Fueurbach and I were having one of our patented overgrown boy adventures tonight, and I noticed that our normal personality roles were reversed. Our conversations normally go something like this.
Dan: Everyone's an idiot, isn't it funny?
Me: Everyone's an idiot, aren't you ashamed to be human?
We hit up all three bars in eternally-on-the-verge-of-doom Ashland Nebraska. A horrid band played horrid public-domain classic rock horridly, the guitar player covered himself in blinking lights and wore leopard-skin tight pants. A biker woman with a tragically stunted sense of self-worth flashed her breasts and grinded herself against another woman for the amusement of the locals.
If this was the me of no more than one week ago, I would be writing two thousand words excoriating this guitar player's Clear-Channel idea of rock-and-roll zaniness and offering him up as proof that everyone in Ashland, Nebraska is a worthless fucking moron.
Dan was in precisely this frame of mind. I could see that the locals were sensing our contempt and that my boy would get us into some sort of altercation with some man or group of men who have actually been in a physical fight in their adult lifetimes.
Oh but he softened with every random "how's it going" we got from every random person, and once we took over the jukebox at the place we were at for last call there was the sixteen-yr-old boy that everyone who knows the man loves, and after our perhaps ill-advised drive home he was genuinely happy.
My friend was happy.
He wondered aloud why I wasn't being my usual bitter self at the first bar. I recognized the silliness and stupidity of it all as much as I ever have, but, no, no I couldn't. I won't condemn. I can't. Not anymore, not again.
I still think, in fact know, that most people are idiots, but I also see how all of them love their friends and families, and how they feel joy and rage and boredom and grief and despair.
And I've been a brat. A 26-year-old brat.
Sheridan County, sorry about, you know, everything.
The spite was physically killing me, I could feel it. And than I was lying in bed between waking and sleeping at two A.M last Wednesday, and it occurred to me that my; if I do say so, my gift, my gift for seeing what's wrong for people isn't predicated on my scorn towards them. I don't need to hate these people to perceive and record what's wrong with them. With us, what's wrong with us.
This is my species, we are in this together. Every despairing member of a conquered race, every person in jail for a crime they didn't do or a crime that shouldn't be a crime, every single mother ignored by the world and trying to feed her kids through some manner of filthy, dehumanizing work. It's not the man doing that to them, it's not them doing that to them. It is us doing that to us. It is me doing that to us.
"I love everybody" so said Becky on some warm day last May, and she must have been joking, clearly she was still a girl. Very smart and charming, but clearly still a girl.
Love, after all, is nothing but naivety. The realization of this is what makes me smart, it's what makes me not a hippy, what allows me to lounge and rail against the man and the squares without being a hippy. It is only my choice of punching bag that makes me a liberal, but no worries, I certainly wouldn't be so ridiculous as to believe in something, and certainly not so naive as to actually love something. No worries, deep down I am just another funky white nihilist with a blog, a child of the modern age, not the slightest threat to the electro-fuck-you-order.
I treated her like a girl when I was first attracted to her a got the rejection I deserved.
And so it goes, she clearly doesn't she anyway, love is naivety.
This woman sees. If you have ever been in the same room as Rebbecca Ankenbrand she knows you perfectly well, she knows everything wrong with you and she loves you.
She said I had goodness in me and I thought she was being kind; but no, she never lies, never humors, she is only being brutally honest most especially when she is kind. My sister, my muse, my liberator, thank God for you.
And I realize that my inner goodness does not exist for the purpose of fellating myself. It is there to serve you, and I am at your service.
I can hardly breathe from the anticipation of seeing the sun.