Monday, August 30, 2010
I Am Made of Scars
So there I was, spending another uneventful afternoon alone in the warehouse. I went to the bathroom to yoo-ren-nate and I must have thought I was Travis Bickle or something because I started making faces and talking to myself in the mirror. This wasn't a pep talk or a pre-fight motivational speech (although there is a retard who's supposedly going to try and fight me at some point this evening), it was just me being a bored idiot and working on my face warping skills.
After about five minutes of me embarrassing myself despite the fact that I was alone, I ended up glaring into the mirror and making my "war face" just like Gunny from Full Metal Jacket. And there they were, looking all sorts of fucked up like a trash compactor, staring at me saying, "You dumb motherfucker." That's right, my lovely broken teeth from a very large fist attached to an equally large man. This got me thinking about every stupid thing I've done in my life that's left permanent damage, either physical or mental. It also made me think of my son. My son, the big beastly five year old monstrosity who aspires to do great things like join the Navy and become Batman when he grows up.
Before I get into how awesome my kid is, let me give you a brief history of my pain as a child:
1988, 3 years old: Sliced off my finger nail on a circular saw in the garage.
1988, 3 years old: Fell off my bike and lost the skin on my arms and legs.
1989, 4 years old: I spent the entire summer covered in thick scabs, again on the arms and legs.
1993, 8 years old: I thought it would be a smart idea to try and back flip out of a swing and landed on my face in the gravel.
1993, 9 years old: I got hit in the face with a bowling ball at a birthday party and my front tooth )(thankfully it was a baby tooth) turned black and fell out.
1994, 9 years old: I tried to ride a bike through (perpendicular) an irrigation ditch and flew over the handle bars, de-fleshing 30 percent of my front side.
Now those are just the memorable ones. Oh yeah, I also crushed my pinky in the front door of the post office because I was retarded and thought that just becuase there was space under the hinges, I should stick my finger in there. It was fine until someone opened the door and there I was, little 7 year old Cub Scout howling in agony and the poor broad coming out of the building had no clue what was happening.
ANYWAY, aside from a couple of wicked scars on his forehead (my little monster has a tendency to fall into coffee table corners), little Wes has gone through the first five years of his life relatively unscathed. He's a tough little dude, but he's been really lucky. Other kids however, are a completely different story. I see kids at the store and just out and about all the time and nothing. It's the end of August and not one of these little booger eaters has a single cut, scrape, or bruise. What the shit is that?
I remember the end of summer when I was a kid being completely different. The first day of school was always a fun time because three quarters of us showed up covered in gauze, some with casts, and everyone had Band-Aids galore all over their bodie. We looked like Bravo Company coming home from Europe after four years of fighting the Nazis.
Some folks say that every generation is weaker than the last. They say that it's because people don't beat the shit out of their kids anymore. I agree with the former to some extent and disagree with the latter completely. My "toughness" didn't come from my corporal punishment at home (which was a lot less than I probably deserved), but rather from going outside and being a dumb little turd and wrecking myself on my bike and getting into fights. It came from thinking I was Superman and jumping out of trees and tripping over my own feet when I was sprinting down the sidewalk. It came from being a normal little kid.
I see these kids today who aren't allowed to do anything unless their parents are right over their shoulders and it makes me sad. They can't go outside and play by themselves because the boogeymen might come and snatch them up. They aren't allowed to kick the shit out of each other at school, and if they do happen to get into a fight, both children are suspended and the police get involved. No one plays sandlot football or "Smear the Queer" at the park after school. I could go on forever.
Their tears come exclusively from someone not sharing. Their tears come from their feelings being hurt. Their tears come from not being able to watch their shows or play their video games. It's all emotional pain and nothing physical. It's that physical pain that helps mold who you are and gives you the confidence to be a man. It preps you for adolescence so that you don't cry when you get hurt and if you fall down or get knocked down, you get up and walk that shit off!
I guess my main question is this: What will the future men of America be like when they are adults after a childhood of being coddled and Purexed to death? How tough will they be with no bumps and bruises and scars to help them remember growing up and being a boy? And will it even matter at that point, or will we have evolved enough to no longer need to be tough in our society?
All of this from making faces at myself in the bathroom at work. I need a lobotomy.