I’ve been very busy this last month and have not felt like writing because I’ve been listening/reading and thinking, something I would advise all Americans to do a bit more of. Hell, foreigners, too. We’re all one big global community. Aren’t we? Children of god, so to speak.
Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t going to hate anymore. But just the other day I was driving home from my crap job in Broken Arrow and what should I see but a couple of Mormon missionaries. They were riding bicycles and wearing heavy coats because it was a very cold day, but even without the telltale short-sleeve white shirts visible, I knew them for what they were immediately.
In the 13-some years I have been back in Oklahoma (which I am ashamed to call my home state), I have only seen Mormon missionaries on one other occasion and that was about six or seven years ago. I pointed them out to the kids so they would know what they looked like, but, of course, that is as far as it went.
This time, though, without really thinking about it, I rolled down the window and shouted “F*ck you” at them. I’m not sure if they heard me because a bitter wind was blowing and my voice isn’t very loud, but the one in the lead looked up at me. He had dark brown hair and dark brown puppy-dog eyes. A very handsome young man, indeed. And I thought, ‘my god, he’s just a kid, eighteen-years old, just a year older than my eldest daughter’. For a moment, I felt absolutely awful. What if someone did that to my kid? Of course, she’s not traveling door-to-door trying to convert people to her own particular way of thinking. So I think she’s safe (ignoring, for the moment, the fact that she’s a woman living in a country where everybody owns guns).
Whether he heard my words or not, I could tell by the look in his eyes that he certainly registered my intent. And I’ll bet he knew I was a lesbian, too, so this wasn’t some random “Mormon-bashing” but the results of a California ballot initiative spreading to the darkest recesses of this “great nation”.
I discussed the incident with my partner that evening, and she said I did the right thing. By that time, I had already concluded that I had, or at least, that, if time went backward and the situation happened again, that was the only possible way I could react. Like I said, I didn’t have time to think about it. I saw the two missionaries and acted on instinct, knowing it might be years before I got another chance.
So what is hate? Is it something dark that hides in our bellies and spews forth at the slightest provocation? Yeah, that might be it. Is it rational? I don’t think so. Does it come out of nowhere or is there some underlying cause, something we might not be aware of on the surface but that festers inside of us like a malignant tumor? And is it so little understood that we might be tempted to give it other names? Yes, I think it is. Some of us might even call it love.
To be continued….