MEN: FOUR TALES

Following are four stories related to the theme of men and manhood. What a man is, and what he is not, is still not clear to many after centuries of men. What is the role of courage, integrity, vision, compassion, insecurity, hype, conditioning, rage and compensation in the construction of the reality or the mirage of a man? These stories will not answer that question, but will explore strands of truth and falsehood in the search for the essence of a man.

The first story, "A Real Man", is laid in New York City and deals with the confusion and consequences of a man hooked on the illusion of manhood. Disrespect abuses the victimís hand reaching for manhood: those who are despised must try too hard.

The second story, "Fetterman", takes place in South Dakota, between Pine Ridge and Rapid City. It deals with the fine line between anger and discipline, reaction and vision, and destructive and constructive manhood.

The third story, "The Fight", takes place in a boxing ring in a major city, and shows that there is more than one way to express manhood, and that many a lionís roar does not express it at all.

The fourth story, "Johnny", points to the fact that there are different planes of manhood, and utterly different frames of reference for judging manliness, which are possible. Some of these "alternative dimensions of manhood" are so distant from the stereotypes as to be practically invisible. Will bringing them back into focus help to heal the world?

NOTES:

"The veteran fight observerís" comment in the second paragraph of "The Fight" is borrowed from a real, but forgotten, fight man, who used it in reference to a boxer from the 1980s. Fight fans will recognize other allusions to the history of the sport, as well.

"Johnny" is loosely based on historical fact. My old copy of Eva Mooreís Johnny Appleseed was all I needed to cut loose.

ADVISORY: In all stories, there is some profanity, and there are some elements of violence. "A REAL MAN", in particular, is filled with a high level of profanity which may offend some; but its purpose is to be realistic and effective in covering the ground it does. Read at your discretion.

 

THE STORIES:

 

A Real Man

Fetterman

The Fight

Johnny

 

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