11.06.2007

pacifism

My first story is this:

Back years ago i had a older friend whose son was dying of cancer. One day, just out of the blue, she volunteered, "Walter, when my son dies i'm going to commit suicide." Well, i was just beside myself at this pronouncement. I told her she just couldn't do that and proceeded to make all the arguments that any person would muster when they heard something surprising like this. She patiently answered all of my questions and rebuttals. I'm not going to go into any of the lengthy particulars here, but suffice it to say that it was a thorough and challenging conversation for both of us. In the end i finally conceded that yes, while her decision was a selfish one, due to certain circumstances in her own life her plan was, overall, a reasoned and rational thing to do.

My next story:

Back when Alison and i lived on Lischey Ave. (for the uninitiated, Lischey is the violent, drugged addled inner city avenue where Alison and i lived for ten years) i finally had all i wanted of the crack house across the street. Business was particularly brisk--and since i'd seen this pattern set itself up several times already--i knew that some serious shit was fixin to go down.

So i called the cops. I called the cops and named the kids selling the crack, i told them where they were keeping the larger stash hidden, what time of day was the busiest. The cops asked for my name and wanted to know if they could stop by and ask me a few questions. I said sure, but hey, make sure you pull up to our house from the alley so they won't connect me with the bust, okay? "Sure," they said.

The next day they busted some of the kids and as i watched from the front porch a police officer more or less parked directly in front of our house and hollered "hey, thanks for the information." I was agast.

Anyway, that night, about midnight when alison and i were turning out the lights and getting ready for bed, i looked out the front door as i usually did and noticed...oh, 15 men sitting on the front steps of that crack house across the street. These were not the kids that had been selling there earlier that day, but were instead some fairly full grown and scary looking guys. They were all there on the darkened porch, not talking, looking directly at our house.

I went and got alison and pointed out the guys across the street and i said " darling, i think it's time to make a big decision. I want to know whether you want me to load all the guns" (at this point, when i tell this story to people they usually say You have guns? and i say yes, i inherited them). Anyway, i said "do you want me to load all the guns or should we just trust that nothing is going to happen?"

Like in my friend's suicide story above, we talked about this extensively--Alison on the rabidly anti-gun side the whole time, me straddling the gun/not gun fence--and we finally arrived at the non-hollywood opinion that we should just go to bed believing that all would be okay.

Now, sadly i've set both these stories up but recognize that i need to get ready to go to work here shortly. I don't have the time i'd like to think out the moral or shape the sentences of my conclusion the way i'd like to....plus, i think i need to think about what i want to say for a little while longer. So, sorry, but i think i'll wrap all this up in a later post.

3 comments:

Aaron said...

violence is interesting (speaking about outward violence). It's scary & confusing. I think one of the most important things we can learn is to learn how to recognize the moment when we've been "attacked."

I'll stop there. This could lead into a whole martial arts lecture about self defense and a fruit bowl full of philosophies.

The Mom said...

Don't get side-tracked and forget to finish this!

Quiche said...

I'm staying tuned.