Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I boarded the 1 train this morning, and found myself in the garden of soft men. Boy/men glad in skinny jeans, expensive outerwear with smart looking snaps ‘n’ buttons that went well beyond what was required to close it from the cold. One hundred and twenty dollar haircuts, book bags that went way beyond their nylon everyman counterparts made clear by the organic dyed canvas and thick expensive leather straps from which they were hewn. The Soft Men are wired to soundtracks of social events unfamiliar to me, at venues I‘ve never heard of nor would be ever allowed to enter. Sexuality ambiguous to me, these Soft Men all seem to have a disturbing glisten just above their top lips, no doubt from some exotic form of chapstick purchased at The Soft Men Specialty Shop. Expensive elfin shoes donne their slender feet, and plant parallel on the floor, knees pressed together, think: young girls attempting to hide their panties from view.

Yet another Soft Man entered the subway car, his vivid white hair swept playfully across one eye, his 9 foot striped scarf wound tightly around his impossibly thin neck - protecting his one hundred and twelve pound body from the draft of his subterranean travels. His Lurex pants hugged his branch-like thighs and twig-like shins which appeared to be in immediate danger of snapping. But the accessories took an abrupt turn for the unexpected, for attached to his right hand was a pretty young girl, his smidge more feminine doppelganger. She held on to him, expressionless, as they floated to a cozy corner of the subway car to garner warmth from each other’s painfully thin frames.

There is just no telling who the “Real Men” are. The girl he was with would make any macho man’s heart go pitter-pat, yet the man who won her heart was lovely and lithe. So what’s with my “Real Man” ideal: men that are strong, drive pick-up trucks or Harleys, men with deep commanding voices, who own tools or weapons. What would it feel like to be held by a Soft Man in his sinewy arms? Perhaps he would be better at expressing his feelings, calling when he says he will. Would he buy me little thoughtful gifts, like pretty scarves, or the bath oil version of the scent I like, and perhaps even borrow it? Chances are, I’ll never know the joy. Maybe I’ll go for a man who falls somewhere in the middle. Maybe he doesn’t own a motorcycle jacket or a weathered Carhardt , maybe he wears a freshly dry cleaned ¾ length wool coat, and carries The Times, an umbrella, some English breathe mints and a PDA. One can dream.

Would I then retire my leather, my denim, my motorcycle boots? Go back to curling my eyelashes and re-up my collection of pink and peach lip glosses. I’d have to watch my P’s and Q’s, never say “fucker”, and retire my blog. Maybe I can just be the “better half” of that odd couple, the couples you see that make no sense. Then I’d finally know the true meaning of the phrase, “You complete me!”

But in the meantime, I swim upstream in The River of The Soft Men. I can’t look away from the sheen that settles in the cleft of their top lips, I covet their fine features and wonder how they keep their figures in check. But most of all, I marvel at their incredible bravery. Everyday, they travel on the New York City subway with legions of workmen, construction hulks, policemen and fire. They own it, they work it, they make no apologies – and the ladies seem to like it.