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One of the most sad and obvious truths in this world is that some people are broken. They’re the strangers you see on the subway with their heads in their hands, trying to press out the world. They’re the stick-thin girls with only celery for lunch, the businessmen who want nothing more than to have another drink. They’re your mother, your father, your sister, your grandfather, your brother. They’re the aunt who was sexually abused as a child, the uncle with brain cancer who only has months to live. They’re the homeless men and women without a sturdy pair of shoes, who sleep in beat-up Volvos and boxbars because it’s the closest thing they have to a house. You’re going to meet some of these people someday; in all likelihood you already have.
Your parents teach you that you will go to school, fall in love, go to college, then get married and have children, though not necessarily in that exact order. But the part they leave out is that in between all those things you’re going to meet some broken people, fall for them, even. And you won’t know how to fix them; you may try, desperately, but you won’t be able to.
And that’s because broken people can never truly be fixed. You have to stop thinking about it that way: human beings are not appliances. They’re not a leaking faucet or a stove that won’t heat up. They’re not burnt-out lightbulbs or doors swinging off their hinges. You can’t take a hammer and nails to them and make them good as new.
But here’s what you can do-you can help them. Go up to the stick-thin girl and tell her that she may not feel beautiful now, but there are a whole damn lot of other people who believe that she is. Grab that businessman by the sleeve and tell him his pain will not last forever. Tell him that he can never truly drown his sorrows in a drink, then offer to buy him some coffee instead. Give the homeless man a pair of shoes, the homeless woman a new winter coat. Hold your uncle’s hand in the hospital bed when he breathes his final breath. Tell your aunt it wasn’t her fault; tell her that the worst things happen to the best people. If she cries on your shoulder pat her back and stay with her until the tears subside. Remember to say I love you to your mother and father and brother and sister.
And let me tell you something: sorrow and brokenness are two hard motherfuckers to beat. But there’s joy in putting on a pair of boxing gloves and stepping into the ring just to punch the feelings away. Catharsis. You will never feel better than at the exact moment you release all this. Letting go of your feelings has the same kind of grace as the opening of a door, or the way a phoenix can rise again out of the ashes. I’m not telling you that grace is an easy thing to accomplish. It takes small steps.
But every step is worth it. Those broken people you see every day? Their brokenness is a ladder and they have to start climbing it. Rung by rung, hand over hand, until the very top. But don’t haul them up with a pulley; let them do it by themselves. And when they reach the top, hand them a nice cold glass of water and slap them on the back, say, Glad you could make it.
- Ram Dass
Flattery will get you everywhere with me.
- Oscar Wilde
- Samantha Mott
let’s not forget that ‘fandom’ is ’fanatic domain’ shortened
my life is a lie
UNF IS AN ACRONYM!?!
MY WHOLE LIFE IS A LIE.
- Neil Gaiman