Conventional wisdom tells us that “manly men” don’t cry. And if they do, they don’t tell anyone about it. Keep it bottled up like the dark, shameful secret that it is — right?
I call bullshit — an epic load of it.
To the contrary, fully rational men are also deeply, and passionately emotional. The two are complementary, and are in no way opposed to one another, as some would claim — and as some have on this blog.
In fact, with one comes the other, and without one fades the other.
Or in the words of Nathaniel Branden.
“To think clearly, feel deeply.”
- With shallow emotions come shallow, hollow thoughts.
- With deep emotions come deep, clear thoughts.
I sold my boat yesterday. The bow of it is pictured above. More pictures will be shared in a moment.
Why would I cry over a boat?
Because of the mountain of memories embedded in and with it. I have owned the boat, Beachmuscles, since I was 13 years of age, and took it all over South West Florida, on my own, or with friends my age.
I quite literally grew up in that boat. With friends, my father, family, and women. With Beachmuscles as my vessel, I spent most of my free time as a teenager on the last bastion of freedom left in Florida.
I call them the “waters of liberty” now. A place relatively free of harassment by law enforcement, despite an indecipherable amount of laws governing fishing and boating in general.
A place where a young man was free to become the man he was meant to be. A place where people are still respectful of each other, and charitable, because government is largely absent.
A place where people are still free to pursue their own happiness — to an extent rarely seen in the 21st century.
It is these reasons that caused me to cry when I sold it. Inside, and out.
And one big one that cannot go unnamed. My boat was the single biggest physical link I had left to my former best friend, Curtis Noll. We spent more time on that boat than anywhere else in the world. Fishing, tubing … driving around pretending we had important shit to be doing, dreaming of how one day we would conquer the world.
Beachmuscles was literally the place I grew up. Wherever it took me … it took me well, and it is as missed as a physical object can be.
Here are some random pictures. They will be followed by the second thing that made me cry recently.
The second thing that made me cry (recently) was a video still I happened to stop on. I was literally stunned when I found it.
“A picture says a thousand words.” never had more meaning to me than when I saw this picture.
As far as I know, it’s actually a picture embedded within a video. The last video ever made of Curtis before he died, during a trip to Key West with I and 2 other friends.
When this picture was taken Curtis was looking at my friends and I.
I can’t help but look at his face in this image and think,
“My friends are going to have to face the world without me — and when I’m needed most.”
I don’t think there is a greater pain man can know than this. The fact that the pain alone didn’t kill him was a testament to his psychological strength that was with him till his last breath.
Curtis died August 1st 2008, a few days after T21C 2008.
The last thing I said to him was “love you man”. My only regret is that I didn’t say “I”.
— Anthony Dream Johnson