Part I: I don’t get myself.
Last week at work I was trying to listen to the radio. I was sliding past the stations, going from off-tune chick-with-guitar, to whiny-gritty bad-lyrics man-band, to “you nothin’ but booty”. I went through almost every station, until finally, frustrated, I said out loud, “None of this is REAL!” Because you can say random-sounding things out loud when you’re alone in somebody’s house for four hours.
Then I flipped to one more and I heard, and I quote:
“Jesus Christ is able to cleanse the filthiest of hearts!”
Well ALL RIGHT! This is sincere!
So I listened to a preacher for about two hours. But don’t tell anybody, ok?
Part II: I don’t get guys.
At a kid’s birthday party a while back, I found myself talking with a couple of straight dads. These guys were real South Austin sensi-dads – soft-spoken, sweet fellas, sensitive to the needs of others, who shared all the diapering and laundry and let their natural-mama wives call all the shots. They were both named Matt.
Matts and I were talking about the benefits of vegetarianism, though we were all meat eaters. We got into how to be responsible meat eaters – buy local and small, go organic, that sort of thing.
I said, “If I could hunt, I’d eat venison all year long.” At the word “hunt”, both guys’ eyes lit up. They got all perked up, like a dog that’s caught sight of a squirrel. I said, “I’ve had deer, moose, wild turkey – I love the taste, I’ve just never learned how to do it myself.”
Bald Matt said he has land about two hours south, and it’s covered with deer, and he’d love to learn to hunt.
Glasses Matt says, “I’ve got ALL the equipment. AND a liscence.” If you looked close, you could see his chest puff up. Bald Matt said, a hint of awe in his voice, “You’ve got guns?” “Yep. Sure do. Nice ones, really good guns. Really great for hunting.”
“Oh, so you know how to hunt?” I asked.
Glasses Matt lost a little chest-air, and he looked a little annoyed. “Oh, you know, if you’ve been on one hunt, you’ve been on them all.” Huh? “Yeah, THAT’S sure right!” said Bald Matt, who had probably never aimed a slingshot at a Coke can.
“Hey, so lets go hunting on my land!” said Bald Matt. I began to say “OK!” but Glasses Matt interrupted: “Yeah! When do you want to go?” he asked Bald Matt. “How about next weekend?” “Deal, Buddy. And hey, if you want you can come over later, check out the guns, get a feel for ’em before we get out there and take down any game.” At this point both their backs were turned to me, the one who mentioned hunting in the first place.
I stood there a while, watching how they tried to hide how excited they were, like boys with their first bb guns. I noted how they deepened their normally soft-toned voices a little, and stood a little straighter and held their arms out like muscle-men, these sensitive guys who’ve probably done Robert Bly workshops, standing there talking about “bagging” deer.
Eventually I wandered over to the women. Ah well, I probably couldn’t really shoot a deer, anyway. I’d probably get out there, take one look into those deer-eyes and instead of shooting and eating her I’d give her a big, warm hug and a bundt cake.