Men need caves to be their base-ass selves, to giggle and fart and talk nonsense because that’s what men do best, being men.
I’ve thought about why men prefer pissing in the outdoors, will even go out of their way to piss outside when they could just as easily go in — and I can’t pass it off as a cat/dog thing, I think it’s something perverse.
Like, we live in the suburbs but my friends and I will go around the edges of the property because it’s rural here and you can pretend you’re in the country, though there’s a slight chance you could be seen if the neighbor happened to be looking out, and that’s kind of exciting.
Two weeks to go in our house before we move out and I finally got my man-cave, in the garage: that crude place of music and menthols and the odd bottle wrenched from a dusty corner, this one, a Bols Oude Jenever which is pronounced AUWD YER NEIGHBOR (and who wouldn’t?), comes in a ceramic bottle that weighs like a bowling ball, an aged Dutch gin that runs like syrup when kept in the freezer, bought in one of those shifty Spanish border-towns where everything’s cheap and people are acting like it’s all going to run out any second.
We sit around the generator and the abandoned desk on a carpet that’s being aired out for piss stains and we laugh and probably fart and mumble nonsense that makes us feel whole again.
We close the bay doors because we’re getting sensitive and funny about early evening breezes, mild shifts in temperature (I have to worry about my friends getting cold now, bad circulation) and I’m glad to have the scent of cigarette smoke on us, it feels legitimately dirty, we’ve arrived at being men.
The thing about good friends is how you can be yourself and somehow they’ll accept you — and it gives you the impression you’re not such a bad old twat after all, they choose to be here. You’re there for your best friends even when you’d rather not, you go back because there’s a part of you in them too.
Some men go to caves to hide and be alone with their tools, but I believe the man-cave is a social place, a place for thinking and ruminating, a place to make art, cave-art.
I moved the tractor out because I didn’t want oil spills on the carpet, and Mike got into the CDs. They aren’t organized, except the titles all go the same way, up and down, and they’re set in the shelves real tight and dangerous so you have to jiggle them to get one to come out, use some fingernail.
We play the old five-CD carousel that has a Shuffle option and the player cranks and does a muscle spasm when changing discs, with long pauses in between.
We did this 25 years ago now, playing the CD Shuffle and passing the hacky-sack in the parking lot, each of us picked out a disc for Shuffle.
We commented on the peculiarity of the Shuffle’s choices and what it seemed to favor, the seeming implausibility of the segues — I guess we assigned it some character, gave it attributes, because that made the randomness more interesting.
We made up a character out of the stereo Shuffle function because it lent a spirit of imagination to our otherwise banal, hacky-sack lives, drinking out of Mason jars with Birkenstocks and Ray-Bans.
You really must believe there’s something more to life, worth sketching on the walls. There is no Random despite the shuffle. We men go back to the caves to return to where we belong.