The Wall: A Quest for Manhood.
What is a man? Anatomically a man is defined by the nether-regions; the penis and gonads. Sociologically, a man is coined as being the provider, the strength, and the rock upon which a family is rooted. The idioms which flatter and galvanize us can also confine the potential artist that we all have lying deep within. Being in a band can often cause one to question their manliness, case in point…
Scenario: Loading in to ghetto D.C club.
Crackie #1: Oh shit! Is it gay night???
Me: Nope. Disappointed?
Crackie #2: Nice pants.
Me: Thank you.
Too often have we shyed under the shadows of masons and carpenters, marines and jedi knights, l.a.p.d. snipers and ultimate fighters. We musicians are as manly as any man, and it must be known! Although countless burly moments present themselves while on the road, i.e. driving through snowy mountain passes miles above sea level, semi-trucks screaming by with reckless abandon kicking ice and slush up into waves of Nordic murder. Really, there is no better way to comprehend the Manimal without becoming the Manimal. This is where John's and my vision quest begins… The Man Within.
A wall was to be built in the Lola Ray trailer. Schematics! We need schematics. Yes, yes…blueprints as well, we need those. Measuring tape, check…hammer, ballpene or claw? Fuck, I dunno. Thin-thread screws 3 inches with oxidation preventative zinc coating. Two by fours of Oregonian pressure treated Douglas fir. Plywood planks four feet by five and nine inches. Four testicles, two wife-beaters, one AC/DC record with powerful car stereo, cigarettes, sweat, sawdust and a touch of blood bourne of slight splinter incision. “If you build it, they will come” resonated deeply within our newly bastardized souls. Sons of no mother, we were now children of the greats…George Washington, Denzel Washington, Daniel Boone and Captain Kirk. No more did the Iggys and Bowies flow through our fickle girly veins.
With saw in hand, I began to hack through the dense fibers that once were tree as John installed the planks with surgical precision. We eyeballed, we cussed, we became elated in the pure ingenuity that must have filled the men of Egypt while they struggled to heave 5 ton blocks one by one up those pyramid steps. Hours disappeared, the sun turned its reign over to the slight gray moon, and yet we continued to work in to the coming night. Her thoughtful luminescence guiding our weary hands away from the blades and blunt crude tools. Tap tap tap, the whir of an electrical motor, tap tap tap. At around 9 p.m. the wall was completed with one final trigger pull of John’s craftsman built, sears bought corded power drill…18-volt bitch, wassup.
Standing back and admiring the finished product can only be understood, strangely enough, by a woman after birthing her first seed. A tear may have been shed but will never again be spoken of…real men do not cry. A hi-five was indefinitely shared, as were a few tall, chilled Millers.
You can look for us not up on stage, plucking frivolously at strings and singing songs of love and woe, but on the frontlines, M-60’s in hand and HOO-RAH’s tipping our tongues. Plugging away at anti-American vermin pouring oil into their oversized cereal bowls. I hope the Corp. can handle a few good men, even if they happen to be devilishly handsome musical visionaries, new to the world of drill bits and fucking for sport. Believe it, for we…are…man. Grrrraawwwr!!!!
A contemplative poem in retrospect of a great accomplishment.
Torrid burning sun
On our backs as we work
Building with wood
Love has turned sour
Our thoughts on nails
On hammers and axes
No tree is safe
We will build walls around walls
Until death greets us openly on the battlefield
Timber of heaven beware
There are REAL men in this place.