“You are allowed to be alive. You are allowed to be somebody different. You are allowed to not say goodbye to anybody or explain a single thing to anyone, ever.”—Augusten Burroughs (via emergentpattern)
I woke up this morning to a grey and cloudy day, snow was falling steadily, the temperature had dropped considerably. I made some tea and curled up in a woolen blanket to read some tweets.
As I read through jokes, faved cute selfies and words I related to, I came upon a post that left me colder than the frost collecting in the corner of my window. I believe the person who posted it wrote it from a place of compassion and nobility. To sum it up, the tweet basically stated that smoking around and in front of children is a form of child abuse. Now, not for a moment would I disagree that smoking is harmful, and that it can cause damage to a child, damage that is not their choice.
As soon as I read that tweet though, I immediately logged off. I didn’t respond to the post, and perhaps after I tell this story, you’ll understand my aversion to confrontation.
You see the first thing it brought to mind was one of my earliest memories. I was about 5 years old, and my dad was yelling at me to hurry up and get my coat. I don’t remember where we were going, I do remember it was late spring and I couldn’t find my jacket, so I put on my heavy winter coat. This made my father really angry, and he backhanded me hard across the face. So hard, that I fell down the stairs, breaking my arm in 2 places. That’s why that hit, in particular, sticks out in my memory. You don’t forget the pain of your bones breaking.
My father didn’t smoke.
Fast forward now to when I was 10 years old. My father was long gone, my mother had packed us up in the middle of the night and we had left him. My mom had also been a product of abuse, both at the hands of her father, and mine and well, violence was how we did things in our family. I remember this incident because it was the first time I had run away from home. I don’t remember what I did, but I do remember that my mom decided to use a broom handle instead of a belt. After the handle broke over the back of my head (she maintains she never meant to hit me in the head, that she was aiming for my back) I escaped the house.
My mother never smoked.
After the second night of sleeping on the ground in my elementary school playground, a girl in my class told her mom. They came and got me from the playground. We got into her moms beat up maroon Oldsmobile and they took me home. Her mom had huge 80’s hair, she wore a lot of blue eyeliner, and she smoked like a chimney, with the windows up. I thought she was an angel.
For the two days I stayed with them, before my mom found out where I was, I don’t think I ever saw her without one of those long menthol cigarettes in her mouth.
I cut both of my parents out of my life a long, long time ago, but I still talk to Joyce at least once a month. She still smokes, and she’s still an angel.
I hate your stupid fucking Honda, Chad: A Love Story
Last Sunday I stole your car. You were in the apartment, staring slack-jawed at some boring bullshit tv show, so I left. I wasn’t surprised that you didn’t notice I was gone, and I wasn’t surprised when the first thing you asked me upon returning was ‘where is my car?’
I sold your car, Chad. I sold your car for some magic beans, and I’m so happy about it I’m jigging all around. I know you’re mad baby, I know you loved that Honda. I know you loved that Honda more than me, probably.
But look! I planted the beans! Just look at this beanstalk! It’s so big, and thick, and tall. Just like you baby. And, I mean, we all know how this story goes right? You’re gonna climb up that beanstalk, and find unimaginable riches! You’ll be able to get a new Honda, maybe even a Honda SUV like you’ve always wanted. Yes, a nice, new SUV that you can drive to and from work everyday. All you have to do is climb the beanstalk.
Wow! You’re such a great climber Chad! That’s it, keep going. You’re gonna get such good stuff. You’re gonna get all the things that make you happy. Climb faster!
Oh hey. I forgot to tell you. I didn’t just get beans for the Honda, babe. I also got this sweet axe. I hope you found something up there. I hope you got to the top, because we both know a fall from that height would definitely kill you. Anyways, remember how you always laughed at me for walking everywhere? Well, I met someone walking. He’s really cool, and we’ve bought some bikes. Goodbye, Chad. I never really loved you, and I hated your fucking Honda.
“Whatever your eye falls on - for it will fall on what you love - will lead you to the questions of your life, the questions that are incumbent upon you to answer, because that is how the mind works in concert with the eye. The things of this world draw us where we need to go.”—Mary Rose O’Reilley (Via)
“It’s a cliché to state that one should think like a child, but it’s clear that kids know something that the world tries to make you unlearn later in life. There’s so many strategies people use to try to get that something back, and most of them don’t work. It’s hard to stay positive when there’s a lot of evil in the world. Life is hard, you’re tired, and there’s disease. The strategy that works for children is to be delighted by the things that delight you.”—John Darnielle (via likeapairofbottlerockets)
“The enemy of the black is not the white. The enemy of capitalist is not communist, the enemy of homosexual is not heterosexual, the enemy of Jew is not Arab, the enemy of youth is not the old, the enemy of hip is not redneck, the enemy of Chicano is not gringo and the enemy of women is not men.
We all have the same enemy.
The enemy is the tyranny of the dull mind.
The enemy is every expert who practices technocratic manipulation, the enemy is every proponent of standardization and the enemy is every victim who is so dull and lazy and weak as to allow himself to be manipulated and standardized.”
― Tom Robbins