Virgil Matthews: Coward
Coward. It is an ugly word: a summary judgment of a man’s inadequacy, a dull and dirty knife used to cleave a man’s soul from the deepest part of him without anesthetic or antiseptic, an accusation of irredeemable failure, a pronouncement that a man is bereft of the essential quality of what it is to be be authentically and unmistakably a man. It is a word oft spoken by men whose days have not been too short to encounter the sort of trials that slowly, unceasingly, and mercilessly suck the moisture from their once verdant souls until they, like the ones they accuse, have become the withered and cracked branches of a once-proud oak. It is a word often spoken by fools, an accusation by men who must allege the shortcomings of another, making another man less so that the accuser might be more.
My name is Virgil Matthews. I am a coward. But that is not all I am.
This is my story.