Taking the LIRR’s Babylon line towards Atlantic Terminal on a weekday morning and you may end up in one of the train cars that platform at Boland’s Landing, an employees-only station for the men of the Morris Park maintenance facility in Queens. The cars who make this stop are filled with men in worn, high-visibility t-shirts, scuffed work boots; their thick hands holding small coolers and each others, briefly, as they greet each other before another grueling day of real work. These men fill the train car both physically and with a collective essence, distinct as a rain cloud. It seems aboriginal, clumsily escaping by necessity. It fills the car. I find the sociological atmosphere fascinating. They’re men. Like real live men, as opposed to what I see in Brooklyn squeezing their narrow hips in slim jeans. As opposed to what I see in Brooklyn, accessorized to the nines, downright ugly in the magnitude of effort they display in not caring. Real men. An almost extinct creature.
Though I’ve been known to romanticize far less, I am intrigued by these men that exist in a world that doesn’t welcome them anymore. They’re bold black outlines in a world gone too grey.
Somewhere, after women stood together to expect more, they got less out of their men. Post-post-feminism is an emasculation. I want the men back.