What is a Man

By: Tom Chiarella

A man carries cash. A man looks out for those around him — woman, friend, stranger. A man can cook eggs. A man can always find something good to watch on television. A man makes things — a rock wall, a table, the tuition money. Or he rebuilds — engines, watches, fortunes. He passes along expertise, one man to the next. Know-how survives him. This is immortality. A man can speak to dogs. A man fantasizes that kung fu lives deep inside him somewhere. A man knows how to sneak a look at cleavage and doesn’t care if he gets busted once in a while. A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. It doesn’t matter what his job is, because if a man doesn’t like his job, he gets a new one.

A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers.

A man owns up. That’s why Mark McGwire is not a man. A man grasps his mistakes. He lays claim to who he is, and what he was, whether he likes them or not.

Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt.

A man loves the human body, the revelation of nakedness. He loves the sight of the pale breast, the physics of the human skeleton, the alternating current of the flesh. He is thrilled by the snatch, by the wrist, the sight of a bare shoulder. He likes the crease of a bent knee. When his woman bends to pick up her underwear, he feels that thrum that only a man can feel.

A man doesn’t point out that he did the dishes.

A man looks out for children. Makes them stand behind him.

A man knows how to bust balls.

A man has had liquor enough in his life that he can order a drink without sounding breathless, clueless, or obtuse. When he doesn’t want to think, he orders bourbon or something on tap.

Never the sauvignon blanc.

A man welcomes the coming of age. It frees him. It allows him to assume the upper hand and teaches him when to step aside.

Maybe he never has, and maybe he never will, but a man figures he can knock someone, somewhere, on his ass.

He does not rely on rationalizations or explanations. He doesn’t winnow, winnow, winnow until truths can be humbly categorized, or intellectualized, until behavior can be written off with an explanation. He doesn’t see himself lost in some great maw of humanity, some grand sweep. That’s the liberal thread; it’s why men won’t line up as liberals.

A man gets the door. Without thinking.

He stops traffic when he must.

A man resists formulations, questions belief, embraces ambiguity without making a fetish out of it. A man revisits his beliefs. Continually. That’s why men won’t forever line up with conservatives, either.

A man knows his tools and how to use them — just the ones he needs. Knows which saw is for what, how to find the stud, when to use galvanized nails.

A miter saw, incidentally, is the kind that sits on a table, has a circular blade, and is used for cutting at precise angles. Very satisfying saw.

A man knows how to lose an afternoon. Drinking, playing Grand Theft Auto, driving aimlessly, shooting pool.

He knows how to lose a month, also.

A man listens, and that’s how he argues. He crafts opinions. He can pound the table, take the floor. It’s not that he must. It’s that he can.

A man is comfortable being alone. Loves being alone, actually. He sleeps.

Or he stands watch. He interrupts trouble. This is the state policeman. This is the poet. Men, both of them.

A man loves driving alone most of all.

Style — a man has that. No matter how eccentric that style is, it is uncontrived. It’s a set of rules.

He understands the basic mechanics of the planet. Or he can close one eye, look up at the sun, and tell you what time of day it is. Or where north is. He can tell you where you might find something to eat or where the fish run. He understands electricity or the internal-combustion engine, the mechanics of flight or how to figure a pitcher’s ERA.

A man does not know everything. He doesn’t try. He likes what other men know.

A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering.

A man does not wither at the thought of dancing. But it is generally to be avoided.

A man watches. Sometimes he goes and sits at an auction knowing he won’t spend a dime, witnessing the temptation and the maneuvering of others. Sometimes he stands on the street corner watching stuff. This is not about quietude so much as collection. It is not about meditation so much as considering. A man refracts his vision and gains acuity. This serves him in every way. No one taught him this — to be quiet, to cipher, to watch. In this way, in these moments, the man is like a zoo animal: both captive and free. You cannot take your eyes off a man when he is like that. You shouldn’t. The hell if you know what he is thinking, who he is, or what he will do next.

Desde que un amigo me enseñó este artículo me gustó mucho. Es cierto. Eso es un hombre.


You belong with me

You belong with me-Taylor Swift

You’re on the phone with your girlfriend, shes upset
Shes going off about something that you said
Cause she doesn’t get your humor like I do
I’m in my room, it’s a typical Tuesday night
I’m listening to the kind of music she doesn’t like
And she’ll never know your story like I do

But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts
She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up
And find that what you’re looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I’m the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can’t you see
You belong with me, you belong with me

Walking the streets with you and your worn-out jeans
I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on a park bench, thinking to myself
Hey isn’t this easy

And you’ve got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven’t seen it in a while since she brought you down
You say you’re fine, I know you better then that
Hey what you doing with a girl like that

She wears high heels, I wear sneakers
Shes cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I’m the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can’t you see
You belong with me
Standing by and waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know baby
You belong with me, you belong with me

Oh, I remember you drivin’ to my house in the middle of the night
I’m the one who makes you laugh, when you know you’re about to cry
I know your favorite songs and you tell me about your dreams
Think I know where you belong, think I know it’s with me

Can’t you see that I’m the one who understands you
Been here all along, so why can’t you see
You belong with me
Standing by and waiting at your back door
All this time How could you not know
Baby you belong with me, you belong with me
You belong with me
Have you ever thought just maybe you belong with me
You belong with me

This is the kind of song, i used to like back in high school, cuz… I was never the “I-wear-high-heels” kinda girl. Though… when I listen it today, made me laugh. I guess I’m still the kinda girl that prefers to wear converse.


Con el pasar del tiempo he aprendido a disfrutar de los pequeños detalles del día, aún cuando a veces mi mente ande en otro planeta. Una pequeña sonrisa, una broma inocente, una mirada que calienta el alma, que inspira tranquilidad. La sonrisa de un profesor seguida por un enrojecimiento total de mi cara. Por dicha él no lo notó. Ya me había dado yo la vuelta.

Siempre he disfrutado de las sorpresas, de encontrarme con alguien cuando no lo tenía planeado. Pero… a veces tengo que esconder sentimientos que se desearían mostrar. ¿Porqué me evita entonces su persona si ya nos hemos visto 2 veces y ud me vuelve la cara? A mí modesto parecer, uno no debería de tomar bandos en situaciones que no le corresponden, pero ése sólo es mi parecer.

Pero en situaciones de adversidad, es donde uno conoce mejor a las personas. Y es por eso, que no me duele. Ya me acostumbré a que me digan la verdad, aunque sea fea. Es sólo que, recuerdo tantas conversaciones tenidas al respecto con ud, donde me decía que no soportaba a la gente que no podía dar la cara… y ahora… ud es una de ellas, bueno, yo pensaba que ud era diferente. Tal parece que también me equivoqué con ud. Pero, eso es lo único que quería decir al respecto. Cuando ud me busque y se dé cuenta que cometió un error al meterse en un asunto que no era de su incumbencia, yo no sé si voy a estar ahí para escucharla. Lo siento, pero esa es la verdad.

Sin embargo, siguiendo con el tema de los detalles y dejando a esta otra persona en el párrafo anterior, siempre me ha gustado la gente que es detallista. Cualquier tipo de detalle, incluso el notar que en los días grises no sonrío con los ojos. Saber que me gustan los chanchitos o los melocotones. Traerme un frutini morado, porque es mi favorito. Darme el tipo de abrazo que me gusta, de los que son largos, de los que me levantan del suelo, de los que me hacen reír, de los que apretan. Traerme una cajita feliz a las 10 pm para hacerme sentir mejor (es una lástima que ud se haya tenido que ir, aunque lo comprendo, es mejor así)

That’s something that I’ve always liked about you. You DO notice. I guess… it’s gonna be difficult to get use to the people that don’t notice at all.