The Man Manor

Finally moved my shit into this room and I figure it’s a good opportunity to catalog my “Man Manor.”  Pump your “interesting character” game.  You think deductively; women think inductively.  Your mind is bigger than one conversation.  Your life is bigger than one night.  You are bigger than one scene.  Don’t ever forget that.  Your job isn’t to explain yourself.  It’s to suggest yourself and let her explain it on her own.

Anyway, I have three jobs.  I telecommute for a government contractor out of the US State Department, I write for a notorious four-letter hipster magazine you may have talked shit about before, and I’m a research assistant in a behavioral genetics lab.  I spent 7 years riding freight trains around the country, trafficked schedule III drugs, and ran a successful small business after graduating college.  I say this because any girl who comes in this room knows these things about me.  Here’s my man manor:

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A Gullah-language copy of the New Testament, titled De Nyew Testament.  A bullet shell from the Bosnian war brought back from Sarajevo by my father, who did intelligence analysis in the Balkans throughout the 90’s.    Curry powders brought back from Indonesia by the Hawaiian aunt, along with a recipe.  A charm used to ward of hags, purchased in the Coastal Empire of South Carolina when I visited the politically autonomous Oyotunji African Kingdom to see their polygamous, animal-sacrificing traditions.  Mexican oils used in indigenous rituals.  A deck of tarot cards.  Well, I had to.

Also, candles for St. Anthony.  My Grandma Carol had a very strong devotion to St. Antony for her entire life, and would pray to him regularly.  She was very Italian, very traditional, and very religious.   She died when I was only 8 years old, but I still think about her.  Italian women are very, very loving, and when I think of her now (especially compared to American women today) her devotion to husband and family seems impossible.  She taught me at an early age what love was, and nobody has compared to that since.  I chose Anthony as my confirmation name in her honor.  I was in foster homes as a baby, and found out 20 years later than they had all called me Anthony the whole time.  After a long battle with cancer, my grandmother finally died on June 13th, 1996, on the Feast of St. Anthony.  I light the candles whenever I cook her pasta sauce.

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Virgin of Guadalupe purchased for $1 while I rode the Viaje de la Bestia through cartel territory in Mexico.  Shawl was given to me by a girl named Rosemary.  She said the number one problem in America is that women don’t know how to be women, and was taking 5 years off to learn how to run a home and family.  She was very attractive and had the most feminine personality I’ve ever met. I couldn’t bring myself to pursue her because I knew it would demand more investment than I am able to put forth.  Confronting that was the moment when I realized it’s not all women’s fault, and if I couldn’t go back to a traditional relationship, society couldn’t either.

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Whips purchased in San Miguel de Allende, made of deer and goat legs.   Usually hung on the wall in that formation; looking forward to using them but haven’t found the right girl yet.  Flag taken from the grave of Jefferson Davis when I lived in Oregon Hill.  Painting purchased while writing a story about the culture of death in Mexican Arizona.  It was butchered by the editor.

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Cow skull found on the railroad tracks in Sonora.  Hat purchased in a very old, very small vintage clothing store in Hawaii.  My uncle designed resorts for a living (one of the guys who built Hilton Head) and ultimately married one of the heiresses to the Hawaiian throne.  He is 1%, flat out, but one of the most generous and moral men I’ve ever met.  He left his family and culture to live with the extremely wealthy in Hawaii, and hasn’t seen a Winter in 30 years.  He spent his life 6,000 miles away.  I went with my father to get his affairs in order a year ago, and saw a man who had made dramatic choices and lived a very dramatic life as a result of them.   He beat the game, plain and simple, but made very real sacrifices to do it.  He lives in a paradise with no needs or wants, but never had kids, never saw his sisters, didn’t see his nieces or nephews grow up.  He is very lonely at the country clubs, on the golf courses, at the 5-star restaurants on Waikiki.  I keep a cheesy hula girl on my desk that plays the ukulele.  The music is peaceful and beautiful, but unbearably sad at the same time.  It’s very personal for me and I think about it when I consider the life I want to lead.

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Bust of Thomas Jefferson.  A statuary recreation of La Pieta with skeletons.  A preserved scorpion given to me by an orphan in Mexico.  A set of keys to a Union Pacific locomotive.  A book of art by my friend Owen, who lives in a 4 story treehouse in New Orleans.  A switchblade.  A small spoon for taking bumps.  A jar of dirt taken from the grave of the man Boo Radley was based on.  I slept in the graveyard overnight.  A desiccated tortoise shell I found riding trains and use as a catchall for my keys and change.  Various arrowheads.

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I love this fucking poster.  Trying to get it framed soon.  Taken about 70 years ago before digital editing, so the lighting was done by literally setting hundreds of flashbulbs all over the drive-in and waiting for the train to come.  Love that it’s both train and romance-related.

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This one is kind of dark.  Monitor on a large trunk.  Coasters from a bar in Tucson, AZ.  A human femur.  Rattlesnake sperm used in Mexican cult rituals.  A map of Mexico.  DVDs of Hindu scripture.  An ornament from a large shrine to Michael Jackson in the Rive Gauche.  A silk wall hanging purchased at a bull fight in Barcelona.  A hat given to me by a suicide girl I went to Mardi Gras with last year — the bow is made from her hair.  A mardi gras mask.  Books.  A guide to the Barrio Viejo.  Journeys in Islamic Countries by JG Bennett.  The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.  A history of the end of the Roman Republic.  I have a shitload of books but no bookshelf yet, so they are in the closet.  Also getting a rice bed soon, which I’ll probably drape in some mosquito netting I have left over from canoeing in Canada when I was 17.  We’ll see.

Anyway, that’s my man manor.  Hope you appreciated.  They’re just things, but you only have one life and I like to be surrounded by reminders of what I’ve done, what’s important to me, and what I hope to do in the future.  Much love,  y’all.

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