I was watching a video the other day of an egret eating a mouse when I came across several more of a crow trying to catch a duckling and a pelican with a duckling trying desperately to escape from its gular pouch. Then I saw some videos of geese fighting with swans, whether for territorial reasons or protecting their young or both, who really knows? After watching several of these, a thought occurred to me: Why can’t all birds just get along? Do they really have to eat each other? Do they really have to bully each other’s young to make a point that the lake belongs to them? It would be like if we had different species of human and some people ate other species of people. Can you imagine that?
People are people are people are people. But what if there were teeny tiny ones living in the grass and really big ones living in the mountains? We could eat the ones in the grass, but we would be eaten by the ones in the mountains. I don’t know if I would like a world like that. So how do we get all the birds to get along?
Sometimes I feel like a silent loudspeaker. It’s like my thoughts and actions are being broadcast on some big screen somewhere that everybody knows except for me and everyone who is around me acts like they know nothing. Oh, wait…that’s like the Truman Show. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that movie, but I get the gist of it and I remember really liking it. It’s one of the few Jim Carrey movies I like. It’s sad though because every time I think of Jim Carrey, which is not very often, I think of depression. I think he has been diagnosed with clinical depression at some point and it made me sad to think a lot of comedians are going through this or have gone through this. It’s like you can’t be really funny without having gone through a lot of unpleasant experiences, some downright shitty.
Maybe we are all on our individual Truman Show and different shows collide. And that’s how black holes form. Or hurricanes and earthquakes happen. But I think I feel this way because people are way too judgmental. It just takes one look for me to know someone is judging me. Usually it’s something I share about myself with them. When I get that judgy vibe coming from them, it doesn’t encourage me to keep sharing. Or it makes me want to edit what I say in real-time. If I notice myself starting to do that with someone, that’s the beginning of me knowing I won’t be close friends with this person. In the best case scenario it’ll just take me a little longer to become good friends with this person. The funny thing is, people are quick to judge without knowing the whole picture. We can’t help it. It’s kind of in our DNA. We go for the worst in people. Let’s be curious thinkers instead of Negative Nancies.
You weren’t bad-looking, but the closet emotion that I couldn’t identify was liking you as a friend. You can’t expect an 11-year-old me to notice male humans. You were, what? 30? I knew you were around that age and I thought I was a pretty cool kid getting to hang with someone who, in my 11-year-old language, was an adult acting like a Big Kid, even if you were my parents’ friend. You stood out because I didn’t feel like a little dorky 11-year-old girl around you trying to study for the SAT by studying the GRE like my father made me do. You disclosed to me that life has a fun side, something I never knew existed.
You came over to our house so you could attend the Friday night meditation sessions. You always talked to me. I don’t know if you did it out of obligation or if you actually enjoyed talking to me, but you made me laugh and that put a smile on your face. We had this pole in the middle of the basement. You knew how to make your body perpendicular to it and I remember my jaw dropping when you showed us. I wanted to learn right away how to do that, and so became obsessed with the pole promptly after. I never did; the best I could do was climb the pole like a monkey and dance around it.
You taught me how to get into position for meditation. I didn’t know how to properly sit, so you told me to sit down, cross my legs like I usually do when sitting, then you decided there were no more words left capable of describing the right way to sit. So you used your hands and lifted my legs and weaved them into place. It’s because of you I know how to get into position for meditation.
You were getting married and as soon as I found out, I knew our closest emotion that I couldn’t identify was about to come to an end. I felt sad, an emotion I could identify. Of course, our family was invited. My mother made me wear a white dress and when we showed up at the house, I noticed you had a lot of guests. You didn’t see me at first. I don’t even remember what your fiancé looked like. I remember she was Chinese like you and it was the first Chinese wedding I had ever been to. You had this game only played at Chinese weddings where an apple was tied with a piece of string and dropped down from the ceiling and you and your fiancé had to bite the apple at the same time while your hands were tied behind your backs. Everyone was laughing, and kind of like my jaw dropping moment, I just wanted to watch.
But you saw and said in Mandarin, “Little kids can’t watch this!” After that, I never saw you again.