More Than This…
A few nights ago I stepped into a bar in which I had never been. It was late, the place was open, I had just left a fundraiser dinner, and I was not quite ready to call it a night. Being a social person by nature I enjoy such excursions, particularly in new environments and around new people.
The scene was pretty wild. The crowd was young for the most part, the drinks were stout, and the music was loud.
As is typical in such settings, there were a handful of marginally attractive girls dancing awkwardly and a horde of eager, young men in backwards hats, ill-fitting untucked dress shirts, and sneakers that cost more than their checking account balance hovering about, all looking to earn the privilege of buying one of these irrationally confident princesses a vodka and red bull in hopes of sloppily making out later, and/or potentially taking a trip to planned parenthood in the days to come for a script to clear up the case of chlamydia that they rightfully earned.
Seeing that I had just left an upscale event, I was suited and booted (and looking quite sharp I must say as always) making me decidedly “overdressed” for the occasion.
As I approached the bartender for a drink, I was informed that I had one coming on the house. When I inquired who from, she motioned to a mammoth of a man at the end of the bar with biceps the size of my head; picture a black John Cena.
Curious as to why he bought the drink, I approached him and offered my thanks. Turns out he had seen my lapel pin, a Combat Infantry Badge, and had bought the drink as a thank you for my service.
I told him I was relieved that those were his motives since I typically opt for short Asian or Mediterranean guys over giant black men if I’m going to “switch hit” which resulted in his release of a thunderous laugh.
We chatted for a few minutes with me drinking for both of us (he was on duty as a bouncer) and became fast friends.
Later, he approached me to tell me that I was the hit of the place, and that a few of the “regulars” (read would be twerk queens) were asking him “who his friend was“. We shared a laugh, I told him I was just there for the beer, and I then made my way to the designated smoking area to enjoy a short cigar.
As I was lighting up, a guy of approximately my age, we’ll call him “Tom”, asked to borrow my lighter, introduced himself to me and also thanked me for my service, again indicating that he’d seen my pin. We got to talking a bit and I came to find out that he was a local who frequented this bar in hopes of meeting a girl and “having a good time“, though he looked like he was having anything but.
Minutes later, after telling me his story, and through an obvious haze brought on by a few too many drinks, he hit me with something that stuck out to me quite a bit. He said to me,
“There’s got to be something more than this man”.
His words struck a chord with me because they represent a sentiment that is shared by so many of those who seek my services.
Here was a man who no doubt works hard (I believe he said he worked on an Ambulance), contributes to his community in a positive manner, and who could only be described as a genuinely nice guy, and yet from him was cast an aura of something that can best described as a cocktail of sadness, angst, frustration, and utter lack of fulfillment in his life.
As I looked around the bar I saw many more just like him.
I saw wallflowers awkwardly standing in solitude, nursing their beer in hopes of being noticed by someone.
I saw men of various ages being brushed off by the better looking girls in the bunch (after they had accepted their offer to buy them a drink of course).
I saw numerous guys who were no doubt in attendance as if out of a compulsion to participate in some arbitrary ritual of “going out” after trading five days of their life for two days of “freedom” to pursue whatever it is that fires them up (though the room seemed decidedly devoid of much in the way of fire).
I couldn’t help but imagine an alternate universe in which all of these “Toms” were the men they wished they could be existed, and what that would look like.
For every Tom hoping to meet women standing alone against the wall, there would be an outgoing Tom interacting with a group of attractive girls, deciding which he desired to pursue the most.
For every Tom present drinking away the stress from his workplace, and the ass chewing he received from his boss earlier in the day, there would be a Tom enjoying himself with the knowledge that his assets were producing income for him as he chatted it up with interesting people, and that this whole night was a write off for his business.
For every Tom that was stressing about paying the mortgage this month, there would be a Tom that was anticipating the surge of income from his rental properties in the coming days.
For every married Tom that was there to longingly ogle the dancing girls, who hadn’t had more than a begrudging hand job from his wife in months despite being a great provider and a “good guy”, there would a married Tom at a social function with his wife who’d worn no panties (at his earlier request) being dragged into a desolate room for a quick blow job before giddily rejoining the group like a couple of teenagers.
For every Tom with children who was concerned about whether or not he was “doing it right” as a father, worrying about what his kids thought of him, there would be a Tom who was passively bragging about his wonderful children, their diverse interests and accomplishments, and the array of incredible experiences that they share with him regularly.
For every Tom tugging at his shirt to ensure that his love handles, gut, or man boobs weren’t “printing” through his shirt, there would be a Tom in an inexpensive, run of the mill, form fitting tee shirt making it look like a million bucks and getting eye fucked for his impressive physique.
For every Tom that was saying to himself “There’s got to be more than this”, there would be a Tom with a grin of genuine happiness on his face playing T.I.’s “Hell of a Life” on the jukebox with his Touch Tunes app (they’re not paying me for plugging them, but they should be… Get at me Touch Tunes people).
You see, the awesome thing here is that YOU truly have the ability to craft your life in the manner that you see fit.
YOU get to choose which Tom you want to be like. Think of it like “Goofus and Galant” from “Highlights” magazine (You rock if you get that reference… I feel old now).
All of the world’s “Tom’s” share one thing in common; unless they’re sitting on death row in solitary confinement for a crime that they have no chance of being exonerated of, their current situation does not represent their destiny.
Any man can choose to become a man of power.
The men that live the lives that others dream about are able to do so because they think, believe, and, by extension, act radically different than those who simply exist in a piss-soaked, flaccid state of mediocrity.
If you EVER find yourself thinking “There’s gotta be more than this”, please email me, call me, show up at my door (call first incase I’m going to pound town please), send a fucking carrier pigeon, do something.
It’s truly one of the saddest things on earth to watch a man piss away the days of his life while demonstrating anything less than his best, and being anything less than all that he can be.
Resolve to be like the Toms that inhabit the parallel universe of power, where the food tastes better, the grass is greener, and the STD’s aren’t for life (too much… yeah, probably).