Well, you can’t just keep piling up the depressing thoughtful shit, and so I will tell you a funny story from this weekend.
I have these shorts…
No, that’s not the funny part.
…that I bought at Walmart…
Also not the funny part.
…for six dollars and for six dollars, I guess they are okay shorts. Except that they are supposed to be stretchy for your comfort. Or someone’s comfort, I don’t know.
Anyway, so, when you put them on, they fit. But two hours into it? They’ve stretched out into enormous. And the other day, I was walking in from the car, with my hands full of groceries and the shorts fell down and I had to just walk out of them and into the house.
I guess you have two options when you lose your pants out front of your house in broad daylight. You can either be shy about retrieving them or do like I did and just act like you lose your pants all the time–all the cool kids got pants that don’t stay up, don’t cha know?–and walk back out of the house, step back into them, pull them up, and go about your day.
I keep wondering if I will ever feel in the least bit compelled to go see a movie about September 11th. I just don’t think so.
I’ll tell you that, when I saw Superman, I found the parts with the airplane hurtling towards the earth unwatchable. I don’t think the movie was consciously referencing September 11th, but I did, at some level. And I really couldn’t bear it. I just can’t find movies with troubles on airplanes entertaining any more. I might again someday, but I don’t yet.
I’m long over the outer layer of horror I felt on that day, when the Butcher was working at the airport and my cousin was a flight attendant for American and I had no idea how widespread things were and whether it was going to touch people I love. But it’s hard for me to forget that, that feeling that we had, as a nation, all turned a corner into some new and terrible place and that it might cost me personally.
But that inner visceral horror? I both don’t want to remember it and cannot forget it.
So, when I read Oliver Stone saying, “It’s important to remember. People are forgetting already.” I want to know who? Who the fuck is “forgetting” and who are you to say that forgetting, at least at some level, is bad?
Forgetting is one of the mercies of being a perpetually dying ape.
It’s not necessary for me to relive that day in order to honor the memory of the people who died. And I don’t yet need Hollywood to step in and claim the day and make order out of that chaos.
I’m insulted and grossed out by this idea that watching a movie about it is the proper way to show respect.
And I don’t live in New York City.
I just watched it happen on TV. I didn’t see it with my own eyes or have to smell it every day. No one I know is sick from working down there. There are no empty chairs at my table because I lost someone.
I’m not knocking anyone who does go to see it. Maybe some folks need that.
But I’m not surprised that folks in New York are not that excited about seeing the film. Who could be?
Tatiana posted this quote from old Fred the other day, which I have been thinking a lot about lately.
One of the things I appreciate about having the Butcher here is that it’s hard to get too stuck in my head when he’s making wisecracks about something or forcing me to watch Flash Gordon until we both are laughing so hard tears are just streaming down our faces.
When I get bored or stressed, I have this tendency to turn on myself. For instance, I get stressed about my job and I sit at home at night trying to get caught up and instead find myself staring off into space thinking about how much I suck and how no sane man will ever love me because I have something terribly wrong with me that I am unaware of but my friends are too kind to point out.
And, y’all, can I tell you that I have been giving that bullshit space in my head since I was a little girl? Granted, it got such valuable real estate because people whose opinions I respect reinforced it, but those same people are running around threatening to beat up theater critics for writing reviews those folks never even bothered to read, so one would think I’d take their opinions on matters with a grain of salt.
Most of the time, I do.
But when I’m feeling anxious or unsettled and I need something to focus that on? Woo, let’s go poke at an old wound sure to hurt.
You know what I mean? You feel out of sorts and upset and you don’t know what to do about it and so you move the focus from the shit that’s upsetting you and that you’re afraid might hurt you but that you can’t quite articulate to something you can articulate and that you know will hurt you so that you can be in control of it.
That’s fucked up.
I can articulate that it’s fucked up, but it doesn’t stop me.
Which, I have to tell you, I find funny. Not funny ha-ha, but funny sad. Isn’t that the way it is with smart folks? You think that, if you can articulate your problems, that you should not have to actually suffer with them. We’re fed this kind of bullshit notion that people’s psychological hang-ups are “cured” once the person can articulate the problem and understand it.
That’s just not true.
And I keep coming back to it because I keep needing to remind myself of that. Knowing how and why you’re fucked up doesn’t get you out of being fucked up.
I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion this weekend, what constitutes compassion and what does not.
I think sometimes we mistake compassion for understanding and tolerance. Like, if someone is acting in a fucked-up way, we mistakenly think the compassionate thing to do is to understand why they’re behaving in such a fucked-up manner and to tolerate it because we understand that they’re hurting.
But, y’all, if you did that to me, I would be suicidal. I would sit there and poke at that “you are unloveable” shit until it killed me.
I don’t need time for self-reflection and self-examination. I do that all the time.
What has been my saving grace, what has made a better and healthier person out of me has been good friends who have the compassion for me to insist that I recognize myself for the good person I am, not who give me space to be the bad person I believe myself to be.
I love the look on her face, like crazy shit like this happens at Newscoma’s house all the time and it’s best not to get too worked up about it; someone will come help, perhaps from that direction.