One of the more atrocious aspects of the Red Pill documentary is all of the male blubbering in front of the camera. My readers are of a like mind that the modern man does not cry so far be it for me to reiterate the point. I was playing cricket the other week and there was a kid of eleven years on our team. True story, bro. He’s a good kid, a very good kid, and a good cricketer. We were fielding and the ball got hit at him like a rocket. It was a miniature cannonball it was going that fast. The kid put up his hands not to take the catch but to save his own life. He stopped the ball, dropped the catch, and you could tell that it hurt.
I jogged over to him in a casual manner. Tears were beginning to well up in his eyes.
“It’s only pain,” I said.
“I dropped the catch,” he whispered.
“So what? Do you want a medal or something?” I picked up the ball and threw it back to the bowler. The kid swallowed his pain and shame, lifted his head, and walked back to his fielding position. The tears had stopped before they began. Good kid that one.
However, there is a caveat to this no crying rule. An exception if you will, although it is still not an excuse to go around blubbering all the time, that I just cannot abide. If you do the crying right you will only need to do it very rarely. The caveat is this:
When it all gets too much, and something breaks inside of you, you’re allowed to cry alone.
I opened my own bar in the Italian alps in 2007. The year before the global financial crisis. This is what is known in the game as poor timing. It was a late night bar, a discoteca as the Italians call it. The only other discoteca had closed the year before and we had noticed the need for a new one during that rafting season without a watering hole. I discovered a prime location right across the road from our rafting base. It was an old Irish pub, located beneath a pizzeria. It was a basement bar which is just the kind I like. The steps leading down into semi-darkness with promises of adventure, good liquor, and easy women.
After a few false starts I got myself a business partner, a local Italian lad. We stripped out all of the dark wood paneling and painted it up in modern tones. We constructed booths out of the old seating and had them upholstered in crisp white vinyl. But the bulk of the money I spent on the sound system. I told the artisan that I wanted my patrons to feel the music in their gut. Eight large handmade speakers hung in strategic points around the room. There were two enormous sub-woofers that people could dance atop. In the DJ booth were a giant rack of amplifiers that hummed and squeaked when you turned them on at the beginning of the night.
We did the drinks the right way. It was a cocktail bar. We introduced the little mountain valley to mojitos, caprioskas, and whiskey sours. We opened the doors and that first summer was a big success. I rafted all day until late afternoon, then I’d drive around to pick up anything we needed, grab myself some dinner and be down at the bar at 9pm. The doors opened an hour later and I’d usually crawl into bed around three. Back up at eight in the morning and I did this for three months.
But while the summer had exceeded all of our expectations I was really excited for the winter season. There were five ski resorts in the valley and although there were a number of bars high up at the base of the ski runs, we were the only bar at the bottom of the valley. My partner was a ski instructor and due to his commitments he wasn’t available to help me over the winter. It was all my own show. But then a few weeks before the season opened another discoteca opened just up the road from mine. I went and checked it out.
It was like a mirror image of our bar. They had copied us even down to the furniture colors. But they had skimped on the essentials. The sound system was poor quality dreck and I figured that we wouldn’t have a problem with these guys. I figured wrong.
The season opened and I spent my days giving out flyers at the top of the mountain while snowboarding around. The nights I spent in the bar and I spent them largely alone. While the new bar up the road was routinely packed nobody was coming into our place. My local friends shrugged and stated that my bar was obviously a summer bar. I listened to such statements with blank incomprehension. Why was it just a summer bar? They couldn’t tell me the why; they just repeated that it was.
I would open the doors each night and lean behind the bar and wait. The dread would begin to slowly seep into my shoes. With each car that went by up on top of the road I would feel the dread inch its way up my legs to my spine. I wished with all my might that a car would stop and I would hear footsteps coming down the outside stairs, but at the same time I wished with all my might that this wouldn’t happen. Because when it did it hurt in a few different ways.
Either the steps would stop before the door and there would be a muted discussion and then they would leave. Or they would enter the bar, look around, look at me, and then turn and go, the door quietly shutting behind them. Or they would get a drink, sit down at a booth, drink their drinks while viewing the empty bar, and then after a little time had passed for appearance sake they would file past me to the door, an apologetic look on all of their faces.
That last one was the worst of all.
December went into January which passed to February and we still weren’t working. In February for a few weeks a bunch of Australian friends came over to visit me. They all stayed at my house and for the first few nights they hung out at the bar with me. But then one night after we had prepared a fine dinner I got up to leave and they said they’d sit this one out. And so I sat down there at the bar on my own while the four of them had a fine time back at the house. Staring at the door, waiting for someone to come, willing someone not to come.
The bills piled up. I had stopped paying myself long ago. I hadn’t opened my own letterbox for months, afraid of what awaited me inside its steel contents. My bank manager took to avoiding me on the street. My friends left and I was alone in the house again. I had stopped giving out leaflets high on the crisp white mountain slopes.
And then one morning when the sun was coming clear into the house through the high windows that looked south towards the brilliant mountain slopes, I got myself a coffee and I turned on a podcast that I had downloaded. It was an American show that was narrated by an old guy with a gravelly voice. He told stories about a small town, where folks were sturdy and true and came from a line of good Scandinavian stock. The show was always beautifully written, rich with pathos, humor and empathy. But this show was exceptional even for its usual standard.
I found myself listening and I was aware that I was listening. The narrator spoke the words and spun the story, and I felt something inside of me, a long way down, further down than I thought that it was possible to be. And suddenly I knew that this feeling was coming up. Like a geyser that had been held down for too long, the podcast had somehow released its power. And up it came. Up through my feet and through my spine and through my head and through my soul. Until it came out.
And I cried. I cried in a way that I have never done again, before or since. Huge sobs that wracked my body in waves as I stood right there in the kitchen, my coffee forgotten on the table. I cried and I cried and all the while the voice on the podcast spoke to me from the background. The voice soothed me and I began to falter, the sobs coming less frequently, until finally I stopped as there was nothing left inside to come out. It was over. I was done.
I stood there for a long while wondering what had just happened. I must have cried for ten minutes or more. It was as if something had just happened to me, that some force or feeling had caused me to cry, not that I had cried myself. My coffee was now cold so I prepared another. And I drank it while staring out the window and I felt better. I felt whole again. I felt like I could get through this, and get through it I did. And I never told anyone about that morning in my kitchen.
That is an example of when as a man it is acceptable to cry.