America. One word brings up so many different images. Apple Pie, Red White and Blue, Bruce Springsteen. I am in love with what America is, and it makes up who I am. Old country roads that are made of pure earth. Clear night skies surrounded by trees and friends, the bonfire crackling in front of you. Baseball. These are as American as it can get. The rugged lifestyle of hard work, dirt under your fingernails and smelling of diesel fuel and cigarette smoke, like my father. Because of him these are my favorite aromas, and dingy bandanas my favorite headwear. The air here smells of "freedom" and "equality". At least in theory. This is where things get tricky for me. While cowboys stay in our American mythology as the manliest of men, I relate more to the cowboy Ennis Del Mar. For those of us like him, America isn't as kind. I don't have the equality that is promised to those of us who call America home. Things are changing for the better thankfully but it could not hurry up more. I ask myself if can I be a man, a strong, rough, tough American man, who drinks whisky out of the bottle and lives life according to his own rules? To some I can't be. To some I will never be a true "man". Fuck that. I can be just as tough, just as free, just as American. In fact I am. America was founded by individuals who were being oppressed, and sought a better life for themselves. I am doing the same. I will fight for who I am. The American way is sticking up your middle finger to those who wish you ill, and that's what I will do. I am not a pansy. I am a man. I am an American.