In his latest special on Netflix, Dave Chappelle uses an old proverb to explain America’s current predicament, our infighting. I don’t remember what culture it comes from, probably Buddist or Vedic actually, but it says that discovering Truth is like a bunch of blind people with hands on an elephant, all with different points of view.
“Hello!!!” One says, “It small, long and skinny with a course tuft of hair at the end.”
“NO! Stupid. It’s a dry flap.”
“What?!” Someone comments, “Whatever this is, it has eyes, ya’ll, it is alive.”
Dave Chappelle laughs and says, “All I know is its got some penis like skin.”
We all laugh.
And then I chime in and say, “Oh, I don’t know, its a little more course feeling than a penis. It reminds me of an old oak tree I knew. One solid branch came out like a giant trunk and I spent so much time there that the bark was actually kinda squishy on that branch. It was rubbed smooth. The whole tree felt different than other oaks I’ve seen. I spent a lot of time with it and called it my Grandmother Tree.”
“Aaaaaaw.” Some people would say. And some would roll their eyes. It would be a rare bird that would want to kill me for it, but it’s true. I’m Libtarded.
My first rodeo says all we need to know about the kind of person I am…
We were that house that carved angels and crosses into our jack-o-lanterns on Halloween. Once, my sister used the word “dumb” to insult a kid who was teasing me after school and I sucked in air so quickly I did what I call “singing backwards.” But before I knew what bad words were, my favorite song was Garth Brookes’ Rodeo.
His eyes were cold and restless,
his wounds were almost healed,
and she’d give half of Texas,
just to change the way he feels
She knows his love’s in Tulsa,
And she knows he’s gonna go,
But it ain’t no woman, flesh and blood,
It’s that damned old rodeo!
Liberated, in the backseat, I sang that song with my headphones on and made my family laugh. I’m sure my mind was in a good space about moving to the place that had Tulsa in it. Oklahoma from Feyetteville, North Carolina when I was five or six, presented the chance to experience my very first rodeo. You know how kids get about some things, Disneyland and birthdays and first rodeos. So much I was going to love. We got in the stands and the National Anthem was sung and shortly after something horrific happened and I couldn’t believe people just stood around and watched, cheered even. Calf-Roping?!?!? Who the eff came up with that?!?!?!? I lost it. Duh. I remember screaming and crying and seeing this sand colored baby wailing and being dragged around the dirt at a fast speed…. by a horse! My family insisted that she will be just fine, they get over it right away. But no one shamed me or forced me to stay after my disillusionment. Even though she disagreed, even though she did not think it was so horrific, my mom got me out of there right away.
Super caring on a 6 year old. And now? Maybe a little bit Libtarded.
You know what I heard about Ted Bundy? His type, that is his favorite victims, were pretty girls with bright smiles, long hair parted down the middle.
You think I would have survived the 70’s?
You know how it would have gone down if his van had been parked next to my van and he waddled up with a sling on his arm and an undignified expression.
“Oh, miss, eh, ow, I could really use some help here.”
“Oh heeeeeey!” Big smile. “Oh my goodness, one second, let me get my kids buckled in here real quick……”
Yeah. That’s why I keep friends like Kali around. Always have.
Because when he says something alarming like, “Well could you just fuckin’ hurry please?” My big retarded heart would be like “Oh he is in pain, I better hurry!”
And Kali, another friend with straight long hair parted down the middle and a disarming smile would be like, “Wait a second, where are your friends? Abby, uh, you need to get something out of the very back for this poor fellow! Yep, crawl all the way in there, do you see it? Maybe step your feet all the way in, maybe you can see what I need you to grab….. for him.”
Once I am in there she would slam the hatchback shut and jump in to the drivers seat and lock the door. She would speed away and be like “OH MY GOSH! WHAT DID WE JUST ESCAPE?!”
And I would probably be like, “Kali!?!?! That poor guy! We can’t just leave him there!”
My ass might even go back and check, two hours later once the kids are down for a nap, check that he isn’t there still in need.
Kali wouldn’t let me, but if I did…
“OMG! KALI! You wouldn’t believe it! I think he actually did fall! There is a little blood spot right where we were parked! But on the ground?! How hard do you think this poor fellow fell to bleed that much?! Maybe I should call the hospital and check if he’s there. Should we call the police first and find out if someone found him? We should apologize! Pay for his bill!”
But, imagine if since I had Kali, we made it to the police because of my libtarded heart and her sharp thinking. What might that evidence had amounted to? 1976’s Abby and Kali’s eyes and ears could have spared maybe just one less group of people the pain of losing someone who was a lot of their everything to this man’s dementia! Maybe. Maybe our combined bit of evidence could have helped the detectives tip into the direction of Truth just a lil’ bit quicker than they did.
I’m glad not everyone I love and rely on thinks like me, feels like me.
Where would I be?
I watch my old peers from school on facebook with far different opinions then I. And this gun thing is heated, it is divisive.The core of it is safety. We all have a core need to feel safe, don’t we?
I posted this blog on my facebook, shared from a classy librarian I know.
An old school friend said this, to which I am really grateful because he is both a good person AND he made me think.
prompting me to say this:
I said that and I thought I’d be really proud of that because hey, that’s me but then it only took a quick reread to realize I said something really racist, flippantly and innocently because what can you expect from a girl who grew up in Oklahoma? But it’s an idea that gets a lot of good people killed and leaves entire cultures damaged in ways they can’t control, that they just have to learn to work with.
Most gun owners have noble intentions and only ever use their guns for those reasons. Duh. And people like me, we do need protection. Duh.
I don’t think its a bad thing to spend some of our free time imagining what our idea of Utopia is. I believe that is our birthright as Americans, our freedom. Let’s take some time to relax and leave the mic open for us to all share what we think. Actually, you know what I am going to do? I am going to take all 10,000 of us camping. We are going to pretend it’s sometime in the future and magic mushrooms are legal, at least therapeutically, so I’m acting as camp counselor here and let’s just pretend I have been properly trained to be a therapist. I’ve already handed you your dose and your water and I am walking you through our woods, a nice soft path. Some of us are quiet and some of us are chatty as we are all just kinda waiting for them to take effect.
We arrive at the setting. There is a small wooden stage with a microphone. In front of it are been bags and couches and various collections of furniture, cushions and exercise mats.
“Okay, guys,” I say from the microphone. “You are welcome to do whatever you feel like, we will be here for the next 8 hours and then we will all be released back to our cabins for the night. If you want to go on a walk through the forest, just alert one of our Mental Health Technicians and they will keep an eye on you. We are leaving the stage open for anyone who feels guided to speak their mind about guns and what your Utopian ideal is. Yes, it is a very controversial thing, that is why I am throwing this crazy drug in to it. Isn’t that fun? The only rule is that we don’t shout over each other. Let’s refrain from name-calling, like all the other times we’ve tried this. I’ll be here to help us acknowledge each other’s feelings when I think it’s necessary.”
It would be a wonderful thing if we held people in our government accountable if they fail to do their jobs, as my friend from school pointed out to me on facebook. Is that what has happened in this latest school shooting? I am libtarded about this right now… because I have been busy doing other things, but I do have time to be educated from my community about it. If we could watch and develop a government who could responsibly possess and utilize its weapons, from drones to guns, that would be quite a pretty picture. If we could trust our government to spy on us in order to keep us safe, that would be a pretty picture. What would we do then? Would we have some big general land that we had basic rights in, that was divided in to all these other lands that had crazy ideas about the way things should be? So you could come over to my Hippie Utopia, some land-locked Burning Man Land and I would answer the gate, topless, joint in hand, someone’s kid tugging at my skirt rudely asking me for milk?
“Go get your mom, silly!” I’d say. Then I would turn to you and whisper, “Oh yes, just leave your guns here please, thank you, come in honeeeeeeeeey!” And you would step in and I would hand you my joint and be like “okay this is my bike car, I always just take my skirt off when I ride it. Would you like to see our gun range while you’re here? We actually do have one a few hours away, it is absolutely hilarious but its only open on Sundays. No drugs, except pot is okay if you have a teacher with you.”
And maybe some months later I would come visit you in Oklahoma and you would pick me up in a tricked out Raptor, no Confederate flag anymore because you feel pretty confident about the safety of State’s rights right now. Unloaded or loaded guns or whatever, I don’t really know how it works, just bouncing around in a steal locker in the bed. We would go to your house and you would announce we are pre-partying with absinthe and I would forget to check if that was even legal in this state. We would go out and party our butts off. And later we would go back to your place and talk all sorts of personal stories that make us laugh and cry. The next day we would shoot guns right in Sam’s backyard, why not? I’d post my silhouette paper target on facebook with the caption, “and this is why I am your nanny for the apocalypse!” Then it’s knuckles and back to Burnlandia for me!
I know outlawing guns wouldn’t stop guns. And I probably wouldn’t snitch on the gun owners I know. If Obama actually came for his guns, do you think I would snitch on my dad?! And do you think banning guns would have saved my dad’s life? No, not him personally, not him in this lifetime. You think I would snitch on anyone who is otherwise a law-abiding citizen? Someone who isn’t violent? I do believe in personal choice. I know what he and all his friends would have done. I would have never mentioned it and neither would he and if/when shit hit the fan I would have been like “DAAAAAAAAADDY, SAAAAAAAM, all ya’ll SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE US!!!” If guns were a viable way to get protection that is.
I want to keep going with more analogies… But I think I should write about Hawaii’s false missile alarm later…. Libtard part II. Too much going on in this post already lol
That’s my Utopia guys! What’s yours? ———————> walks mic over to my friend dangling upside down in the aerial silks with her wide-eyed husband laying on his back underneath, just staring.
“You okay buddy?”
Snort. Smile. “Yeah.”