It seems the prerogative of old men to speak without giving care as to what they say. Not a second thought given, they just open their mouth and speak their mind, loudly. They speak without subject, they speak without direction and they speak without knowledge.
Across America at this very moment there are countless old men regaling one another with completely fictitious stories about ‘the war’ or ‘the church’ or ‘the craft.’ They use phrases so cliché that words cease to be words, phrases leap from their mouths so readily that no words remain. All that is left are grunts, guttural noises where words used to be, designed to get a rise. Noise so delightfully vague so religiously incoherent bystanders cannot agree or argue. All one can do is listen.
In bars they meet telling stories with no punch lines. Preachers speak to congregations from atop holy bar stools muddling their words with greasy offerings. And punctuating each holy ejaculation with a vodka chaser or a draw from discount camel light purchased from the fill station down the street.
There they stand arm in arm speaking broken phrases about ex-wives ex-lovers lost children and forgotten dreams. They clap each other on the back yelling “and if I hated you I’d introduce you to my sister” or “you do just like I say and then tell me… you’ll see, you’ll be surprised. “
They hide in little hovels being ‘men.’ Greasy spoon, where a man is a man without having to be anything at all. Just as long as there are no women around to remind them that words, stories and indeed life itself deserves a point. Just as long as there are no children around to remind them that words imply consequences, that utterances backed by meaning inherently create responsibility.
It seems the prerogative of old men to speak. To speak with such tenacity that they are heard and with such wanton frivolity that they are not listened too. They spout and spew and kick and guffaw and we just sit and hear and hate and wonder.
Where have all the fathers gone?