If I had to describe my own performance of masculinity I’d put it somewhere between soft and golden. Maybe dazed. I like that you can see the white outline of an undershirt. I like the blue folds even if I’m bent all odd. Taken before I ran to work and just so pleased with my appearance I caught the 2/3 and sat down in the middle of six men riding to work. Based on the conversation I parsed out that they worked for the MTA repairing tracks, lugging heavy shit and completing other intense labor. So broad. Large black boots and filthy workpants. Long faces quick with a laugh. 4 black men, 1 man from India and a white guy named Vincent. They were all so funny and had such a nice rapport with one another, I caught myself laughing at a few jokes and hanging on most everything they said. Referring to someone carrying a bunch of green or red or yellow light boxes over their shoulders as looking like Christmas. 59th street is a mess of tracks. Silence as a means of disapproval. These were men I’ll never be, a masculinity I’ll only ever brush by. I’ll be damned if it wasn’t beautiful.

My father clowns me for wearing an undershirt. That’s fine, he wears chambray and has a goatee. Living in the South changed me in a lot of ways and one of the most significant is fashion in the face of heat, but mostly I softened. Not wilted or withered, but soft. Becoming soft. A softening. Maybe it was waiting for a breath of wind on the front porch of everyone I ever knew. Maybe the jasmine. Giving in over giving up. No matter. Every time I think I get it right I fall in love with something else. I’m punct. An undershirt.       

  1. time-for-naps said: Undershirts are IMPORTANT, for everyone.
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