The Shadowy Task Of Shedding The Mask

Content 21+ (explicit content) Sometime back in the day, I heard of a book (cynically) entitled “How to Pick Up a Feminist”. I thought it was funny. I had just come back from Europe and enrolled at FSU for yet another attempt at finally finishing off my doctoral program, and I was doing creative writing for my degree. (The ‘dissertation’ turned out to be a body of my own poetry.) So, on paper at any rate, I would appear to have had the necessary pedigree for the ‘sensitive man’ routine, right? I mean, I could recite W.B. Yeats and Dylan Thomas at the drop of a hat, with extra dramatics thrown in if given enough grog at a party. I let it be loudly known that I was one sensitive motherfucker.

The problem was that I also liked football and pumping iron down at the Bobby Leach Center. (The Seminole football team had built half the university). I enjoyed swilling pitchers of beer and gobbling double cheese burgers and meat loaf sandwiches — wholesome, organic stuff like that. Moreover, as I soon discovered, the English Department was commanded, dominated, and heavily populated by feminists running the gamut from mild to militant (weighted more heavily at the latter end). I showed up as friendly as one of your more pleasant Labrador Retrievers, but I soon picked up on the fact that my burgers and bulk regimen were sending the wrong message to the vegetarian quiche and spritzer-water crowd, of which a smattering of feminist guys were to be found gazing with adoring servility at their Diesel overseers. I also saw that being gay or black or both (a small section of the Body Academic) was an advantage I could not boast of.

Maybe I was blinking out some ‘toxic’ (they hadn’t thought of the term and if they were Woke they didn’t know it yet) subliminal signals, but once I twigged that I was viewed as a prequel to Donald Trump (odd, because I was still a ‘liberal’ back then and Trump was just a builder of casinos), I began to develop a bad case of a malady known as the “Awfuckits”. This happens when you look closely at a situation and say “Aw Fuck it.”

In other words, I wasn’t their kind of boy, and even on those rare occasions when I made it my business to try and say the ‘correct’ things, it must have sounded like there was a bull water moccasin lurking in my words and ready to jump out and bite them in the ass. They weren’t buying any of it. That’s when the “Awfuckits” really took a turn for the worse. I broke out in a rash.

For one thing I was a writer NOT an academic, and writers tend to be a bit off the chain. The eggheads are mostly all Far Left, and writers can be anything from psychopathic to normal. But writers CREATE shit which the eggheads then ANALYZE and DECONSTRUCT once it gets promoted to the official ‘canon’. Secondly, the fiction and poetry workshops and seminars were full of feminists and all they wanted to write and talk about were ‘gender’ issues. It didn’t take me long to get tired of that. This was 1996–97. I can only imagine what it’s like now.

Call me a bad guy if you want, but to me there is nothing more tedious than spending an evening listening to very average, very prosaic ‘poetry’ (five long sentences chopped up into verse form) sweetened up by some ambiguous-sounding but pretentiously plaintive punchline at the end (to muddy the waters just enough to justify it as a ‘poem’), so that you can bust a nut sobbing for the poor Female Victim who churned it out and cursing the bastard (usually more than one — sometimes the entire male population) who had driven her to such a trembling (but of course stoical) state.

So I became something of a persona non grata and, typical of me, I started working industriously to live up to the label. If despised, be despicable — that’s what I always say. So…more ketchup and mustard on the Big Macs (it sprayed further when I took a really big, chomping rabid-rottweiler bite) and a lot more talk about the past weekend’s football game and who had really kicked who right in the nuts and truly lit up whose ass.

What I also noticed was that these feminists wouldn’t give me a shot. They weren’t the least bit interested in knowing what candles might have been burning behind the iron curtains of my flesh. They took one glance at me and saw only muscles and tattoos — they saw the caricature they wanted (and needed) to see, not the genuinely affable, open and at least negotiable sides of character— qualities I retained among the various (sometimes sordid) ingredients of my heart. They wouldn’t validate any of that. (I even contemplated eating raw onions before class so I could walk in the room crying, just to show them how goddamned sensitive I was.) They were as flint-like and doctrinaire in their stereotyping and labeling as Cotton Mather at the Salem Witch Trials. You could agree and agree and agree with them, but if you challenged one single thing they said, you would notice the quick, stern, furtive looks darting back and forth among them, and you knew that you had just been convicted as a Heretic. So I had to go into town to get pussy, and, fortunately for me, there was plenty of it there.

What did I learn from all this? I learned that it is a complete waste of time trying to play a role of any sort to please ANYBODY, especially women. The real ones, the women to die for, be they old or young, black, white, or yellow, straight ‘A’ students or waitresses at the all night coffee shop — will see through the charade anyway. You should just try to be yourself and accept the fact that this ‘self’ of yours is not going to be everybody’s flavor of the month.

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So, finally, I had all the degrees and certificates. I was Doctor Le Roy. Really. Ten years after earning them, this Doctor of Philosophy stopped trying to get in the door of Academia (where I was never wanted) and went back to Europe permanently. After that, by moving to Russia and going freelance, I established a career that all the degrees and certificates in America never conferred. It changed my life. I ran my own show and got the results. Self-discipline, hard-nosed refusal to make excuses, a willingness to work everyday and all hours. I became the toughest boss I ever had, and in the process I learned to BE MYSELF. And it’s a damned good thing I did because my family were all either dead or in halfway houses by then. No Free Lunch. And my rap sheet in America was longer than my employment record. Petty stuff, almost all of it drug and alcohol related, but enough to exile me from institutes of higher learning. Not that they wanted me anyway — as I have already stated.

M-Y-S-E-L-F was good enough and always had been. I just hadn’t ever really thought so, and not one puff of my ersatz bravado had changed anything. All it had ever done was make me drink more. I was a scared little boy who didn’t think he could ever measure up to all the studs and starlets around me. It’s like on Facebook. Everybody always looks so happy. Just back from Dubai or Bali and grinning like a motherfucker. And you sit in your cubicle and mutter to yourself, “Why are they having all the fun and I am slouched here in a bleak room debating on whether to go take a shit now or wait until after my lunch break.”

I’ve never done it, but I have thought about posting myself on Facebook looking like some kind of gargoyle or someone about to commit suicide. Or just picking my nose. Or pretending to admire a Q-tip sporting a glob of fresh ear wax.

That’s why most people wear masks. Deep down, they think that the mask is more lovable, more acceptable, and they invite people to love the mask. Meanwhile, they dwell in constant fear of being exposed. “If you knew what I REALLY was, you wouldn’t love/hire/respect/fear me as you do.” It’s why a lovely lady English language student of mine in Moscow who had a private business as a dominatrix once told me that her biggest spending strap-on clientele (where the woman anchors herself to whatever size dildo the John has requested and rams it up the guy’s ass) were rich bosses and senior executives— slave masters who whipped their employees all day. And came to the girl in black gloves and stilettos to be whipped themselves.

All in a day’s work in this twilight, ever-darkening urban Eden that is our sallow wonderland.

So I usually act now like what I really am: a plain old guy from Morgantown, West Virginia, bred in Martinsburg, corrupted in Charleston by the raw mustard of the utterly raped and mutilated Kanawha River. I come from stock not far removed from hillbilly status. That was a long, long time ago and I have since lived in places like Rome, London, and Moscow. And those cities are every bit as great as advertised and they taught me a lot.

Looking back, it’s really a shame now that at Florida State University back in 1997, I felt that I was expected to pretend to be ONE thing in order to be accepted and then felt compelled to pretend to be ANOTHER thing in retaliation for not being told “Welcome Aboard !” — for refusing to play the joker game that was the price of admission. Both were frauds. It’s like the situation with these WOKE clowns now. If you kiss their ass, they MIGHT forgive you for being a white man who looks like he’s done a few curls and bench presses in his day. If you refuse to do that, then you’re marked down as a volunteer KKK hangman. It’s all bullshit either way.

A mask is a mask. So the best (and only) solution? STRIP IT OFF.

I know one thing for sure. Some tired, underpaid gal working long hours at a boring job in Martinsburg can be as much of a wild, wonderful woman as a trendy hotty in Moscow or Firenze. The ‘uneducated’ black guy or even the redneck rube unloading a truck full of bicycle pumps out behind the warehouse is quite possibly — at his core — just as smart as some jerk-off, know-it-all tenured professor. I understand this because I have spent a lifetime learning it and because I have seen the highs and lows. Looked IN the window and looked OUT the window. I have flushed shit down golden toilets worthy of the Emperor Nero, and I have shoveled shit next to guys out on parole.

Two things to learn in life: (1) who and what you really are; (2) after any necessary modifications, accept and BE that person.

If it’s a woman you’re looking for, you’ll find the one (or ones) for you. And vice versa. Same as if you want a tranny, a lesbian, a gay guy or whatever. You can only spend so much time fucking and sucking. The other 95% is with the real person. Time to drop the act at this point because it won’t do you any good anyway.

But remember (I have to remind myself of this at times) that ‘being yourself’ doesn’t entitle you to parade around high-fiving your fucking self like some arrogant ‘wide-o’ (to borrow a phrase from Irving Welsh in “Trainspotting”). None of us are all that hot, you know. Just a bunch of silly punters really.

In my lifetime, there has not been one single person, male or female, who — no matter how beautiful, indestructible, or untouchable they seemed from a distance — once met and known at close quarters, has not turned out to be as boringly ordinary and predictable as everyone else. Or, if otherwise (because I must edit myself a tad here — there HAVE been a few geniuses; I am still waiting on the saint) — it wasn’t about sex. If the sex was great it was generated by something deeper.

Some mafia bosses, royal monarchs, and 4-stars military generals no doubt have thicker armor. But still, in moments of deepest privacy (or despair)….

….fantasize about that long dildo up the ass.

Something you’ll never see on Facebook.

===Eric===

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