Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you… Maybe not, cause I didn’t write that song and I don’t really need you, but I do so enjoy you and I miss you when we don’t read and write for a while. First thoughts count, though, right? Maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you. Again, no, not so much.
I hope y’all know that song, or now you prolly think I’ve really gone bonkers, but I’ve not really, I’m holding steady at slightly bonkers, which in my opinion, is where it’s at, because without a lil bonkers, who would ever do deep introspection, random asides, or untoward allusions? Would there even be gasping or laughing til we cry? Who would write the poetry or cook the food or paint the art? Honestly, I don’t wanna live in a post-neurotic utopia. I feel a little outside myself when I am more reasonable than those around me. Or when I straighten my hair. I like that whole salad bowl, box of crayons kinda metaphor for living. It really does take all kinds.
Recently I was at a swim meet thinking that you would think in a collection of barely dressed humans, you’d think it’d be easier to find someone. Your kid, really, any kid you know, on deck, should be easy to identify, but it’s actually not easy at all. Yes, yes, they seem to be all different shapes and sizes and colors, there’s plenty of variety, but while they mill around, they are virtually identical. My kid is a white one, no, no, like, there are plenty of white ones, but mine is the whitest one, and you need other light white kids to gather in hopes of singling out the one who has the whitest skin. They’re divided into swimwear for male and female, so that helps some, but in uniform swimsuits they’re kinda all the same, hence UNIFORM. They do the same lil dances and shout all the same sounds. If you can imagine, they all have feet, legs, torsos, arms, hands and heads in all the same places. Not a one of them is missing a nose or having four arms or a big back tattoo. The thing is, I’m tellin you, they’re all wearing caps and goggles and they all have swim shoulders and they’re not as different as they appear to be when they’re having exposed hairdos and wearing their own clothes. I am always losing my kid when she is right in front of me. Sharpies, anyone?
And I thought, as I scanned the group, this is not unlike humanity overall. We express ourselves with our choices from what we do with our hair to what we wear on our feet and you would never mistake your postman for your uncle, anymore than I would mistake Betsy for Sassy, but if your postman and your uncle both wore only a Speedo and a cap and goggles in a pool of other men dressed the same, you might.
I was thinking this is a big job for our brains, finding differences, seeking them out. This is a crucial tool in assessment — for instance situations in which we may need to adapt, let alone finding our children in a crowd — but we seem to overlook the part where we’re all so close, so damned close to identical. We’re all just similar versions of the same shapes, sizes, and colors.
Maybe it’s good to remember we’re all on the same team.