I have witnessed the delight that lights the faces of small boys when they tromple delicate blossoms in their beds, crush insects with blunt tools, or torment each other with cruel words and bare knuckles. As boys grow into men, their impulses and urges grow along side them. My youth was consumed with fear of brutal men. I have searched my whole life for a help-mate that looks upon me as an equal. I found haven with kind men who have no other means of communication than cutting words and heavy hands. I have loved good men who worked hard, provided stability, necessities, and who have stood against the forces of the world to protect the fragile beings they care for. In turn, they have rebuked my frailty. I have lived a life consumed with the creation of offensive and defensive strategies to protect what is gentle in me. I have grown harder, sharper, colder, and more calloused under the constant weight of insults and degradations.
In you…and only you…I see the nature of man as it he supposed to be. Well-formed and beautiful. Strong, but mindful of the responsibility strength bestows. Logical, but aware of ebb and flow of emotion. Sympathetic, but not patronizing. I have bathed in your sweet words and been reborn in their image.
All these years spent wandering, waiting, watching, patiently biding my time have been rewarded with your smile and the touch of your hand against my wrist. You wonder if I would stay. If I would remain stone-like and unmovable in your arms. If I would push through you or consume you with my formidable fraudulent personality. You see me as a force of nature; wild and unpredictable as a summer storm front marching across the landscape of your world.
You have seen me without my clothes, but you have not seen me naked. To undress a persona is a frightening thing. To reveal the thin, scarred flesh shames me and gives you power to exploit my weakest joints and most tender bruises. I have lived a life with brutal men. I became one of them.
But, I don’t want to be.
You could strip me. You could peel back the garments of fear and distrust. You could release me from the tyranny of other mens’ criticisms. You lack brutality. You could tame the storm with your soft voice and firm hands alone.
And I’d be grateful for the scant hope, the tiny chance to be who I was meant to be. I’d share my gratitude daily. Nothing changes a person more than the genuine goodness of another.
But, you won’t. Time has made a beast of me and no man seeks a beast for a bride.