Every day we wake up, we try to appreciate the little things. There is beauty to this quotidian play, but it’s in these very moments of mundane peace that we are most vulnerable to being demolished by the unforeseen tidal waves of life’s misfortune.
And that’s exactly what happened to me. For you see, earlier today some men had a conversation near me.
Not moments after I ordered a flat white at my local coffeehouse did I find myself sitting next to a table of multiple men.
The monotone whir of their interchangeable man voices and monochrome blur of their interchangeable man jeans made it impossible to tell where one lad ended and the next began, but I can confidently say it was at least two dudes and no more than seven.
I tried to listen to their conversation for clues to the reason for this gathering of the herd, but I could only make out echoes of, “Totally, totally,” “Yeah, man,” and “Right, exactly”. The baritone affirmations flew ceaselessly between them creating an impenetrable force field around their hub of male bonding.
I was shaken. Surely this is some sort of rock band or baseball team, I thought. What other reason could there be for this bizarre uni-gender convention?
“Are you a baseball team? And if yes, where is your baseball?” I tried to ask as they hurled mumbled comments towards each other’s hairy, broad-shouldered bodies.
“Are you a focus group for men’s body lotion?” I cried.
But it was no use. They were guys being dudes and my sanity was collateral damage.
I took a deep breath and looked down at my flat white that was now a cappuccino from all the steam that came out of my ears when I saw the conversing men. “I can’t drink this,” I thought. (I don’t drink cappuccinos).
Momentarily, I considered joining them: Martyring myself to save the other patrons from sharing space with a conversation between all men, but I had not the strength.
Depleted, confused, and forlorn, I walked toward the door.
“Totally, totally,” they said in their jeans.
I never looked back.