Monday Aphorism: A Failed Boy

“A man in America is a failed boy,” said John Updike. What a vision: that boyhood is whatever is wonderful, a life in itself that it goes on and on; or that it somehow should. The courage of eagles, the heroics of hunting lions wrapped in a package of mock combat, far from whatever are the enduring realities of a grown-up’s life; free from…Failure as a real boy requires a kind of bouncing back, a super-seeding, to become All-American.

Ambitions for all of life, perceived by the short experience of teen age’s expanding chests and swollen shoulders; gaining strength, gaining confidence, always gaining. Nothing yet at plateau, no settling-down, no distractions. No looking back because there is as yet no history: to inform; to battle.

Manhood: at war with what and whom I might have been.

Life after high school: a perpetual reliving of the home runs I might have hit, or the goals I would have scored.