It’s a special time in a man’s life when he gets his first drill. It’s one of those rites that gets taken for granted, but is almost more important than carrying your wife across the threshold – it’s a sign that you have arrived and that you can shape your surroundings to suit your needs.
My dad was in town this weekend, taking a break from his relentless chemotherapy ritual to help his son “make house” (as they say in the classics). And my dad bought me my first drill. Come to think of it, my dad has almost single-handedly stocked my toolbox. My Gedore socket set is from him, my spanners are from him, and now my fancy new drill (with matching attachments) are from him too. Hell, my mom even got me my precision drivers and pliers.
All these thoughts were racing through my mind while he was mounting the soap dish, but the black flag halted the thought train with a crash, bang and splinter. We left the glass dish of the soap dish ensemble on the window sill, directly above where my dad was drilling to mount the screws. The vibration of the drills hammer action transmitted through the tiles and the glass shook itself towards the edge.
I looked to daddy for an answer. There’s something about assisting my old man with manly work that always makes me feel like I’m 12 again, and with my wife’s imminent fury bearing down, I kinda wished that I was a pre-teen and dad could sort it all out for me.
I could’ve done many things differently to stop the dish from falling. I could’ve held the dish in my hand, I could’ve borrowed my father-in-law’s drill and mounted it myself… Or I could’ve manned up and gone to CrossFit and attempted Open workout 13.4.
Out of all my options, I think taking my dad to see me hoist an impossible (for me) 61kg on to my shoulders and then push it above my head would’ve earned me some respect. Maybe then he would’ve let me operate the drill and I would’ve preempted the disaster. But I didn’t do the workout and now I’m sitting on the toilet, looking to my dad for an exit from having to explain this to my wife.
The problem with fear is that once it takes root, that shit grows like jacked-up Port Jackson. Trying in vain to lift the weight and do just one toes-to-bar rep on the Thursday night shook my confidence and put the fear in me. the product of that fear/loss of confidence is now a perfectly mounted soap dish bracket without its accompanying glass dish. It’s a testament to the yellowness of my soft underbelly, an obelisk of my weakened resolve.
I hang my head in the shame owing to a man who’s father and father-in-law have gone about the manly business of making a home in his home, a man who stood by and passed tools to greater men.
But as i fell off the wagon and gorged myself on my wife’s red velvet layer cake, adorned with dripping ganache and chocolate-covered marshmallow Easter eggs and a speckled egg topping, I didn’t want any pity or judgement. I was a man alone in his grief for the man I thought I was.
Can I climb back on to the ossewa and trek on to a trimmer waistline? Sure. Do I feel bad about pigging out on empty carbs, chickening out of 13,4, and blaming my relapse on my weakness? Definitely. Will I go back to gym and start over? Bet your arse I will. After all, only when you reach rock bottom will you have room to grow. Time to shape myself into the man I want to be.