The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Macho Maço Man

He struts wide, pacing to both sides of the sidewalk as he walks. He thrusts his arms out, adjusting his button-up shirt on his frame, propelling himself forward with a masculine directive. He clutches his cell phone in one hand, awaiting the decisions that might require his approval. He crosses at the crosswalk without fear or anxiety. He greets a policeman with a solid nod of his head.

His cell phone rings. It plays not a song or a light chirping, not the saz-strumming selected by more sentimental creatures, but a true telephone ring–the sort to which a real man would respond.  And he lifts the phone without checking the screen to identify the caller, he takes charge. “Efendim?” He answers. He pauses.

Almost immediately, he slows his pace, his shoulders hunch down, his frame softens, he grows smaller, meek. He steps to an alley to clear the busy path for others. His voice warms: “Anne.” His mother is on the other end, she interrupts his command of the world, but he is pleased. His mother dials a number and the man becomes her boy.

–Izmir, Turkey.

Unrelated macho moment from the last few years. Happy to pose: Austrian Armed Forces.

11 comments on “Macho Maço Man

  1. rachaelhanel
    August 22, 2012

    I’m a sucker for short snapshots of life. Nice work!

  2. Michael
    August 22, 2012

    One of the best posts I’ve read recently. Short, to the point, as it should be.

  3. Barb Schoeneberger
    August 26, 2012

    I really enjoy your posts. And the photo of those macho Austrians is great!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      August 26, 2012

      Thanks so much for reading the blog! I loved that their first instinct was to grin, not to appear tough!

  4. Jade Jarvis
    September 2, 2012

    Heart warming post. No matter how old we are, the sound of our mother’s voice, turns us to mush.

  5. journeyman1977
    November 25, 2012

    Mom’s rule the roost for most tough guys 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    The post last week “On Dogs and Tough Guys” reminded me of this gem of a man in Izmir. 🙂

  7. Jeff
    August 8, 2013

    Brilliant! So elegant and abstract. Not a situation that’s the reserve of the Italians, so it seems.

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