A Bundle of Nerves

Posted on September 21, 2013


As a man, being alone feels dangerous to you. No one has your back. No one feeds you. No one takes up a watch if you vanish. No one appreciates what you do for them. Alone is when your wife is oblivious to your needs. Alone is when you’re never fond of your only son.

But alone is not young women of today that seem predatory.

Pick her. She’s 26. Young and smart. She’s got an attitude. You would have never expected to exchange such conversation with a girl like her. Just like any other of her generation, she’s special, she’s self-absorbed. Married without kids, she’s settled. But with all of her zest and curiosity, she’s counterintuitive.

Starting by updating your mobile messenger status and profile picture more often, you would then begin to obsessively call and message her. You would even ask her out for a coffee and then a dinner. What is the harm? You’re not getting any younger.

The conversation would be fancy until you began to slip in personal issues and spill your guts, truth or false, about your wife, kid, feelings, anything self-regarding. Each time you jump to this topic, she would toss a banter line, sometimes casual insults. It would then turned to a sarcastic argument, as if she’s trying to dismantle your brain for a perverse sense of power. You confide in her and she would judge without even knowing the real deal of a patient, grown up man.

She also calls you ignorant, yet she ignores you in front of her friends. She finds you shameful and you find her infuriating in turns. She must have thought that you’re just a creepy guy who feign friendship for carnal intention. She’s there as if to mock men for feeling lonely and their inability of building and maintaining friendship with females. She’s a disguised misandrist who would tap your shoulder and say, it’s not too late and secretly hopes you could become a functioning member of society capable of entering a responsible relationship with a person you actually care about who cares about you. But she’s secretly sure you wouldn’t get anywhere unless you realize your flaws, how your way of interacting with women is distasteful, and work to be a better person.

But why would she be a misandrist? She likes men in general. She enjoys hanging around them and even makes a good friend with married fellows without difficulty. It’s something in all maternal senses that she just wants to comfort them with hugs and food even when they got whiny and nasty when she doesn’t return their feelings.

And that’s exactly the part you don’t understand.

Maybe because she’s a woman. One of those women who think respectable men should have a good grooming and good grammar to begin with. One of those women capable of complex relationships where they have friends, lovers, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, acquaintances, fancy evening buddies, co-workers, bosses, sleeping buddies, online-pals, etc, just like men.

But you’re not alone. She also tries to reason you.

She wonders why you love to imitate the lifestyle of her generation. Their mobile, societal, even retail behaviors. The pump your fist, shout for joy they are identical with. While it’s mostly true that those of her generation are lazy and narcissistic, she thinks your life is as fabricated, vapid and superficial as you thought they would have been. And one day she would realize she doesn’t need to go to such length for a tedious, wearisome, hopeless case like you.

That little whore, you would think. Isn’t she just overreacting? Does she not feel flattered even just a bit? Isn’t it cool for her to see that there is someone who think she was awesome enough to obsess over her? You swear she would regret it later. You swear that men’s right activists might hound her for harassing harmless man.

Deep in your heart, you still think you were better than her when you were her age. She must have envied everything about you. Those days when pop culture and music still had movements and trends that lasted long enough to engulf the mainstream. You’ve had your zeitgeist. To hell with her fickleness and sense of righteousness.

Once again you would look into her eyes, those eyes that keep looking for a word to describe how much you don’t get it as you feel like ripping them off their sockets.

You’re furious. You’re angry. You’re frightened. You’re resentful.

And of course, you’re a patient, grown up man of your generation.

Posted in: fiction, writing