OK, so this one isn't a short story. It's an essay about a man I truly respect. A friend I treasure. A life I aspire to. A relationship I cherish. An experience I envy. A soul I relish. No, not the pickled kind, though we've often wondered if the man was pickled in some way or another.
Simply put, this man loves women. Assuredly, most men do love women in a certain way, but Dusty isn't about what the woman gives him, rather he is all about who the woman is...deep inside. He doesn't believe that a woman is all about "woman parts", beautiful hair, long eye lashes, pouty lips, long legs, smooth skin and the ability to bear a man's child. Isn't a woman more than that? Whether real or fake, one or two...or none, the breast does not make the woman in this man's eyes. Chemo that robs her of her beautiful hair and long eyelashes does not rob her of her womanly essence. Pouty lips turned pale and cracked from treatments; smooth skin turned dry and flaky; the removal of the ability to bear children, does not make a woman not a woman.
The essence of a woman, the thoughts and emotions, the fears and needs, the strength and the vulnerability wrapped into a package of femininity, whether she's tomboy and dirty fingernails or princess foofy lace and tieras, the inside...He sees it, and that's what he loves. That's what he fights for.
Dusty can't imagine a world without that girly spark. It's in every soul of the female persuasion, no matter how it expresses itself. He can't see how the world would balance without the yin to the male yang. He fights for the very life of that yin. He pummels his body into submission for months-long bicycle rides. He works his heart into everything he does. He accomplishes what he sets out to do...and he does it for the betterment of the ladies in his life. And every lady that exists in this world can become a lady in Dusty's life. He doesn't look away because he doesn't know you. He doesn't life his chin in superiority. He lifts his hands in assistance. He holds the handles of a bicycle and pushes through the rain and the traffic and the fear and the doubt, to get that extra mile for that new friend he just met who needs a little help on her journey.
He's bold and he's brazen. He lives beyond fear and encompasses courage and gallantry. He knows a world of love and chivalry where the woman is honored and celebrated. He dons the pink cowboy hat and cargo pants and he flaunts his pink bra and tan lines with swagger. He's a man, there's no doubt about it. No one could possibly confuse him for anything else, but he's gentle and kind and attentive to the needs of the women within his reach.
His love of all things woman pushes him onward and upward. Start small - aim high. Don't let yourself get in the way of your possibility. Change your world. Even if it only effects you at first, it will effect everyone in the end. Dare to believe in yourself. No limits. Nothing is impossible. Live life! Don't waste a second looking back or regretting what you can't change. Move forward. Dream big. Believe big. Accomplish big.
He started with a family member who struggled and a dare. Now he influences masses. His life is an encouragement. His wisdom builds staircases to the stars. It's not just him, though. It's every woman he's encountered, who's left a piece of themselves in his soul. The man is more than he used to be, because he gives himself away to make room to receive what others have to give him.
He challenges himself. He challenges those who love him. He walks the walk and talks the talk. He pushes for a better world, not just in word, but in action and in deed. He doesn't do it for himself. He lost himself a long time ago when he won the bet and became the man in the pink cowboy hat and pink bra. He's not just Dusty Showers; he's every woman he's helped in any way - through comfort, money, wisdom, acknowledgement, friendship, energy, belief, trust, faith, honesty, peace and admiration. He's the man who fights for women - body, mind and soul. He has given far more than any of us could ever give back, but all he asks for is assistance in getting what that next woman needs.
He's the role model I wish for the rest of the world. He is my inspiration. He's the life I can't lead. He's my friend and I cherish him.