Aug 25, 2016

What Do You Have Under the Hood?

Rock Island, August 1977

When I was growing up in Rock Island, most boys were obsessed with being "men," doing exactly what men were supposed to do and nothing else.  The slightest of shifts in your hips as you walked, the most subtle of wrist movements, the tiniest bit of animation in your voice was proof positive that you were not a man at all, but a sissy, a "fag," or a girl.

Even if you got your body gestures, walking, and talking perfected, you could still give away your inner girlishness by not being knowledgeable and enthusiastic about three things: girls, sports, and cars.

The only one I had any hope of accomplishing was cars.

There was no way I was going to kiss and hug girls, sports were too confusing, but I had just got my driver's license, and Mom let me borrow her car sometimes.  Knowing how to fix a car was an attainable goal.  Masculinity within my reach!

The only problem: I was an aesthete, an intellectual, into Renaissance poetry and statues of naked men.  I couldn't tell a hammer from a nail. I got a D- in shop class.  I got carpentry and building toys for Christmas, and left them untouched in their boxes.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.