Sunday, October 21, 2012

Second, Do No Harm


I don’t like to share. I don’t like people to touch my fucking shit, I don’t like people to borrow my shit, I don’t even like people to see my shit. I want to be someone who likes to share, who says, “Oh here, take mine,” and really means it, because those are such nice people, except, that they actually make me feel shitty about myself, so maybe they’re bad people deep down. Maybe they shove their lending and their niceness down your throat so you feel horrible about the fact that you don’t want to loan your books out because you never get them back. Nobody gives books back. I don’t. Sometimes I do eventually, but not for a really long time. They sit on my bookshelves until they become emotionally attached to my books and then they can’t leave because it would be too traumatic for everyone.
Also, sometimes stuff gets broken or lost, which brings me to my next point, using the word “point” fairly loosely.
I spend every Thursday with my nephew. (It used to be Fridays, which is not relevant, but since I’m not going to lend you anything, I can at least give you accuracy where possible.) This started when he was six months old or so, I’m not really sure (where possible), let’s just say once a week for roughly three years. He’s irreplaceable. It took nine months and literal blood, sweat and tears to make him. I won’t let my autographed copy of American Gods leave the house and my sister lets me take her child. She doesn’t even instruct me. I mean, I’ve been doing it for a while now, but even the very first time she didn’t do much more than point out the formula. She didn’t tell me not to drop him on his head, which I imagined doing every time I carried him for like a year. At least. Not imagined in a wishful way, you understand, but in a nightmarish way. In my head, I would trip walking down the hallway, and the floors are tile so there would be nothing soft to drop the baby on and probably I would end up falling on top of him and crushing him anyway, so it wouldn’t really matter that the floors weren’t soft. But there was never a, “Don’t drop the baby,” or “Don’t leave him alone in the car/dryer/tub,” or even, “Don’t let him suck on a knife,” which, ok, any adult should know, but still. She just handed over her very best thing and trusted me. To me, that is amazing.
                You’re probably thinking, ‘Her sister lets her borrow a baby, a firstborn only son and she won’t let her borrow a fucking book?’ Well, I will let her borrow a fucking book. I often offer to lend her books. The fact that I have a copy of her house key and therefore the ability to repo any book at any time hardly crosses my mind. If you’re wondering why I suddenly got onto books it’s because all my favorite things are books or dogs…not that dogs are things, and not that I’d lend them. And not that my nephew is a thing either. Don’t make a big deal about the order there; it was a random train of thought.
It may be appropriate to put some trust of my own into the world to pay it forward, although I hated that movie and swore never to be nice to anyone after I saw it. Sometimes things strike me in ways that I’m sure were not intended. In spite of that, this is a call to put more trust in humanity, well some humanity, and I’ll see how it goes. Don’t worry, I’m only calling myself, unless you want to be called, it’s your decision. And for the record, I’m totally generous with my crappy stuff.