I saw things, I couldn’t unsee—I learned things, I couldn’t unknow—I realized, knowing, isn’t enough. One can know the atomic bomb is coming, and not be able to run from it. One can live with a disagreeable woman, and if she has you by the balls—you will forget they are attached. There are uncomfortable truths. Some women are grinders, and they will grind you down to nothing, especially, when you apply force. You can’t win, and the helpless feeling you get when you don’t fight, has broken many men, because they seem to have no place, no tools, to deal with these new kinds of problems.
I needed a place to go. A safe place to share my feelings. No psychologist, counselor, or therapist would accept what I said. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Toxic Masculinity is something to be solved. I met all their criteria, but I didn’t believe society. When an insane man realizes the rest of the world is crazy, and they want to do a lobotomy, or shock the bad emotions out of his skull, he decides to disagree, to hold onto his dignity.
It was a hole in the wall—so disgusting, so unsanitary, no woman would ever set foot within. It’s the same concept of the male and female restroom. Women don’t go into the Men’s. Men must enjoy what society rejects. I needed that kind of a man to talk to, and I found him—he was the owner of Rat’s Gym. He had long hair—the kind, as tough as bailing wire.
“Do you want a membership?” He asked. I glanced at the equipment—it looked like it had been salvaged from San Quentin.
“What can you pay?”
“15 a month?”
“Cash. You have yourself a membership…Mr…?”
“My name is Samson. You look a bit weak.”
“That’s because I work with women, I think.”
“Could be. Research says your peer group adjusts the level of testosterone in your body. That’s why men in prison are savage, and that’s why you feel like a woman.”
“Is that so?”
“Well, it’s a theory that seems to be true. There is no absolute truth—just a gut instinct.”
“Can you create a workout plan for me, that will restore my manhood?”
“That’s part of it, but you need other things as well.”
“My Protein Shakes, and My library.”
“Listen, you are a casualty of war. Netflix is filling your mind with the feminine male—the male, who agrees with her because she’s always right. You need to read Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Why don’t you start reading, and I’ll make you a shake?”
I sat in his rat-infested leather armchair, and cracked Schopenhauer’s On Women. Suddenly, they made sense to me.
“Hey, this is pretty good!”
“I told you so! Keep reading!” The shake smelled funny. “What’s in this?” I asked.
“It will put hair on your chest.”
I drank, and instantly felt better.
“Let’s do some bench presses,” the guru said. He started to put-on 45s.
“Hey, that’s 4 on each side. How old are you? You can’t possibly be that strong!”
“Just spot me, will you?”
“Okay.” I wasn’t even sure I could save him, but he didn’t need help. He pumped the weight like it wasn’t even there.
“You just did 10 reps of 405 pounds!?”
“It’s only a number. Mind over Matter. Why don’t you try?”
I got down, and started. I was stronger than I had ever been before.
“When you come in tomorrow, we’ll work on your biceps.”
“Okay,” I said.
“Just one more thing…”
“Don’t cut your hair.”