In the heart of every cynic is a crushed idealist.
The disappointment in our fellow humans is commensurate with the degree of hope we once had in us. The first time you see the fat kid, or the kid wearing broken glasses, rub his yeast roll in his greasy hair to keep a bully from stealing it, you leave that lunchroom hardened. You can feel the sting on your own ear when he gets his thwacked with a cocked birdie finger for not yielding the prize. I was not in the 2nd hall bathroom when it happened, but the story goes that the kid with the broken glasses brought his dad’s revolver to school and when his persecutor followed him into the bathroom he was looking at the barrel hearing clicks while the fat kid asked him which chamber he thought the bullet was in, like, “Maybe it’s in this one Travis? Click. Or is it this one? Click.”
Travis exploded out the bathroom door on a frantic run, while Kurt calmly walked out behind him, the gun back in his backpack. Nobody I know ever saw Kurt again, but we sure spoke of him often, most frequently to Travis. “Hey bro, seen Kurt lately?” Then we would laugh at him as he slunk down 2nd hall.
So the world is not fair and you don’t often get your way, but then sometimes a little ray of justice shines through and you think maybe this time, maybe I get to win. Everybody has their sad story, and I think everyone sees themselves as the heroic underdog, but the truth is some of us are more under than others.
Me? I am a heterosexual, married, educated, and employed white man living in a society where those are all favorable qualities. Where, when people ask, “But does he fit in around here?” There’s a decent chance the answer may be yes, even if they don’t know my outsider’s heart.
For some people though, their outsider-ness is not optional. It’s on their skin, or the hand they hold at the movies.
That is why, when I walked into the courthouse today I got that familiar power surge, that lump in my throat. I am not sure that it matters like it once did, as the buying power of JuanchoPAC is minimal. I can’t help it though, I want those bullies to stare into the barrel of my vote gun and listen while I make it click.
Do it for Kurt. Hell, do it for me. I’m joining the ranks of the apathetics this year, because this state is awash in red, the blood of special interests and Big Coal smeared on the hands of every politician. My vote is canceled out by thousands, not even rising to a whimper against the pro-gun, pro-life, pro-coal, pro-goodoldboys. Even the Democrats are a funny shade of red here in hillbilly country.
I have a hundred things to say about this post, but I will try not to hijack your blog today. Makes me think of Jesus Christ as well as Buddha. Accept the world as it is or *try* and change it? Ahhhhh.. the eternal dilemma and the primal disease of my mind. To be an idealist who is crushed a thousand times but somehow never becomes a cynic? Or a cynic who knows the answer but never gives it even to save his own ego? Choice.
Great post Jauncho!
Hijack? You can have the keys man!
Never dry-fire your gun, especially your vote gun.
I love voting in downtown Monticello. It’s so small that I can actually feel as if my vote matters. More like making a remark at a family potluck than having to look down the barrel of a gun.
But. I know exactly what you’re saying and you said it so well and so beautifully. Juancho, you are one of my favorite people and one of my favorite writers.
There are so many conversation stsrters in here. . ..!!! Where’s the dinner ts le???
Crap. I should know better than to try to reply from my dinky ipad mini touch keyboard. 🙁
You give me hope — not just your beliefs, similar to my own, I suspect, but the perfection that is your writing. All the inherent violence that is expressed in words —
And I have to admit — hope in the state of Florida, too.
P.S. I’m here visiting again from Ms. Moon’s blog.
I just found you. Ms Moon is one of my all time favorites and she hit on a good one, YOU! I am not smart enough to give words to what you wrote. I am a very BLUE Female in a very RED state (alabama). I will vote and raise my voice and sing a song for what will Help all of US!! ( did not mean to shout,cannot help myself sometimes) Glad to meet you.
Thanks for the support Heart-Blessers. I’m not the word machine Mary is these days, but knowing you are out there is inspiring. Now go vote your guts out.
Sorry to hear you were doomed again. This is, after all, Florida. (And they call California “the land of fruits and nuts.” Fuck them, by the way.)
On the other hand, not every crushed idealist becomes a cynic. Some of us become realists of a sort, making peace with the rotten fabric of our shitty world and trying to laugh in the face of the disaster humanity has made of it. Yeah, if you can’t beat ’em you have to more or less join ’em, but you don’t have to kiss their ass and you certainly don’t have to “think like they do.”