I Am Angry at the World Right Now and the Only Answer is Dirty Dancing

11 Aug

A few days ago a friend of mine who lives in another city messaged me that she had been held up at gun point before sundown a few blocks from her house, robbed and then hit on the left side of her head with the barrel of a presumably loaded gun. Standing behind the bar I tried my hardest to not allow my face to register the fact that my heart and my stomach had both crashed to the floor. I immediately went into response mode. Who of her friends can I track down, knowing that all her contact information was lost? What information can I gather without overstepping? How do I offer my support without allowing my fury to become overbearing? And how unreasonable is it for me to buy tickets and board a plane to where she is?

As the minutes and hours and days have passed by there is one thing that I keep coming back to. He held her up at gun point. He took her things. He had everything he wanted from her. And still, he hit her. She was not about to chase an armed man down the street. No money, credit card or cell phone is worth a life. She was terrified but thankfully unhurt. And then he hit her. I just don’t understand it. I just don’t understand what is so wrong in someone’s head that they would cause another human unnecessary harm. How do you look at someone in the face, see the terror in their eyes and lack even the smallest bit of decency. There was no danger to him. He was in charge. He had the power. And yet it still wasn’t enough.

So here’s the thing. I have gotten this far in my life generally believing that people are good. But as time goes on that belief gets harder and harder to hold onto. The certainty with which I once believed in basic human decency has eroded. And it’s not just this incident. It’s not just the glass I took to the face 6 months ago or the man who is wandering my neighborhood, attacking women between 4 and 6 am, causing me to walk down the middle of the street from my car to my apartment. It’s that it sort of feels like the world is falling apart and our humanity is the first to go. It’s that it feels as though every day it is something new, something horrifying, something inhuman.

I don’t know, you guys. Planet Earth has been a tough place the past few years. I remember back in late September, 2001, standing in the driveway with my mother wondering whether the world was going to still be around tomorrow. I remember telling her that I wasn’t sure I would ever have children because I didn’t think it was wise or safe or responsible to bring innocents into a world that felt so chaotic, unpredictable, dangerous and hate-filled. She told me that it always feels that way. That back when she was younger and John F. Kennedy was killed followed by Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F. Kennedy it seemed like anything could happen at any moment. That being good was dangerous and that darkness would eventually drown out the light. But time went on and life continued and good things do happen. And we can’t allow the evil to scare us from living the lives we want to live. But fuck is it hard.

It’s just that it all feels maybe a little bit hopeless sometimes. Well, right now it does. To me. Who are we that we behave like this? (I’m about to go on a super rant tangent so stay with me.) That we get so angry that we throw a glass at the face of someone half our size. That we, in broad daylight, rob someone and then hit them with a gun. That we are incapable of having a functioning national database of reported sexual assaults so we can protect women and men from the serial rapists that evade arrest because we are so fucking incapable of being realistic about the dominance and prevalence of rape culture. That black men and women are being killed by police and people still have the nerve to say this isn’t a racist society, that equal opportunity is a thing, that white privilege doesn’t exist. That some asshole American travels to Africa and kills a mother fucking lion because he can. That a woman runs a marathon on her period without wearing a tampon to raise awareness of the fact that women and girls all over the world lack access to necessary products. That people are fleeing their homes on rickety boats because they feel unsafe and are being turned away at the borders, if they even make it that far without the overcrowded vessels springing a leak and sinking. That Donald mother fucking Trump is somehow politically relevant and we think it’s funny but it isn’t funny because this is our fucking government and has everyone gone mad?!?

Okay, breath.

I just sometimes get really frustrated. I guess it’s that I really believe that if we would just open our eyes for a second and look around, like really look, and realize we aren’t the only people that exist that maybe things would be better. And I get it, we didn’t all grow up the same. We don’t all have the same world view. Inevitably there will be conflict. Everyone can’t get along all the time. But I do think we can all agree that we are all people. And then maybe we can take the next step and say we are all worth the same. That, no matter where we were born, what we look like, what we have, who our parents are, what cars we drive, what school we did or did not go to, that we share this space. And that the space isn’t getting any bigger, no matter how many poorly constructed bullshit high rise condos we throw up. And that money doesn’t actually matter. I mean, yea, it’s a necessary evil, but we invented it. It’s actually just paper that we assign value to by printing numbers using machines that we also invented. And some people have more than others. And for some, all of the money in the world isn’t enough. And sometimes, someone doesn’t have anything and they think you have something and they steal it from you. And that sucks, but it happens. But maybe, just maybe, they could steal the money and then not pistol whip you. I think maybe then the world would be ever-so-slightly better.

Or, maybe I should just rewatch Dirty Dancing and pretend that I don’t have the stiffest hips in the world and that I, too, could have an affair with the super sexy dance instructor and make him realize that he doesn’t have to go it alone. If you need me I will be in my room listening to Hungry Eyes on repeat.

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