I’m getting good at clasping elongated cylindrical tubes. You know, clutching rigid hoses? Seeking purchase on lengthened hoops?
Geez. How can I be any clearer?!
Straws. Grasping at straws. Because that’s what I do most of the time now.
That’s what I do when I turn on the news and find myself greeted with a new tidal wave of information about all the basic things we CAN’T agree on that may or may not be life-threatening.
That’s what I do when I fire up Facebook (shut up. I know I should just leave. I haven’t … yet …) and see post after post of half-accurate (if we’re all real lucky) “news” someone just posted to get everyone all riled up—and it’s working.
That’s what I do when I go out in public to the store for something basic like groceries and people pass each other trading off the evil eye like it was … I don’t know. What do the kids trade now? Surely not still Magic: The Gathering cards.
Fuck it. Something kids trade. Yeah, like children attempting banter or barter and doing a real shitty job of it.
Day in, day out, I find myself trying to make sense of the madness and coming up empty time and again. Because, come on, people. It’s not hard. KINDNESS isn’t hard. It really isn’t.
You know how you can sometimes NOT say the candid thing you’re thinking that you’re 99.84% sure will upset the person you’re thinking it about? Kindness is keeping that shit to yourself 9 out of 10 times. And the tenth time? Kindness is saying that thing, but as politely, as gently, as carefully and lovingly as you possibly can.
See? Not hard.
But you’d think it’s rocket science the way people are stomping around and flinging words at each other with all the tact and grace of hyenas in heat.
Side note: I have no idea what hyenas in heat are like, so that’s really not a kind thing of me to say. But I thought the phrase and fell in love with the alliteration. Also, I have it on fairly good authority that not one hyena reads my articles, so the mental/emotional collateral damage is literally zero … unless you, dear reader, take it upon yourself to find the nearest hyena and tell them I implied they are less than gentle when horny.
I implore you: spare the hyenas. Let’s keep this between us. There’s no reason to hurt them.
Yes, I said something mean. But that’s done. Let’s not dwell on it. Really, it’s best if we just move on.
And honestly, that’s what we need to do as a culture. Move on. (Whoa, that’s some expert-level full circle shit right there!)
I don’t say that to imply we should ignore anything that’s going on right now. We have massive issues. HUGE issues. But maybe it’s time to set personal agendas to the side and get down to brass tacks.
Like, let’s try to stop needless death. And maybe lay off the finger-pointing and just agree that anything that props up racism, intentionally or not, needs to be adjusted. And also it would be good if we could agree that “protect and serve” should far more often than not exclude activities like “beat and suffocate.”
I know. Someone’s going to think me a wild-eyed liberal for saying that. But it seems to me a very reasonable place to start. After all, we need some kind of common ground.
But what do I know? I’m over here grappling small drinking pipes. Feel free to chime in if you have better ideas …