It was like a scene from a New York movie, or a Woody Allen film. The difference being that we were in Lincoln Park and not Central Park, we were not married, divorced, related or dating, and we were talking about the stink of the Rhino and the socialization of failure in fatherhood.
We were walking through a zoo, on a Sunday afternoon, ambling, observant, pensive, spending silent awed minutes at the Sun Bears, who stay perma-tiny, stay always-babies, who rolled and sunned themselves and shit for our amusement. Many of the animals swam and walked obsessively in circle patterns, out of anxiety, leopards and polar bears, frantic and bored in captivity.
I have been dwelling on it a lot, since traveling so much: Men, they look miserable, stiff, tired, given-up. All of them. Except Euro-dads with babies slinged across their fronts, and Sasha, hasid-dads and some other random men riding tractors I saw once. At the zoo, I said to JR: "I fear ever being married, for one reason alone: for fear of being married to that man ." - as we passed the zillionth dad on silent death march, eight feet behind his wife and brood of young, dad walking grey and pained, often pushing the stroller - empty and filled with discarded bottles, totes, coats and mementos of their zoo-visit. They all have moustaches and do not speak or interact with their kids, unless they, of course, are German, then which they excitedly talk to their stomach-mounted four-month-old about Giraffes, at length.
See, I have fantastic fathers, two of them. I want everyone to have great dads. Seeing the dads, silent and Casper-like, behind the strollers, I do not understand, how did they get reluctant and grey like that, and where are the excited dads, and don't they want to be engaged? Where are the jubilant father? The ones not pacing and circling, frantic and bored in captitvity? I do not blame them for being exhausted and empty, since men are socialized to be, essentially, people who carry things, pay for things, grill things, riled only by blow jobs and team sports, existing in a spiritual vaccum, existing in the limits of the physical world, which seems to begin and end in a garage workshop.Posted by Jessica at October 4, 2004 11:24 AM | TrackBack