Everybody has feelings.
Nobody's carved out of stone.
There are people who think they are. They think they are perfect; that the very chisel that has carved them into men has perfected them as human beings.
It's a lie.
Men cry. Sometimes for the most absurd things, but they do.
We as men also worry, have self-doubt, insecurities, and are capable of being scared.
Even by women.
Yes. I said the opposite sex.
There are three incidences that I can clearly relate to, and I'll begin with my middle-school head mistress.
Christ she was a verbal monster.
I distinctly remember my mother walking me through the school doors (like the first day in a new school wasn't enough worry for a seven year old boy).
Any way, upon entry all I remember my fragile ears hearing was a woman's voice bellowing down the hallway, "get out of this school you morons!" followed by two youths. They were older than me, fleeing past me out of the doors in fear. From that point on I feared Mrs Bonner. I feared her high haired wig . I feared the fact that she looked like a man and would become one at any given moment.
There was an incident when I strolled out of the school gates for a joke and was immediately sent to Mrs Bonner's office. I was so scared that when she sent out her secretary to ask me why I was there I panicked and meekly stated that I was doing no more than looking at the pictures on the wall. I was sent back to my homeroom only to find that the very woman who apprehended me at the gates was right there in my class.
My second visit to the headmistress was a terrifying experience that afternoon.
My number two scare was delivered to me from my aunt Elaine when I was ten.
I remember sitting in the confines of my grandmother's living room by the fire with my cousin Jennifer when out of nowhere, she began saying a variety of curse words in my ear. My Aunt caught wind of this swiftly and lunged at my cousin before proceeding to dump washing up liquid down her throat. And although I was merely a receptacle for my cousin's uncontrollable outburst I still wasted no time what so ever in dashing to my mother's car outside and locking all the doors. Only to be coaxed back inside for ice cream. I remember it being delicious but my fear was ever present.
Now to number three; the magic number. Number three is my darling Alicyn. My fiancé stands a mere five feet tall but could scare the shit out of a ten-foot monster if she was cornered. To be honest I cannot think of a particular occasion when she scared me. But I have realized that when in love you have to respect your partner's feelings as much as your own. But there are still many times I have said and done the wrong things. Thus by creating a negative and depressing vibe between us both. And if anyone out there has a partner as intelligent and articulate as mine truly is, it can be frightening for the psyche when I have no way of succeeding in contesting her views without flushing the hopes of a pleasant day down the toilet. Not because my words aren't there, but simply because the right ones just aren't being processed accordingly.
What I'm saying is that if Alicyn doesn't understand my motives, and if I am having trouble explaining myself as clearly as I need to, it confuses her. And it scares me.
If she is depressed, upset, and has a cloudy view upon the world, and I keep fucking up trying to work it out with her, even when deep down my intentions are good, it scares me.
If she is yelling at me and I can't diffuse the matter and calm her down, but instead find myself yelling back at her, it scares me.
If she ever threatened to give us up because of our persistent ill communication and the fact that we have trouble resolving things, it would scare me as well.
Above all I think we as men are expected to play a certain role toward women in this society. Especially the women we love. If my fiancé was a nothing more than another man bullying me with words, I could just say go fuck a duck or threaten him with a slap. But that is not the case here, is it?
What of our women? What tools do I have when the most precious person in my life bullies me with intellectual words that are incisive and sharp as a razor? There are plenty of men out there that raise hands to their women. That is nothing short of cowardly.
So, if like me, you could never physically hurt a woman, what then? How do the right tools get acquired?
From this standpoint in my relationship I can only use what few tools I already have. I haven't a clue how or when I'm going to acquire any more. It is a journey I am still on. The chapter is continuing. Unfortunately this is a scare story that I can't yet bring to a close…
Gareth John Harkness