Déardaoin, Bealtaine 22, 2008
So I'm Thinking of Going Home This Weekend
But I drove my van for the first time in four months today, and wouldn't you know it I'm low on oil and need to get it fixed up. I could afford it if I skimped on some vice or another, but it does raise the question, if I only made the three hour drive to North Platte say, once every three years or so, would that make me a bad son?
I'm thinking in particular of the Christmas of 06; my dad had ordered the new version of "The Longest Yard" on pay-per-view to watch with my sister and I while my mom was at work at the liquor store. I have a fair amount of respect for the old Burt Reynolds version. It certainly doesn't have the artistic quality of a "Godfather" or "French Connection", but it does have that same sort of August afternoon wariness, the sort of anti-authoritarianism and hangover-urine bitterness that made 1970's American cinema something we can be unabashedly proud of. It goes without saying that the Adam Sandler version does not fit this mold.
I remember when my mother came home Dad said with pride that "we had watched a funny movie together and had a good time." He actually believed that it had been a true bonding experience.
There was a point in the movie where I was flipping through the World-Herald and started laughing at a story about a Sudanese restaurant that was forcing baby monkeys
to fight each other for the amusement of its customers, and Dad must have thought I was laughing at one of Sandler's zany homoerotic shenanigans.
There was a point in the movie where actor/wrestler Goldberg was shirtless and triumphant about something, and my father muttered "What a man" to himself.
I've said before that there is no such thing as a man having a non-sexual appreciation for the masculinity of another man, and I stand by that statement. If you are not indifferent to another man's biceps, then you want to nibble at them, it's as simple as that.
And I suppose that I shouldn't be the least bit surprised at my father's latent gayness. He has all the attributes of a closet case; an obsession with proving his manliness at every opportunity to a point that a twelve-year-old boy would find silly, transparently insincere peons towards tolerance of gays, "I have no problems, with gays, I've just never seen a met a homo that was really happy," (I'll spare you his thoughts on lesbians.) and an obsession with the traditional masculine ideal of the father protecting his family from enemies that goes far beyond absurd. (We were visiting Lincoln when I was a boy, and while driving down a darkish section of O street he mentioned that he was driving faster to avoid the gangsters that were surely hanging out in the shadows, when I grew up I learned that this darkish section was Wyuka Cemetery.) This fantasy of his (There's no other word) with killing the intruder clearly indicates some deep hidden frustration that must be unloaded on another man with violent abandon.
But than it's all well and good to speak of the warped psyche of the rural American male in the abstract isn't it?" This is my father I write of, and I've already said far too much.