Updated: Jun 13, 2020
His father was a taciturn man who rarely expressed strong emotions of any kind — whether of love, anger or sorrow. His face rarely changed expressions. He appeared to be a man who could control his thoughts and emotions perfectly, who did not dwell in the past. Zehen sometimes envied his father.
At other times, he wasn’t sure it was something to envy. He had read and pondered upon the nature of masculinity. The way boys are taught not to cry or express their feelings; to look calm as the immovable earth while an ocean frothed within; to be the steady, steely eye of the storm; to be invincible and never vulnerable; to appear masterful and confident even when worried and afraid. Such conditioning burdens the male psyche terribly and robs half of mankind their authenticity by tethering them to spaces of intense pain from which there is no release.
Most men are intensely alone. Many men work hard to look prosperous, but struggle to call somebody their own. In a metropolis that bustles with people and activity, men float like islands blighted by a permanent inner silence. No matter where they are on the spectrum of affluence, the silence within them is as deep. In a rapidly changing world that most are not equipped to handle, they sink ever deeper in their own silences, quietly.