s “good-natured ribbing” about my condition. Colds are debilitating and stupid and humiliating. I wish not to have one, but alas, I do. I’m probably just going to go back to bed after I post this. Stupid cold.
In the throes of my Stupid Cold I needed something to read, so I downloaded the novel “Checking Out” by Nick Spalding on my ancient Kindle. I know that we are in the midst of the Me-Too movement and that there is nothing funny about rape, but I almost died laughing at a scene in which the main character is nearly gang-raped by well-meaning hippies because he gets incredibly high, and as a result finds himself stuck in a beanbag chair and unable to express his non-consent. I’m sorry, but it was funny as hell. I have not heard of the author Nick Spalding before, but I will likely be reading more of his stuff in the future. He managed to make a hilarious story out of someone getting an inoperable brain tumor. That’s talent.
In keeping with this weird, cold-delirium theme, I would like to say a few words about Men. This has been on my mind a lot lately. There have been a few sucky, weak, predatory men in my life who have badly messed me up. But far, far more than that, there have been amazing, strong, confident men who have bent over backwards to support me and shore me up and encourage me to have confidence and strength. Women have supported and championed me too, and I am not leaving them out of this equation or in any way diminishing their role, but they’ve provided a different kind of support, which I will discuss at a later time. Right now, I want to talk about men.
I love the confidence and bravado of men. They have reached out to champion me, whether that be with my writing, (thank you, Patrick Stafford and David D. Horowitz) or with my physicality, (thank you, the late Willie Austen and my current trainer, Akida Dawson) or with my mental state, (thank you, gay-Mormon-therapist-from-my-20’s-whose-name-I-can’t-remember-but-who-saved-me, and Pietro Abela, my spiritual-health guru.) Men have taught me how to harness power and confidence, and how to swagger my way through the world even when I feel undeserving. Men, including Mr. Typist, have taught me how to fight. They have taught me how to go into battle and how to stand up for myself. They have never been more proud then when they see me strong. This strange myth that men want women to be weak has simply not played out in my experience. Every good man I have ever encountered has been a champion of my power and strength, even when I felt wobbly and unworthy. I am so appreciative of them. At the gym the other day, this extremely strong, professional body-builder guy high-fived me when I came in and said “You’re back to get some!” I felt so proud and affirmed. So, thank you, good men of the world. I appreciate you, and recognize you, and I know you will carry on. Here’s a very manly video in your tribute.