I’m sitting in my favorite writing chair, nursing my last bottle of Troeg’s Nugget Nectar, while trying to think of a cute way to answer the handful of questions that have come across my email, Facebook page, and voicemail over the last few weeks. They all sound kinda like, “Where have you been, Large Man?” “Hey Large Man, haven’t heard from you in a while, is everything OK?” “Dude, what’s your f-ing problem?”
These are simple and logical questions, and the “simple and logical” answers are:
1) I’ve been right here, same as always. (Not true)
2) Everything is fine, just feeling quiet these days. (Not true either)
And 3) I don’t have a problem! What’s your f-ing problem? Buttface!
That last reply is what I would normally use, but that’s the old me…I’m not like that anymore. These days I’m trying to be all about the light. Being good, and promoting goodness.
The honest answer to those questions is that I’ve sort of been in a funk, and it seems wiser and better to be in hiding; hiding from headlines, hiding from confrontation, and hiding from the world.
Children being shot in their schools, teenage girls getting drunk and then getting molested, their friends take photos of the crime, send it out for the world to see, and then a socially abused teenage girl takes her own life. And THEN the dumbass kids who perpetrated the crime, and the sociopathic idiots who recorded the little adventure are all convicted of the crimes they most assuredly committed, and the shockwave of ruined, young lives seems to have no end.
It’s a great big “Shit Sundae” that we eat for dessert while we watch the evening news (entertainment) channels, right after we chow down our dinner that’s killing us all anyway because our food is chock full of processed chemicals, sugar, and genetically modified corn products. And for our “cherry on top”, we get some radical kids setting off bombs at a sporting event. Horrendous and hideous are becoming all too normal and the social and general media are 100% sure that they need to convince us all as to how we should feel about it; they need to offer their slant. They tell us what we should do about it, and what political leaders (Seen any?) should do about it.
So yeah, I haven’t had a lot to say these days. I’m in a general state of bummedoutness. I’m exhausted. It’s heartbreaking. It leaves me feeling rather “un-Large”. It’s hard to tell you stories about strippers & beer while we all walk through these puddles of blood.
But I have to change. It’s about the light.
In my younger years,(a couple of weeks ago) I would simply get angry over these things. For most of my life I have been a “FUCK YOU” kind of guy. Blow up bombs in a public place? Fuck YOU! Face a firing squad and die you inhuman piece of shit! Walk into an elementary school and shoot up a bunch of innocent children and then turn the gun on yourself? YOU COWARD! FUCK YOU! Burn in hell for eternity – times two. Anger always seemed to be my best medicine for troubled times, or at least it was the first medicine applied.
Not so much, these days. “Fuck you” doesn’t work for me anymore. The 53 year old Large Man doesn’t become angered in the face of tragedy. I just become sad. I think I should probably become a little bit afraid, but I know way too many people who have wasted years of this very short life being afraid (and angry). I used to play that way too…not so much these days. Fear is as crippling as anger; it’s just a different disease.
I’m only sure of one thing, and that one thing is: I just don’t know.
I’ve shared this sentiment with you before; when fried chicken sandwiches faced off against consensual adults with matching nasties bonking each other, possibly even marrying each other was an issue that was so critical to the cradle of our civilization, we shut down shopping centers in protests of support for both sides. The debate isn’t over, but we’ve processed a buttload of chicken since then.
I don’t know. I don’t know, and I haven’t met anyone else who convinces me that he or she knows either. How are we going to protect our kids? How are we going to feel safe? I don’t know.
I believe in the right to bear arms. I believe in an armed citizenry. I don’t know that we need assault weapons in the general public, but on the other hand…I know firsthand of a Missouri farmer who saved his family when his house was invaded by the proprietors of a meth lab that was doing business on the border of his property. It is believed that these entrepreneurs invaded the home to harm the man and his family for reporting them to the police. The farmer defended his home with an AR-14 until help arrived. A pump action shotgun would not have accomplished the job. This is awful. I don’t remember the particulars or the death toll, and I don’t care; farmer and family ended up safe and at least physically unharmed, the bad guys were either killed or put away. I support the farmer’s 2nd amendment right.
If I had a child at Sandy Hook, my position on gun control and the interpretation of our 2nd amendment would most likely be very different.
Most people probably know exactly where they come down on all the critical social issues of our time, if you look at Facebook and Twitter, or Fox and MSNBC, it seems that way. Whether it’s gay marriage, gun control, abortion, the war on terror, or global warming, I envy those with the strong opinions; I imagine there is genuine peace that comes with the knowing. I will never know that peace, and I’m not judging here…I’m dead serious. I wish I knew; I could use a good night’s sleep.
But with all that I don’t know, there are a few things that I would bet on. I bet that the most passionate supporter of the free and unencumbered exchange of firearms between private citizens might rethink the whole background check thing if they had to spend the rest of their gun totin’ life in a wheelchair with a colostomy bag strapped to the side because they were a victim of a gunshot wound delivered by a recently discharged resident of a state mental hospital.
I bet Scooter the gun hater, the dude who thinks we need to make our homes and our streets gun free, might rethink that stance if the gun owning next door neighbor chased off a would be rapist from entering Scooter’s home while his teenage girl was there alone.
I might be wrong. Maybe those who feel strong on both sides of these issues found that one piece of truth that convinced them. Something turned on the light. I’m still looking. I’m sorry that innocent people are killed by guns, I’m not sorry that innocent people have been saved by guns. I’m not sorry that those who would strike down innocent, hardworking, God fearing people have been killed by guns. I’m not happy – at all, to see any life taken. But I’d rather see bad guys die than good guys die. It seems that lately too many good guys are dying.
I want to know, and for now, I think the only way I’m going to find out is to stop being angry and stop saying, “Fuck You”. I have read a couple of things written in social media, and op-ed stuff in print media, after the Boston Marathon bombing, that suggest we reply with love. I get it, but I’m not sure we’re there yet. In the human world, I don’t think hate understands love. BUT…on the other hand, these two assholes that committed this heinous act of hate, became hateful, I don’t think they were born that way. So if hate changed them, maybe love and understanding can change them too.
I don’t know.
I just know that I gotta give up the “Fuck You”(s). We all have to. We’re all bunking a little too close to each other these days as our world gets smaller and smaller. Fuck you just doesn’t solve anything today, probably never has.
With this one exception…
The only Fuck You that is valid anymore, is the Fuck You that is used in response to people who try to scare or intimidate us.
My boss’s daughter, Elizabeth, ran in the Boston Marathon. I love this chick like she was my own daughter. She’s one of those people who can instantly spark up a room; she has the light that I want to find. I have it on good authority that the first crush my son ever experienced over a pretty girl was for his babysitter, Elizabeth. This made me very happy; it’s good to start that process with high standards.
I was driving to Indianapolis when the girl I have a crush on, (Mrs. Large Man) told me about the bombing, and as I turned on CNN radio, and started putting together the details, it was way too close to when Elizabeth could have been finishing. I called her father, told him the news so he could check on her. 20 minutes later he calls me back to say “they were OK”. THANK HEAVEN this chick and her beau are strong runners; she finished about 40 minutes ahead of the explosion. That was a miserable 20 minute wait. I can’t imagine what it was like for her dad.
But, you know what? If she wanted to run it again, if I were asked, I would encourage it. You know why?
Because…Fuck you. (Not you, dear and cherished reader; them)
You can fly planes into buildings, blow up backpacks in crowded places, and send tainted letters to high profile people, I don’t care. I won’t let you take the joy of having a hotdog and a beer at a ballpark, or shopping at a mall the week before Christmas, or flying to Florida to take in the sun, away from me or my family.
I would rather be free than safe. I can’t live in fear. I WON’T live in fear. I will do everything in my power to teach my kids not to live that way either. Will I live smart? Sure. Cautious? Of course!
I’m gonna shave my head and wear a bright red golf jacket. You’ll have no problem finding me. I’ll be the Large bald man…having fun.
WOW! That feels better. I apologize for the language, but I just talked myself into it…strippers & beer next time, or at least something fun!! Let’s be the light. Thanks for reading.