WARNING: There are swears. I tried to not, but it’s what came out. If swears make it so you can’t hear what I’m saying, please go back now. Because sometimes adults swear.
I don’t even know how to deal with all this. True, none of what I’m thinking about is actually something that’s happening TO ME, but it’s happening and it’s both pissing me off and crushing my spirit. And to make it worse, I feel like I need to DO SOMETHING, but there is literally nothing I can do except sit here at my laptop and spout off. So maybe I will. But since there are a lot of swear words rolling around in my brain, it’s not going to be easy to spout without using them. I’ll try.
1. Cancer. I hate you. So very, very much. Please die in a fire. You come in, wreak havoc in people’s lives, destroy families, create empty spaces that can’t be filled, and then just saunter off while whistling a jaunty tune. You suck and I want to make you choke on your own tongue. People I know who have faced terminal brain versions of you at ridiculously young ages, leaving tiny children behind who will never know them. Women I know who have fought & are fighting the stunningly monstrous versions of you that take up residence in their breasts, ovaries, cervixes, & uteruses – leaving them sterile, torn apart, and, if they lived, at war with the feeling that they aren’t women anymore. Men I know who have faced versions that destroy their testicles & prostates – some of whom beat you and some of whom just couldn’t. Because you are a dick.
And that’s just a handful. Every day, it seems, someone new gets the news that they, too, are facing the fight of their life. People who did nothing to invite you in. People who have no heritable instance of you in their family tree. And you totally don’t care. Age, race, class, gender – none of it matters to you. They’re all just another notch on your horrible belt.
This week I learned about a friend. A friend I’ve had for over 30 years now, but haven’t seen because this friend lives far from me. Apparently, he learned last fall that he is fighting lung cancer. Stage 4. He had no idea. He’s never smoked. He eats healthily. And he has lung cancer. Now I don’t know the prognosis or really how well he’s doing, but I do know this. I’m really pissed off. Nobody deserves this. But cancer doesn’t care that he’s a good, intelligent, thoughtful person with a family who loves him and that he never did anything to bring this on. Because cancer is the worst.
I love my friend. I want many more years for him and his family together. (Though probably not as much as they do!) His attitude in facing this is astoundingly good. He’s not giving up, he’s not looking at worst-case scenarios. He’s living his life while fighting. And DAMN do I admire that. Because I would probably become the bitterest, bitchiest, angriest person if I was facing this down. See – here’s the thing: I want to FIGHT cancer – like a street brawl. I want to bitch-slap it, drag it through the gutter by its hair, kick it in the face over and over and over again. It want to make it cry like it’s made countless people cry. I want to put on big Doc Martens and stomp the shit out of it like some nightmarish Scottish soccer hooligan. But I can’t. All you can do is what you can do and it doesn’t feel like enough.
I don’t know how to end my tirade against cancer here. We all know it’s bad & we all hate it. Nobody’s out there wearing a “Yay, Cancer!” jersey and cheering it on. But I’m so incredibly sick of it hurting people I love, taking people I love, crushing people I love. So, cancer? Piss off.
2. Racism. Ah, racism. You ugly, hateful, vile, revolting, POINTLESS piece of shit, you. We all have heard about the shootings in Charleston. We are all devastated and angry and furious and screaming about it. Understandably so, because there is no reason, in this damn day & age, why racism should even still be a word we know.
When? When will we get past this? When will everyone finally realize that WE ARE ALL THE SAME. I mean, come ON. How the hell does killing a bunch of people whose skin is darker than yours solve ANYTHING? And why is it still happening? What do we have to do to get into the minds of racist assholes and shut that shit down?
It all goes back, I think, to what a wrote about Caitlyn Jenner. Every single one of us is different from the other. Whether it’s skin color or hair color or sexual preference or disability or religion or about 8 billion other things – WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. None of us – not one – is better than another. None of us is worth more than another. We. Are. All. The. Same. Inside. The only reason there is any noticeable outside difference is because God loves variety. (And if you’re that person who wanted to argue that with me on my previous post, may I suggest you go outside and count the butterflies. They are all different, too.) But every one of us is the same on the inside. We have hopes, dreams, ideas, desires, values, intelligence, compassion, fears. We all have people we love and who love us. We all want what’s best for our children. We all want to better ourselves. We all want to live lives that mean something. And those who don’t? Well, maybe they’ve just given up because life is really hard. But I bet, deep down, they do.
Honestly, as a white woman, I have no insight. I don’t even feel that I’m in a position to comment because I have no idea what it’s like to be African-American in our country. I haven’t the slightest idea what it feels like, what a day might be like, what obstacles have to be overcome. But I do feel it’s bullshit that it should be any different for others than it is for me. NO one should have to teach their children how to respond when the police pull you over so you don’t get shot. NO one should have to worry about going to the store at night because some asswipe might shoot you because you dare to be black and out at night. NO parent should have to sob in front of a camera because their child was killed by police. There shouldn’t even BE the idea that one suspect gets taken down in a choke hold and treated like garbage while another dons a bullet-proof vest and isn’t even handcuffed. The phrase “driving while black” shouldn’t even be a thing.
I’m just done with it. I can’t even imagine how UNBELIEVABLY done with it this community is. That a group of kind, harmless, church-going, helpful, law-abiding, loving, loved human beings were murdered in their church by a stranger who they welcomed and offered kindness is unacceptable. Revolting. Nauseating. Unthinkable. Because it’s nothing but hate. Pointless, baseless, unfounded, useless HATE. That’s all it is. You know what, racism? Fuck. You. You’re just like cancer. You’re taking our friends, our neighbors, our family members with no mercy. You somehow worm your ugly way into a community or a brain just like cancer. Eating away at the humanity that lives in us, creating tumors that affect how we see everything. You are horrific and evil and I would also like to don my Doc Martens and kick the shit out of YOU.
Because, honestly, what’s the difference between racism and discrimination against people like my Henry? Yeah, Henry’s white, but he sure is different from you. He might make you uncomfortable. He might confuse you. You might think he (and those like him) are a drain on our society, useless and giving nothing back. God knows you wouldn’t want someone like Henry in your family, your neighborhood, your school. You might have to interact with him or see him as a person. Have I made you upset? Uncomfortable? Angry? GOOD.
Because seeing someone as different because of the color of their skin is exactly the same as saying people like my Henry aren’t as good as you. In fact, that’s exactly the attitude and mindset that started the Holocaust. It wasn’t just Jews who were rounded up and killed. It was gays, Roma, people with disabilities – intellectual and physical, Communists, Poles, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Slavic people, Catholic & Lutheran clergy. Basically, anyone they perceived as a threat or as useless.
We are ALL useful. We are ALL living on this earth together and we’d better figure out how to love each other, collaborate & get along. Because this shit has to stop.Tweet