A progression of healing thoughts
This morning I was driving down Alamar when I saw a slightly ragged-looking couple on the street in front of the Alzheimer’s home. The man looked upset and the woman waved at me violently and shrieked, “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO GO 35, BITCH!” with a horrifying expression on her face. I glanced at my speedometer — I was going 37 m.p.h., and my first thought was a prim, “Clearly that woman does not know what a car going approximately 35 miles per hour looks like.”
I braked slightly and looked in my rear-view mirror — she was still glaring at me, and my second thought was of a photograph from one of my dad’s books about the Holocaust where a woman with the same expression of fury and disgust on her face was yelling at a group of Jews being rounded up.
And then I was mad that seeing my brake lights might have made her feel like she’d won. The truth was that I braked because the light on the corner was red and I didn’t want to roll into oncoming traffic, and now I was thinking about Nazis.
Thought #3: “Nazis!”
Thought #4: “That bitch.”
Then I forced myself to calm down because it’s unhealthy to let a stranger fuck up your day when you weren’t even doing anything wrong. (Anything that wrong. After all, she was correct in pointing out that I was not going the speed limit. LET’S GIVE HER THAT.)
Thought #5: “OK, wait. What if she’s really upset about something, let’s look at it from her point of view. Maybe her dog just got run over.”
Thought #6: “OK, but it wasn’t me who ran over her dog, or ran into her mother who wandered away from the Alzheimer’s home, and all that anger should be directed toward the people who are truly responsible for her having to put her mother in a home where she’s dying of Alzheimer’s without remembering who her daughter is. I know how that feels, lady, but at some point you’ve got to suck it up and quit yelling at strangers driving by in the street.”
Thought #7: “What Law of Attraction bullshit have I done to have a stranger yell at me like that?”
When we were about a mile away I asked Jackson if he’d remembered to put his homework in his backpack, and he hadn’t. So we drove back home, got the homework, and passed the Alzheimer’s place again but the woman was gone.
Thought #8: “I have no way of knowing what the truth of her situation is, so I need to let go of this whole thing, Byron Katie. She absolutely should have been in the street yelling at cars, that was exactly what needed to happen at that point in time, given a series of events that are totally invisible to me, and it would be insane for me to try to fly back in time with super mind control and try to change it. RADICAL ACCEPTANCE, COMRADE.”
Then I had a happier thought.
Thought #9: “Maybe she has a superpower that enables her to detect when a car is going two miles over the speed limit.”
Thought #10: “Well, at least I finally have something to blog about.”
I’m not even sure what racism is anymore
Me: I need to go to the Water Store and get more distilled water.
Jackson: That is the whitest thing anyone, anywhere has ever said.
Me: Oh, well, excuse me, the first person who told me that we should all drink distilled water was black. His mom was super into it.
Jackson: It’s still the whitest thing I’ve ever heard you say.
Me: Well, I am pretty white.
Me: But how can it be a white thing if black people drink distilled water, too?
Jackson: Are you calling me racist?
Me: I don’t know, am I? Or are you saying that “white” is a synonym for “living in a privileged bubble.”
Jackson: Yes, yes I am.
Me: And I am a privileged person who will pay for something that comes out of a faucet for free.
Jackson: Pretty much.
Me: OK, but if doing that is “white,” are you saying that a privileged black person who buys distilled water is “white,” or are you saying that black people can be just as privileged and deluded by health fads as white people?
Jackson: . . . the second one.
Me: So, maybe just say privileged in the future if that’s what you mean.
Jackson: Mom, you are so white.
Me: Okey dokey!
So I might have been at this for a year now
This is for a person who wasn’t sure what they wanted me to draw. “A hedgehog?” they wondered, or perhaps, “Peewee!” So I drew Peewee and two hedgehogs, and then I misspelled Peewee and painted the hedgehogs purple.