Ideal Man

Almost all the men I know are superior in one way or another. Some are in excellent physical shape, others intellectually exceptional, still others artists to be admired. But almost all of them are deficient in two out of three of those aspects. Well-built men are too often renowned for their ignorance; intellectuals are expected to be in poor physical shape; and artists are famous for ignoring everything but their art.

I try, with some meager success, to achieve a modicum of superiority in all three respects. I look after my body by watching my diet, eating primarily fruits and vegetables, and by lifting weights for more than two hours every other day. To keep myself intellectually agile, I read constantly. Because I am a book reviewer, I am regularly exposed in depth to information not within my realm of specialties (seven foreign languages, music, writing). And I am an artist by trade, the author of six books of fiction and 17 short stories.

It’s also true that I wouldn’t be able to maintain such a healthy lifestyle if I didn’t have plenty of money. I’ve written in this blog at some length about my good fortune at being so adept at signals intelligence on the battlefield that I was promoted repeatedly throughout my career and reached the top levels of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service ranks, allowing me to retire in my fifties with a generous annuity so that I could write fulltime. And I deliberately arranged my life to free myself of unwanted responsibilities. Several years ago, I bought a house without a lawn that requires no outside upkeep beyond trimming shrubs along the walkways twice a year.

More next time.

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