I'm still grappling with how good it felt to get my hate on.
But so many people wrote to tell me how bad hate is that the good feeling has to be doubted. They weren't writing to me, mind you. Not directly. But 80 million moral philosophers can't be wrong. (Even Helen Keller came after me. Something about giving my power away.) While no official apology will [EVER] be issued to anyone specific who may have been offended, the issue was taken under advisement with the appropriate authorities.
Hence, because Hate is (apparently) not the answer, so as to avoid "karmic backlash," and--most importantly--lest anyone think I am either a rock or an island, please enjoy making fun of me for the following:
THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME CRY IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS
* There was this mass e-mail from a friend in Quebec, about this grocery bagger, who had Downs Syndrome or something,(I forget his name, but doesn't it have to be Jimmy, or Billy, or Danny?) who decided to "make a difference" in the only way he could. He started putting an inspiring "quote of the day" in his customers' bags. People lined up to get in his line because they wanted the wisdom. The mood around the store changed. The florist started giving away flowers. The butcher stopped selling tainted salmon. Basically, the Aliens delayed our annihilation for a good year based on Jimmy's contribution. I was crying all over my keyboard just before I deleted it. And NOT because of the bad luck I got for not forwarding it to at least ten people in the next ten minutes.
* I watched this French movie about a failed musician who goes to a crooked school/home for wayward boys. Of course, he transforms the school. (How do failed musicians do that, by the way? How is it that the people chewed up and spit out by Art are destined to radically alter the perspective of the world's wayward Youth?) Anyway, I cried when they sang--and not just because it was the moment the Mr. Holland's bogus Opus was grappling for. It really was beautiful. Then I cried at the end when he gets fired (of course) and the boys who are forbidden to say goodbye do it anyway by throwing paper airplanes (which he taught them to make) with their thanks written on the wings out the window. It was Dead Poet's Society all over again. I was totally fine with the snotty actor kid killing himself. But man, when they all stand on the desk and say "Oh Captain, my Captain!" I am a weepy mess for a good hour.
* An old friend sent me a package of pictures and souvenirs from Emily Dickinson's house. Before you make too much fun of me for crying at this, you should know that the souvenirs included an acorn from Emily's tree. Can you imagine anything cooler? Either I was crying at the friend's kindness, or over the fact that as a teenager I actually tried that "Somewhere in Time" trick from that sad little Christopher Reed movie. I wanted to go back in time and convince her to marry me. Obviously it didn't work. And no I did not play the soundtrack as I made the attempt to meditate myself backward through the continuum. On second thought, it has to be the friend's kindness, because, while I flagellate myself with guilt over all my teenage stupidity, I never cry about it.
* They Might Be Giants have a song called Ana Ng. If you really listen, really close, at the right time of night, alone in your car as you sit in the parking lot of the job that has been sucking your soul out through every orifice for ten years, wondering what it would feel like to walk through life without the weight of the world absolutely crushing your shoulders, the song inspires tears.
* The 4th of July fireworks in my little town go off right over my house. The noise is deafening and the light is blinding, but it was neither the red glare nor the suffocating sulfur in the air. As I squinted, covered my ears, and hoped the fire department was at the ready, I started to think about the miracle that is America. Yes, I teared up a little.
* This was a while ago, but I enjoyed that hate a LOT, to I'm going further back. I spent Father's day fixing my own meal, enjoying a gift I had purchased for myself, and cleaning up after my slob son and the mother who taught him the art of mess. I didn't really care, because that reality isn't worth fretting about. But as I went out into the night to head off to work (see Reason to Cry #3) I actually did begin to feel a little sorry for myself. Then I noticed a strange neon glimmer from inside the car. My son, who seemed to have spent the whole day not giving a crap, had written "Happy Father's Day" with glow sticks taped to the inside of the windshield. The whole interior of the car was glowing. (See, now YOU'RE crying). I shed a tear of gratitude. Then another because his little gift made it impossible to drive, and was going to make me late for work. Another tear for useless good intentions and good deeds justly punished. Then one more for the realization that what he had really done was make ANOTHER mess for me to clean up. . . And then one last crocodile tear for the fact that being late for work and cleaning up the spent glow sticks in the morning was totally worth it.
So there it is, Universe. I hope that completes my penance. I promise to never again admit in writing to enjoying hatred or rejoicing in anyone else's misery.