“Be a man.” Sheena said.
And it hurt.
Nam knew the feeling far too well, but had no answers.
Sheena knew that.
Marcus always said he thought about what his grandfather would have done. Sheena knew Nam didn’t know his grandfather, or even his father for that matter. After the last war, almost none of the boys of did.
All Nam had was the black screen and it’s stories.
His thoughts spun outward like a web.
Then it hit him. He loved the old stories. They didn’t always end well, but he loved them anyway because they were TRUE.
In those stories the “man” knew what to do. They were decisive, for better or worse. So, Nam would be decisive.
They didn’t talk much, and when they did it was well measured. They never even seem to raise their voice unless it was to be heard in the heat of battle.
Most of all, they were loyal. Fiercely loyal. To an internal code, and to the people they loved.
Right then Nam knew the answer. He knew his code. He knew what it meant to be a man to HIM, and somehow he knew that mattered far more than Sheena’s words. It even seemed to calm his inner doubts.
Nam said the words like Marcus taught him, but they were fuzzy.
Then he said them again, more clearly. And again. Over time they became this:
Talk very little, but be decisive.
Only raise your voice to be heard.
Be fiercely loyal.
He knew why he cared so much.
It was time.
The whole tribe knew too.
Nam was going to be a father.
Sheena = She (every woman)
Nam = Man (every man)
Playing with names like this is something Frank Herbert did. It’s fun, and he’s one of my heroes.
This interview with Jordan Peterson is where the “black screen” movie characters are from to give the ideas context. If you like this sort of thing, Jordan Peterson and Joseph Campbell inspired me. And, I’m willing to bet you like Star Wars too. (Skywalker… Han Solo… the names are the characters “character“. Get it? George Lucas liked Frank Herbert a bit too.)
I think examining the stories we like, and why is one of the best ways to learn about ourselves. What are your favorite stories, and more importantly why?