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.

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