All the so-called men were lining up for things I couldn’t understand. -Intellectual Shaman
I talked to my dad about it. “Why do men go to war?” I asked.
“Because they’re patriots; I wanted to be a marine, but I shot my leg off before I could get to Vietnam.”
“Why do guys want to kill each other? Isn’t there a mutual bond of brotherhood, or something?”
“Naw. When I was younger, I used to read Soldier of Fortune Magazine. It said there was no greater feeling than bleeding another man on your blade.”
I was horrified. “What should I do?”
“You should get a job,” my dad said. And I did. I worked for minimum wage, and didn’t get any respect.
I checked in with my dad, a couple years later. “What should I do now?”
“Well, you graduated high school, so you should go to college; study something useful, like engineering, that’s what I did.”
I tried to do what he did, but I couldn’t understand engineering. It all seemed like a big waste of time.
“Do you have a girlfriend yet?” My dad asked.
“Well, it might be time for you to start thinking about getting one. You’ll want to be married soon.”
“Any time I thought about marriage or women or relationships, I felt heavy, like I was 300 pounds and I couldn’t take another step.
I was getting decent grades in community college, but my parents were really worried.
“Andy, there’s this camp I read about in the newspaper. “It’s a man camp where young men like yourself have a chance to make friends.” It was a horror story, and then my mother showed it to my dad.
“That’s it! That’s just what the boy needs!”
“But I’m a grown adult. I stopped going to camp in middle school!”
“You’re under my roof still, so you’re under my rules. You can live here as long as you want, but you must do what I say. If you don’t, you’re on your own.”
I didn’t want to become homeless, so I signed up for man camp.
To be continued…