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Just eat it


"When shit brings you down, just say 'fuck it', and eat yourself some motherfucking candy."
-The Rooster (Sedaris)


I'm in the corner of a coffee shop in Phoenix drinking coffee and eating bread and butter.  There is something warm and satisfying about bread and butter, and while I know chemically-speaking it is bad for my body, it's so tasty that sometimes I just can't and don't care.  I remember my father read something to me once about a spiritual master, a realized soul, who recommended eating a little bread with butter or bread with milk before going to bed, as if it would relax you, or satisfy you in a way, so as not to be hungry or something, so as to settle your stomach and not distract you, or something like that, I'm not really sure.  I'll have to ask again about it.  But anyway, for now, I'm not a spiritual master, so, I'm not going to worry about my "disciples," or lack thereof, misinterpreting what I'm saying as much...  Either way, when I want or need the comfort of a little bread and butter, I have it, and try not to feel so bad about it.  This goes for chocolate as well, though I don't have any spiritual quotations to validate that one.

Anyway, there is a couple I keep looking at.  They are not married, they are in their late thirties or early forties.  The man reminds me of a boy I once dated, and who I quite liked, and what he might look like older, as an actual man, and unshaven for a few days.  His hairline has receded quite a bit, and what is left is a little grown out, but he is handsome.  The woman next to him is past her prime, but quite pretty in an earthy kind of way, let's say, a landscaped-earthy kind of way— light layer of rosey lipstick, dyed blonde hair.  Anyway, they look content and happy with the other.  Not ecstatic or over-whelmed, not just comfortable either, but quietly happy.  She looks over at him occasionally, away from her computer, while he reads the newspaper.  Sometimes they speak, and look at eachother closely, sometimes they don't.  They both have constant slight smiles on their faces.  She gets up to refill her coffee and refills his at the same time.  She brings it back and sets it down next to his left hand, and he briefly lifts his head up to acknowledge, but doesn't make any eye contact, and looks back down at his paper with a wider smile on his face.  I wonder what they went through to find each other.  More than I wonder how long they've been together, or what they do for a living, or what their names are, or how they met; I wonder what it took for them to get to each other. 

In between my glances over at them, I'm thinking about a Dateline special I watched last night while I stayed home on a Saturday.  I did so quite happily, actually, even though I was cancelled on.  Either way, out or in, I needed to relax in a big time way. 

The special was about two boys who admitted to and were convicted of killing their father.  At the time, they were 12 and 13.  The 13 year old is the one who physically did the killing, with a baseball bat.  The details of the 'why' and 'how' this could happen are still a bit hazy, though they had a very rough childhood, and there was a family friend involved who was a convicted child molester, and who had a relationship with the younger boy in particular.  It is thought that he might have coerced or convinced them to do this so that he might have the boys to himself.  Now, 8 or 9 years later, the boys have been released from juvenile detention facilities, and are now 20 and 21.  They both seem to have fairly good heads on their shoulders, and with the help of a few random adults who kept in touch with them out of sympathy for such a horrible situation, they are grateful to be making new lives and going to community college. 

The older boy seems to have thought more actively about what he did, though he can't quite fathom himself once being that child who could do such a thing.  He seems happy to be out of prison, and seems to have made a resolution to move on, to not dwell on what happened, and to learn a lesson from it all.  He said prison is what you make of it, and if you choose to deal with what it is that got you there, you can come out the better for it, instead of getting sucked into the environment that surrounds you, and getting brought down by the negativity.  Both want to have good lives and be productive members of society.  Both boys don't seem to actively blame anyone else or any situation for their behavior, and neither discusses the events in detail at all, either for lack of desire or lack of memory, it's not clear.

What is fascinating me today, as I try to make sense of this strange story, is that this young man, the older one, seems to have done what so many find exceedingly difficult or impossible- he seems to have forgiven himself.  That is, he seems to have forgiven himself for killing his father. Perhaps he never beat himself up over it too much, considering he was so young.  But either way, if he can do that, a seemingly magical feat to me, then I think we all have hope of forgiving ourselves, and eachother, for our misgivings, past and present.  Somehow this makes moving on a much clearer and closer reality.  It must be easier to move on with a heart that isn't so heavy.

In conclusion....well, I don't know.  I'm not sure what all these things mean, if anything.  But I do know I've got a lot of living left to do, and a lot more bread and butter to eat.



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