At the Kaffeehaus that straddles artisanal and mainline, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a strangely coloured skin illustration. I also saw trees.

The bearer later walked by – a solid thick classic regular guy with a C. Kent haircut and E. Costello glasses.

Everyone with a tattoo has a story they’ll tell you more or less unbidden. This Michael became an illustrated man to commemorate his family cottage (hence the stand of trees under the Northern Lights); the place he comes from; Rocky Balboa (“Inevitably”); a Roman numeral I didn’t have the heart to tell him he got wrong; and a murder of crows on a wire standing in for him and his buddies.

Vibrant green tattoos on arm; three crows and DCXIII tattoo on arm

“Why? What do you do?” he asked. I couldn’t quite tell him “I see all,” but I did say I had an eye. I talked about my other acquaintance, the man with the vines growing up his side.

I told Michael if he gets more tattoos to stick to the right side. Why? “Staying on one arm is a statement.” He got that immediately. This is a man (very much so) who can be taught to design. He’s halfway to a classic male designer already.

Queers, LGBTs, and trannies – being opposed to fact and being mortal enemies of gay men and simply enemies of men – have no tribe. Their lives are Venn diagrams of negation. That makes sense, though, seeing as how they are an abnegation of life itself. There is nothing elemental and timeless about resentment, chest scars, self-hatred, and make-up slathered on a linebacker. Trannies, queers, and LGBTs have become what neoconservatives became in the 1980s: A collection of hatreds. Nothing can nourish them because they taste of bile.

Whereas I can talk to a man, one who commemorated the other men in his life on his very body, be taken seriously, and walk away nourished by the feeling that men like him and me matter.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.13 13:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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