The Journey Into Manhood by Doald Yates

It would seem that a boy has no direction; after all, where is the handbook. Perhaps someone would step up who is willing or equipped to offer advise of what to expect. There are so many don’t do that, or smarten ups that it’s no surprise boys stay in a state of constant confusion, even unto adulthood. The boys take their browbeating and crawl away like licked cures; trembling at the mere idea of engaging the brain. They get into trouble trying this and that because their adventurous hearts are in search of what is passable not permissible. Boys don’t be disillusioned; advice is on its way!

When advice comes it is usually as intelligent as a grumbling toad on a rock like, “carry on boy, your legacy is waiting.” What the Heck?? What a freighting thing to look forward to. Legacy is waiting? Who the heck made up that load of bull? Perhaps dear old dad’s, no disrespect intended, legacy is not so great. And dear old Great Grandpa was a horse theft. Possibly one could, after all, strive to be an astronaut or president or something of the highest caliber, or even, what the heck . . . a beach bum. How about “work hard and everything will be all right”, you know, “fruit of your labor” and all that baloney. Hay, I know a lot of guys that worked hard and ended up as poor as a church mouse. Besides, who is qualified to advise a boy anyway? Boys are notoriously . . inadvisable, they just can’t seem to get it through their thick heads.

After all, one can be assured, there is no guidebook, instruction manual or road signs forthcoming. Take a wrong turn and you end up with one foot in the ditch and the other slipping on a banana peel. Hitch your dreams to an out-of-touch, druggy, speeding, foul-mouthed, advice-giving icon that has streamed his way in from the TV, and go to it. After-all icons are known for prudence, right? Sure they are, like a bear wouldn’t poop in the woods either. The thing is, no one said, “if you don’t draw a road map you’ll get lost,” and boy did I get lost. What the heck at least I was not alone in my disillusionment. I joined the ranks of the lost, and strode into the future like a bumbling idiot.

Like a possum stupidity lumbers onto the highway and becomes road kill, I too stumbled into the bright lights of oncoming disaster. I was so blinded by the glitter I became paralyzed and my brain became numb, there was no getting past it, I too became road kill. That’s right kill, dead, no longer alive, a shadow of a man. Shoot, I not only didn’t know what lay ahead for me; I couldn’t even sort out the reality of it, if I had I would have coward down in panic or turned and ran like a jackrabbit. I certainly would have made no sense out of it, because there is no sense in it. Life is the road and tribulation is its eighteen-wheeler. Take note, the hesitant gets flattened like a pancake while the strong lumbers on without reservation.

I will admit that a lot of what Yates says here is valid, but aren't things worse for boys now than ever? What the hell is manhood as defined by pop culture? Is it being a wage slave for life? Is it being a complete fool for a woman who can destroy you in divorce court?

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