Saturday, June 24, 2006

Oh, the humanity!

Staring at my Avatar. The current purple one. Snickering. One more mask, one more slight of technology. One more member of the vast army inside my head.

I am reminded of forties film posters or, even more amusingly, the suspiciously airbrushed looking pic of Ann Landers that graced the top of her advice column for years. Without changing.

And I’m good with advice. Really. As long as we aren’t talking about my life, I’m pretty good at handing it out.

Lately, however, I’ve been the recipient of advice. Lots of truly appreciated advice and support - some of which appears in the comments section of what I am now calling “The Country and Western Song Entries.”

A friend, a close friend, who is (by the way) twenty-nine and suggesting (five or six times in one email) that perhaps people might be expected to be smarter at my age, has offered the following. What it lacks in sentimentality, it more than makes up for in accuracy. Two brief excerpts below:

“Here's the thing, I'm a dystopian by nature. When I hear things like "It is what is is, and without too many expectations, we're really good with it." my brain translates them into "Wow, we sure haven't had an earthquake here in a long time..."

he sends this quote (which I may blow up to poster size and hang in the front room):

"Of course the Hindenburg exploded. How could it have done otherwise? With that much hydrogen, static electricity, idealism, promise, and live coverage, what else could have happened?"
-donna szoke

And if you’ve read the entries on The Scorpio and the recent landmine explosions in my personal life, you will know how absolutely perfect that quote is.

What can you do? I mean, if you write – and you’d rather eat dirt than write about things that don’t matter to you, when you believe, in spite of spirited attempts at bitterness and cynicism, in spite of trying very hard to talk sense into yourself, when your fallback position is that of the doomed Anne Frank, who believed that “people are really good at heart…” and when you have a chronic tendency to think everyone you love, friends included, are brilliant, special, extraordinary human beings? Oh sure they have failings. Those tiny little things? No matter. Mere dust on the shining altar.

So. Because you’ve followed the story so far, it’s only fair to provide another middle which, if I can curb my instinct to write so openly, will be the last public chapter.

There is détente. We are too bruised to call it reconciliation, exactly. But there is détente. We are talking, me and him. We are uneasy, yes. But we are trying to do damage control. We are deciding on conditions…

Nonetheless, from here, I’m going to try for once to take good advice from a friend. And not let it become the Hindenburg.

Expect my writing will suffer for it though.