Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Kindness Matters - DDATHTL


Never underestimate the power of a group of little girls with a box of crayons.  They were coloring in the stairwell yesterday and sneaking about posting signs like this.  Only a few days ago they were approaching neighbors in the hallway and practicing giving random compliments.  There are lessons there, I'm sure.  Maybe every day doesn't have to be a streetfight but it sure seems so.  

Woke up thinking about Jane.  Sometimes she sleeps so soundly that I have to look very closely and intently to make sure she's still breathing.  I haven't done anything like that since the boys were infants and I do it now with the same urgency, though if you ask me I will tell you that no matter what you can't love a pet with the same intensity as your love for your own child.  Sometimes I wake up and she is staring at me the same way.  Just sitting stock-still and looking.  Is she wondering if I'm breathing?  Is she marveling at a snore?  If I ask she changes the subject and runs for a toy.  

Anthropomorphism.   Or not.  They seem like real conversations even as the flow of words is all in a single direction.  They seem legit.  

I've been sick for days now, laid low by some horrid stomach bug.  That could be why she's been staring so much more intently and insisting on being in the bed beside me.  Would she stand guard over my body until someone found me or would I be lunch when the food dish went empty?  I asked but she didn't answer.  She went for a toy.  Sorry, love.  Not up for it.  

After a few days though I think that despite a heavy sweat I can make it into work today.  I really can't afford not to.  Monday was out of the question.  Having been up all night I tried to tough it out and made it as far as the 7th Avenue train stop before a bout of shakes and cramps turned me back.  Yesterday I got up with the alarm and put my feet on the floor but the sweats came instantly so I conceded defeat and rolled back onto the wet sheets.  Today?  It looks doable.  For now.  We'll see what the day brings.  The sweats are here as I type this but not as bad and not accompanied by waves of heat and chill.  No shakes.

Doable.

For now.  

My instinct is to roll back onto the bed and call Jane over, but my instincts have often failed me.  That's even an understatement.  I've lived most of my life with two, fight or flight, and while they've served me here and there, even a broken clock is right twice a day.  They don't even apply in most situations.  Jane has a more well-rounded repertoire if reactions.  

Everything has seemed like a fight these last few weeks.  It could really be said about the entirety of 2016, if I'm to be honest.  There's a record of it here behind this entry.  It hasn't been without its gifts and joyful moments but it's been a struggle in every way imaginable.  Everybody is saying the same of this year though, and it all seemed to culminate with the election a few weeks ago.  The result was astonishing, even for those whose candidate won, it seems.  It seemed to whip them into a pique of self-righteous indiganation, and in many cases violence.  I, like so many others who were mortified by it all, squared off and started to punch, which was the right instinct for most people, but what was it The Crocodiles said?

Justified anger will kill you.

Justified anger.

And it is justified.

But perhaps it's best left to those better qualified to handle it.  I'm probably more emotionally on the level of the little girls with the crayons.  Maybe that's the level of rebellion and subversion I can handle.  Yes, I'm asking the question, is this a stomach virus or food poisoning, or have I simply made myself sick on my own bile?  Everything is set to overdrive.  It's a streetfight.  Or not.  It's not sustainable without some form of release valve.  Something needs to change.

Boys and girls don't understand
the devil makes work for idle hands.  

Selah 


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