Ain’t none of ‘em has the courage to allow to what he whispered ‘neath a lavender moon on a summer night when he was fourteen or fifteen. They stand in their ranks all polished and brave, and remember what it was like to share the hand of another man, to bend down and be schooled hard, to stand up and give their all, then they blush with shame while their peter quivers and weeps.
Don’t you make no mistake, though. It was real love, the true love of the boy in the mirror and the boy in the fist all at once. Some of us had the kidney to remember that as the years went on, and some of us kept looking for it in dockside bars and tiny, creaking cabins sweating with the salt air, and the alleys behind the houses where the woman opened up their charms.