the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Return to Nature

In the past, I’ve made jokes about myself.    About my lack of “masculine” interests.   I don’t watch football or hockey or NASCAR.  I enjoy Broadway musicals and ABBA.  And I love chatting with the mommybloggers about their bra-shopping.

But now I realize it was all an act, my true nature being hidden out of fear.  As a co-dependent personality, I take on the traits of whoever I live with at the time.  So, when I share a space with a girlfriend, a female roommate, Sophia, or my mother, my male inner soul becomes feminized.  The pheromones of the female are such a powerful and hypnotic force  that they domesticate my animal instincts, like the aliens do in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

My mother has now been in Florida for two days.  I have not spoken with Sophia in two days.  I am left by myself, the way God intended when he created Adam.  I have returned back to my true nature, and my apartment in Flushing is my personal Garden of Eden.  Yes, I have become a Man.  For years, because of the negative influence of the so-called “weaker sex” I lost what the Chinese call the “ch’i,” the natural energy of the Universe.   I have returned to what the 18th Century French philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, called natural man — a savage man, “living dispersed among the animals.”  To Rousseau, natural man is more or less like any other animal, where “self-preservation being his chief and almost sole concern” and “the only goods he recognizes in the universe are food, a female, and sleep…”

I have become that man.  I eat Chinese food from the carton, I sleep ten hours a day, and I think about f**king.

In the two days since my mother has left, the once spotless apartment is a mess.  I have not made the bed or done the dishes.  Just like a real man.  No more watching “All My Children.”  On Christmas, I watched the FULL James Bond marathon, dreaming of my own fancy watches, fast cars, and Pussy Galore.  I have completely stopped wearing clothes in the house.  It saves me from having to do a laundry.  I like it.  I am like a wild boar roaming the jungle/two bedroom apartment, searching for his next prey.  Whenever I pass the large bedroom mirror, I stop and admire how hairy I have become, like King Kong.  I have stopped shaving and showering.  My only concession to vanity is flossing my teeth and trimming my public hair so my penis looks more prominent when I pose in the mirror.  It is looking good.  Life is good.

Leah of Daily Piglet clearly wants to sleep with me, which is not surprising.   Who doesn’t?   Why else would she send me a tin of Christmas cookies, with each cookie delicately wrapped in fine paper.  I admire the feminine touch of the gesture, because I would never do anything so nice.  I ripped open the box, grabbed seven cookies, and wolfed them down for dinner.  I’m not going to thank Leah for the cookies.  I’m figuring that the real pleasure was all hers.

After devouring these tasty cookies, I wanted some ice cold milk.  I took the container from the fridge and was about to pour the liquid into a glass, when I was struck by the flower design on the glass set that my mother recently bought at Pottery Barn during their Holiday sale.   I stopped in my tracks because I was falling from the manly wagon.  What guy drinks milk from flower-decorated drinking glasses?

I immediately did what I’ve seen in countless unfunny movies and TV shows — I drank directly from the carton, letting some of the non-fat milk dribble down onto my hairy chest, like the blood of a gazelle as the lion, the King of the Jungle,  feasts on the raw flesh of his recent kill.

Now it was time to leave the house, to go forth into the world on my own terms, and to do something dangerous and reckless, as men are adrenaline junkies wanting to push their bodies and minds to the next level of pain and competition.  But what insanely crazy activity could I do, something that would make a squeamish female like my mother or Sophia say, “Why the hell would you want to do that?”

I found it.  I would sail around Manhattan in the freezing December cold when most mortals just want to stay inside like weak hibernating bears, watching the Yule Log on TV

(I should add that I didn’t go by myself, or do any of the actual sailing.  And you could sit INSIDE the boat if you wanted to and drink hot cocoa and sing Christmas carols. )

But I would have none of that pansy stuff.  I ordered a whiskey and stood outside, enjoying the icicles forming in my nostrils, like in the sea-faring tales of yore.   I would have even stood outside naked, but there was a family onboard visiting from the Ukraine and didn’t want to give them the wrong impression of New Yorkers.  Or start an international competition with the father, who was way more hairier than me, and the type of guy who I bet would SWIM in the water in December.








  1. patty

    (best post EVER)

  2. veep veep

    who doesn’t eat chinese food from the carton? 😉

  3. veep veep

    who doesn’t eat chinese food from the carton? 😉

    i too nominate ‘return to nature’ for the best post ever

  4. V-Grrrl

    I love it when you quote Rousseau, you savage beast you.

  5. SJ

    I can smell you from here.

  6. Lisa M

    Cracking up. Love the pictures!

  7. AnnieH(the other Annie)

    Wasn’t it you I read about pirating said yacht around the Manhattan skyline and the Germans sent a helicopter over to fry your ass and the Chinese sent over their “practice” army?? You and Ukraine Dad fought them valiently. Must be the hair thing. Good for you:>)

  8. mrsmogul

    ohhh I love NYC boat rides! The parties were the best in the summer. Were there only the two people singing?

  9. Neil

    o come on, this post wasn’t that good. Read my posts from 2006. Now THOSE were good. It’s been downhill since then.

  10. Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)

    I’m just going to put it out there – the idea of you, naked with non-fat milk dribbling down your chest – I want you Neil!

  11. Memarie Lane

    I have milk all over my chest at this very moment, but it’s not from a carton.

  12. ingrid

    any urge to beat your chest? drag women by the hair or scratch your bum against a tree?

    just curious.

  13. Stacey

    Totally plausible. I left the Captain for a week to go to a conference once. I’m pretty sure he didn’t shave or bathe the entire time I was gone and the house was a mess when I got back.

  14. Long Story Longer

    Savage, indeed. Merry Christmas, Neil!

  15. sizzle

    Do you call it “public hair” because you want everyone to see it?


  16. Mik

    Ugh ugh [beats chest] we were beginning to think you were letting the side down.

    Luckily you saw the light; what man bathes and shaves when the women folk are away?

  17. Tuck

    When I told my barber I needed to get a haircut to make penis bigger, he gave me that nod of knowing. Clearly, he’s knows the tricks of his trade. Thanks to you, my public hair is lookin’ fine. Let me go pull out my Barry White albums. Thx.

  18. kenju

    Don’t tell your mother that you’re sitting on her furniture naked. She’d kill you!

  19. Neil

    Kenju — don’t worry. I use a towel, like at the beach.

  20. All Adither

    You’re a wild man.

  21. Nancy

    Beautiful photos! Sounds like a great time.

  22. leah

    i should have known that you would see through my feminine wiles, the cookies they were a bribe.

    i’ve been on that ferry in february and nearly froze to death. evidently if i’d been born with a penis, i would’ve been able to tough it out.

  23. Amy Nathan

    I now know more about you than I ever thought possible/necessary. But very insightful. It helps to have a true outlook based solely on testosterone, as I’m raising a son and obviously am that “wrap cookies in paper” type.

    My daughter drinks milk from the carton.

    Am I doing something wrong? 😉

  24. threeboys1mommy

    At first I was all,” low fat milk is for pansies!”, but that marf (man scarf) seals the deal for me. You the man Neil!

    Say, you wouldn’t happen to know the name of that movie… Abba, a wedding, Australia, not Mama Mia… can’t remember for the life of me. I bet “the man” know what I’m talking about.

  25. apathy lounge

    Although I prefer to eat Chinese from a plate, I dig the visual esthetics that stem from eating straight from the carton. Just like the King of the Jungle.

  26. Ginger

    Ok, the more I read of “guy” blogs, the more I’m thinking I truly am more like a guy than the typical female. For instance, I prefer to roll over and take a nap after sex (unless I’m in the mood to go at it again)–but I’m hardly ever in the mood to cuddle or talk, I want control of the TV remote, I love NASCAR, hockey & the NFL, I like to eat Chinese from the box, and to walk around the house naked.

    However, I love ABBA and the Bee Gees…so does that cancel all of the above out?

  27. anymommy

    You are man, Neil, hear you roar.

  28. anymommy

    P.S. If the first line of that song ran through your head, you lose man points.

  29. Fancy

    Take me, now, you hairy man with the non-fat milk dribbling down your chest! All this testosterone is making me a little crazy!

  30. seine

    you watch All My Children?? Hahaha … wow, plenty of women don’t even watch All My Children 🙂

  31. Jody

    I miss New York! Beautiful picture of the skyline. I’ll be there in May – you should come walk with me at the Revlon Breast Cancer walk – from Times Square to Central Park – typically in the rain but always a great time.

  32. Christine

    According to your post, I am pretty much a man. Except for the whole vagina thing.

  33. Kanani

    Okay, so shall I start referring to you as “Your Manliness?” Thank god you found it again, if only until you hook up with a woman and start going for manicures!

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