Monday, February 14, 2011

All in the Same Boat

Living next to person with Schizophrenia changes how you see and hear the world. I share a common wall with my neighbor, so I hear her up late at night slamming cupboard doors, sometimes the same one over and over. Talking to herself in the breezeway. Repeating the same stories to me as we get our mail, and sometimes as I drive her to the store. Misty can't drive and some days can't even go outside for fear of the world. Just last night she came to my door asking for help with a stray cat that she couldn't tell was hers or someone else's. Her cat is black and small, so was this. This cat had a collar, so does hers. I checked to make sure her cat was in the apartment, and it was. It still amazes me that she can remember such details about me and Peanut, yet can't remember what she just did a few minutes ago in her certain states. This is the person you see walking around town, because she cannot drive herself, she never will. This is the person that will never be the so called productive aspect of society. This is the person that needs support. That means money. That means resources from the government. This is the person that apologizes because she is confused about being confused each day and she did nothing, nothing wrong to become that way. This, is a person. In need. In my apartment complex. On the Earth. Sharing the same space. And if the humans that hold the Congress had their way, they would throw her out of the life boat to drown. How confusing is that?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No, Not You Shithead

My neighbor's sister drives a bright yellow car. When I went out to my own car the other day I had a scratch with yellow paint on my door. No wonder how it got there. It isn't a terribly large scratch, or dent. But on a silver car, it isn't going to go unnoticed. I walked back up the stairs, knocked on the door, twice. When my young neighbor answered she was perturbed, as usual. I told her about the scratch, and the paint. Behind her, sitting on the couch, arms crossed over her chest, anger seeping from every pore of her being was her younger sister. My neighbor announced that they would no longer park next to me. I just looked at her. She then asked if I wanted insurance information, which I immediately said was useless, it is too small, not the point, not what this is about.

What the teenage girl, seething on the couch, bothered that I pointed out that she did damage to someone else's property is missing, is the truth. She knew she hit my car. Yet, she was mad at me for telling her so. She knew she should have told me, yet she didn't. How dare I show her where she falls short? How dare I tell her where she is wrong?

I don't remember being such an asshole when I was that age. I also don't remember it being allowed. It never crossed my mind, and if it had the expectations of how to behave would have cleared it right out but quick. The older I get, the more grateful I become that I get to remember myself and those memories don't resemble some of the shitheads running around loose ...

Well, some of the memories.

Friday, February 4, 2011

See No Evil

I watched a video of an Egyptian Police van plow at high speed through a group of protesters, throwing some feet into the air and literally smearing a human across the road like roadkill. I can't get it out of my mind. I was warned that I may not want to look. I may need to look away, and I did, I just looked back too soon.

The horrors we as humans are willing to do to each other has been on the tip of my mind. I watched the documentary "Restrepo" a day ago and it hasn't settled with me. I will never understand war. I don't think I want to understand it. I don't think I want to understand anything that celebrates the destruction of civilizations. Do men inside war even really understand it? When they are haunted by their dead, yet seek to end the lives of countless others?

Rwanda. Congo. Darfur. Serbia.

Humans have all of this potential, and yet. And yet.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Respect the Rabbit

Tomorrow starts the Year of the Rabbit. I have been living the daily rabbit life for over a decade. What does the bunny want to eat, what does the bunny want to chew. Just what does the bunny. It has changed how I view the entire world. Maybe the universe. I went from being a very terribly picky omnivore, to vegetarian, to vegan, back to vegetarian, then ultimately back to vegan. Once I brought The Bun into my home, into my life, nothing about me was ever the same. I loved something like I had never loved anything, or since. He let me love him completely. With that I learned more about me than I had ever before.

I was never a good "meat" eater. I was always aware of what I was eating. I payed attention. I went camping and hunting with my parents, I saw the dead deer, I saw it alive in the field before it was hanging from the tree in the camp. I wanted my burgers burnt. I couldn't chew bacon, I would gag. I never ate steak. At Thanksgiving I would always ask for the white meat, knowing it would have the least amount of grizzle and veins. I drove my dad crazy at McDonalds asking for a special burger, onions and cheese only, making them cook it on the spot and having our car pull over and wait. My dad hates waiting. This is called portent. I was the opposite of the typical kid where vegetables have to be hidden to get them to be eaten, my meat had to be hidden.

As an adult (this is of course subjective, I do not classify myself as an adult, never will) and moving into a home and finally having the opportunity for my own choice of companion animal, The Bun moves in with me and becomes the love of my life. By devoting so much of myself to him and learning so much about what the modern world has and is doing to the rabbit, MY world changed. I could no longer look at him, and separate what we call "meat" and him. Him. My Bun. I could no longer use makeup and cleaning products that were tested on animals, primarily rabbits. I no longer support companies that refuse to stop testing or their satellite companies. It was a revelation and a massive shift in the direction of my life. In family life and public life it has been difficult. I have been ridiculed. Mocked. Even badgered into being someone more socially viable, and at times I was. When I buckled to the pressure, I didn't like my self, and I haven't really respected myself for a while. I think I am back on the track of respect. So, this may just be the best Year of the Rabbit in quite some time.

The Bun

The Bun
If you don't like rabbits, you can suck it, shove it and then go soak your head.