From The Grim Grotto

I walked in with a mind dotted with a million compartments, labels, categories, like a walking talking DSM with everything in extremes. But you questioned this system enough to make me want to shed it. And I did. At least, I think I did.

Near the end, I quoted Lemony Snicket.

“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”

-Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto

For a while I cradled this quote. People aren’t perfect–they’re salads. 

And I remember how, at the airport, I spelled out certain flaws. Read too deeply, erred on the side of criticism. The response to this: wince, hop and skip to defense–a dash of compassion with “we’re all a little fucked up inside.” I chewed on that for a little bit. That shut me up.

Earlier today I was thinking about how I used to ask you, “what should I do?” A pause. A detour. A smile, a question. God, how were you so good at evading questions? And I thought I was evasive.

But even though you refused to tell me what to do outright, a part of me appreciated it. Because instead of judging you sought to understand; instead of imposing your views you simply listened. Listeners are common, good listeners are rare. I think that’s why it’s so difficult to explain things sometimes. One ear’s in on the conversation and the mind’s humming along for a response, trying to find some stance to take, a judgment to make. Usually I walk away from those saddled with terrible advice I should have never taken. Why take advice from people whose positions you don’t exactly, uh, covet? Orders from another country/island/universe to destruct, destroy, walk away. I burned this bridge, set this city on fire and now I’m kicking through my own rubble and trash.


One thought on “From The Grim Grotto

  1. Sudden Denouement August 11, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    “I’m kicking through my own rubble and trash.” Great line. Wonderful piece. Great writing.


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