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Boy Culture

My collection of Boy Culture includes:
Morrissey lyrics, lines from Monty Python, Evil Dead and Hal Hartley films, the Fugazi ethic, distinguishing features of classic Ford and Chevrolet body styles, skateboard lingo, football stats, subscription to FHM magazine*, early history of Hip Hop, Mister Show, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, fluency in sexual profanity, Your Mama jokes, the running NAS vs. Jay-Z debate, Tenacious D, Ween, annual attendance at the NHRA Southern Nationals, the drummer from Rush, the Surrealist Manifesto, hot wings, the parables of Soren Kierkegaard, etc.

(*leftover from a previous resident at this address)

Do I really enjoy all this? Sure, but only a fraction as much as the guy who influenced me. This stuff is the currency of seduction. Guys are smitten with their own Boy culture, often mistaking me for a tomboy.

“At last,” they think, “I have found a girl who is one of us.” And they are not entirely mistaken- I have been minoring in boy culture. But they are essentially falling in love with my prior boyfriends, my brother and my dad.

This makes me feel a little arbitrary in the whole equation.

Luckily, I too have supplied a range of useful trivia to the men in my life: Screenprinting, Cajun cuisine, Flannery O’Connor, preparing collard greens, Frank Black (but not the Pixies), table ettiquette, Apple, Bukowski, stain removal, BUST magazine, Liberation Theology, sushi, campfire building, Sam Prekop (Wait, Prekop came from my husband. But I would have discovered him eventually), French cinema, etc. And guys, in turn, have leveraged these feminine influences to attract other women.

“Isn’t he sensitive,” they imagine, “He grinds his own coffee beans, he handwashes the delicates, he gives the perfect backrub, he loves Interpol as much as I do.” Turns out, you have me and his momma to thank for that.

Its Springtime Again and Time for Something New

Actually, you are not free. You are not free to update your profile, to document your travels and hobbies online. You are not free to google old crushes and send little keep in touch notes that strike just the right tone. You are not free to wear that nail polish, to return those charming voicemails. Allowed, but not free. In fact, you should start editing your dreamlife to be less threatening, to involve the appropriate parties in approved positions. Be on the lookout for red flags of betrayal, curiosity. You know when its happening. Engaging conversation and stinging eye contact with hotties. Self-publication, self-promotion, tight shirts. Everything has a point. Everything has a consequence. You are carrying a heavy load. You are not even close to free.

At last, I have found the one, I am free.
Now that we're married, I am free.
This soaring feeling, it must be in love.

I don't need a man, I am free.
No hangups here, man, love is free.
Those were my wild days, when I was free.

He is not my responsibility anymore, I am free.
She was always dragging me down, now I'm free.
No one to clean up after anymore, I am free.

And even when you are inviting that guy over to help hang drapes, the one you just met on a whim on the train, you are not really free. It is not really whim. You will have to lay down the law. You will have to get this show on the road. Because even when you’re wearing those boots, out too late, chatting up the boss, the truckdriver, the guy with an accent, even with that addictive, spiraling spark in your gut, you are not free. That is not freedom you’re feeling as you wait for him to call you back. You will catalog every detail, and chain yourself with them. You collect these stone memorials: Name, Features, Quotable Quotes. You are not free as you try to pick out the right outfit, the right words, testing the smell of your breath on the back of your hand. Being yourself. Being spontaneous. Waiting to see what happens: Nope. Everything has a point. And everyone knows what the point is.

You will grow into soft indifference. A lazy faith in late afternoon fucking. You will fall asleep quickly. No expectations, no details. Codependent and satisfied. Being wherever it is you're supposed to be at 10pm, in early Spring, in your late twenties, in a city like this. Rebel if you wanna, but don't tease yourself. You are convincing him, getting rid of him, making plans with him, as if you own the joint, but you are not free at all.