Locker Room Talk

The last time I cried was
Two months ago, New Years
Two weeks ago
Around the time my dad passed away
Last night?
Last time I cried
I was 13.
It’s not that people made me stop crying,
I just keep it to myself.
By ignoring it, acting like it’s okay,
I’m helping myself.
I care, but I show that I don’t.
You show you care, you get hurt.  

The next morning, I played it off.
She texted me and let me know she never loved me,
she just used me.
Nobody really understands the relationship between me and my dad.
It was the worst thing I ever did.
Maybe it’d affect my art if my dad was around.
I’m afraid of losing my sanity.
It doesn’t matter.
I have male role models.

If you love someone,
then it’s really not that hard to say.
I don’t tell people I love them.
They don’t need to hear it,
But I think they just know.
Because why would I fall for someone just to get played out?

It’s because I’m a straight guy,
I hurt people before they hurt me.
I guess it depends on where I am and who I’m with.
It’s a power thing.
It was a dare.
I don’t talk about all that.

The generation we’re in . . .
We just don’t use those words.
If it’s just me and my boys,
They’ve fought for me, I’ve fought for them,
They’re cried around me.
Yeah, I feel supported.
I’ve looked them in the face and told them I love them.
It’s uncomfortable.

I don’t want to die before I do what I want to do.
You know what absurdism is?
There is meaning to life.
I think.

It’s because I’m a guy.
Yeah, there’s a tough image to keep up with.
No, there’s not.
There are so many complexities.
I’m an open man.
If a person were to say I’m sensitive,
I’d be chill with it.

You can use my name, it’s okay.

Note: No dialogue in this piece is my own. Every word in “Locker Room Talk” is a quotation taken from many of multiple conversations I had with an ample amount of noble, honest young men. I’d like to thank them endlessly for confiding in me. It turned this into more than just a piece. 

By Angelica Crisostomo 

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