well, it just might be me…
but i guess that depends on how you define “macho”.
i have done the deed and sent diamond the chicken onto a better place. not only that, but she is going to be food for a wonderful family we know, and that makes me feel great.
the act itself was not terrible to do, and diamond was peaceful. i spoke to her and said some things, and although the people standing by may have thought it was weird or whatever, it was my moment and i took it.
i was very lucky to have a good friend who mentored me through it, and i was happy that i went with my gut and took a few practice swipes with the hatchet (which turned out to be sharp enough after all), because the force required was actually much greater than what i had imagined. had i just gone ahead and done it the first time, i would have merely injured her instead of killing her (this, actually, had been my biggest fear of the entire process…).
there was less blood than i thought there would be, and much less drama. i watched her afterward until she was still, more because i thought it was the respectful thing to do than out of morbid curiosity. i can’t articulate any clear reason why i felt like i should, but there it is, so i did it. when she was really gone from her body, i packaged her up for my friend to take home, and i have to say that i was really glad that he and his wife would be eating her so that she wouldn’t just be wasted.
i kind of puzzled on and off for the next few hours over what to call this post, because i knew i wanted to say something about it. and while the title is not exactly ideal, it does bring up one concept that i wrestled with both before and after the fact.
i wondered if men, in doing some of the things that are expected of them, have to set aside their humanity to do them.
while i felt i had a certain moral obligation to end diamond’s life, i certainly took no pleasure in doing it. for all of the adrenalin rush i might picture when i imagine eliminating a “bad guy” breaking into my house and threatening my family or something, this was nothing like that. this was an innocent creature who completely depended on me for its care and trusted me. and while it obviously doesn’t compare to a human life in any way, i’d be lying if i said that the idea of just snuffing it out didn’t make me more than a little uneasy.
and i was thinking that there are so many things that we routinely ask men to do- and even boys who are not yet men!- from killing bugs to killing mice to killing people in war to avenging wrongs to doing all kinds of morally ambiguous things in the name of being “real men” and taking care of their families- and i wonder if men are just wired differently and these things don’t bother them, or if we are really asking them to harden off parts of their soul in order to “man up” to the job…
i obviously can’t know this, and i don’t know very men who would discuss this openly, so i just pondered it while i made soup.
because that’s apparently what i do when i have blood on my hands and on my conscience.
so, for the moment, i am mas macho. but i’m not sure if that’s a good thing. i’ll have to sleep on it and let you know.
and it was getting close to supper time…