Things have happened in the world. I have felt sad about them. Sometimes, I’ve felt angry. Other times…nothing.
Things have happened in my life. I have felt happy about them. Sometimes, I’ve felt proud. Other times…shrug.
Things have happened to Lucas and at work and to my family. I’ve thought of things to say about them, but I’ve brushed them aside because I don’t know exactly how I feel. Most of the time…numb.
I thought of writing about the sorry state of political affairs. How everyone’s nerves as are frayed as the ends of my old iPhone charger. How so many of us can’t bite our tongues anymore. But I bit my tongue anyway.
I thought of writing about tragedy. Of unspeakable tragedy and how we process it. How we distance ourselves from it. How we comfort ourselves with the idea that it could never happen to us. How we know deep down that’s not true. I decided not to. Too painful.
I considered speaking out about rape and the culture that permits “normal” white guys to get away with the complete disregard of women’s bodies as their own, the complete disregard of women as legitimate, as worthy, as anything other than holes that, if not kept explicitly shut, are asking to be fucked. I couldn’t do it. The victim herself could. I couldn’t.
I’ve thought about homophobia, misogyny, racism, guns, religion, public shaming, animal rights, women’s rights, human rights. How all of it is not right.
I’ve started and stopped so many posts because what do I say? Why add to the din? What could this possibly do for anyone? I shrug and shut my computer. I’ll write something another time, I think.
I go about my life as a little less of a person. Each piece of news more devastating than the next to the point where I pick up my phone, read that 50 people have been mowed down, robbed of life, and then feel…nothing. I sigh and put it back down. Then I go about my business like it’s any other day.
Because at this point, it’s any other day. And that’s something I’ve just, what…grown to accept? Have you?
I can write things about it, sure. I can go to my tiny corner of the Internet and talk about how unfair it is and get a few people to like my post, maybe even share it. Then I feel better about myself, like I accomplished something. Look, isn’t this cathartic? Let me tell you how I feel about it, Internet. Because you so desperately needed to know. And now the world will be a better place.
Things have happened in the world and I’ve felt bitter. Bitter that this is our reality. Bitter that as much as things change, they don’t just stay the same…they get worse. In one hand, Mexico legalizes gay marriage. In the other, 50 gay people are slaughtered by a semi-automatic gun obtained legally by a known hostile ISIS sympathizer. And because those two things exist simultaneously, many of us can no longer make sense of the world.
What, exactly, do I tell my son? Hey, you’re a mixed-race child in America. Half of you is someone who could get away with raping a girl if I don’t make damn well sure you understand how exactly NOT OKAY it is to touch a person who clearly hasn’t told you or shown you she (or he) wants to be touched. The other half is someone who could get deported or targeted for violence or rounded up and shipped out of the country to go build a wall.
I can write about all this stuff. I can shake and get angry and put it out there for you to also shake and get angry, maybe even at me, but also with me, and we will congratulate ourselves on being “brave” to talk about these things out loud.
I am not brave for writing this. I am selfish. Because I was ready to explode. I wrote this so I could feel better. Maybe it helps you feel better too.
Because, really, what else can we do? We can pick up our phones and sigh. We can make half-hearted attempts at outrage on social media. Then we can go about our lives as a little more of a person because we gave a damn for half a second. We can write stuff.