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The Firebreak of Men

Dreamed 1997/2/13 by Chris Wayan

A European village in the mountains--I don't know where, exactly. After the world war--I don't know which, exactly. Just one of those death orgies the Euros love every generation or two.

This one killed off all the men of draft age in the village--in the country, really. A gendered, generational holocaust. I moved here as a teen, and grew up with no males within ten years of my age. But is that so bad?

Maybe it took a discontinuity this big, to break the European tradition of treating children, animals, women and nature as things. One generation of only women, and men will change. No link to the Prussians and Nazis before them.

Like a firebreak, cut through a forest. But... a firebreak in time. A firebreak of men. Like cutting out healthy tissue around a tumor, is this a necessary price for future sanity?

In the meantime, the dating games are more equal than in America. With no boys their age the girls date each other; and since masculinity means very little to them, I'm seen and accepted as myself, in a way I never was in America, where all those huge, loud, violent, flashy boys could beat me at anything.

Or, of course, just beat me.

Here my personality, so shy for a male, is perfectly normal--so I can shine.

It's no harem fantasy--no city of frustrated women. Girls grow up expecting to marry each other, and mostly do. I'm not sure if they clone their kids or just mail-order a lot of sperm, but the birthrate seems quite normal. If a girl really needs a big craggy guy, she can always emigrate, but most don't bother. Like people everywhere, they see their local world as normal.

I don't stand out. I'm just a bit unusual-looking: tall and bony. And here in the heart of the Firebreak, that's all being male means.

And you know what? It's a relief.

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