This Thing We Do

Let me preface this piece off first. It is just an observation of one person at this moment. It will upset and irritate some, and it may make some think a little bit more. It is not meant as an end all, but an opening possibly. To what is opening, that is up to you to decide.

There is, at this time a dearth of people, mostly men, who are being charged with or having their inappropriate behavior projected onto the media big screen. In most if not all cases, the punishment is long overdue and the right thing to do. I have no idea if there is any innocence in any of this, I also have to question if there is any quantifiable guilt in some though. That part right there is what this is about.

I wrote a piece some time ago stating the question; What if they don’t know? In writing that I was addressing my own life and my own examples of not knowing. Before I got sober, I had no idea that there was a solution, no way of even comprehending that there was a different life out there. When my own adventures into this Id showed me that I may write well enough, but in reality, I don’t explain myself very well and I shouldn’t even do it because it is nobody’s business. I didn’t know, I had not learned the right way to do many of these things because I was too busy chasing my next drunk. I was a mollusk on a pier, just sucking my life from the rising tides and bemoaning that there wasn’t more water at low tides. Maybe I had learned it and forgotten, or chased it away for a better whine? I do know this about the construct of the human conditions in all of us, much of the time… We just don’t know.

I was at the grocery store and going through my favorite checker’s stand. The subject somehow came up about family, and I admitted I was the youngest of nine. She was the youngest of eight, the boys ran heavier on her side, the women on mine. I implied I was trained very well to see both sides of something because I had to sit and be quiet much of the time when adults were “discussing” things when I was younger. I learned early on what tones of voice mean, inflections and basically just when to shut up. It parlayed itself into a way of speech that is intended not to challenge, to sound a little naive and unthreatening. My body slouched down, my voice subdued and changed even as not to interfere with others emotional states. I can see that now, because now I know, now I know what my history meant, and the strings of events and mindsets that slinked their way into more than just my behavior, but my body and subconscious thoughts as well.

So in looking at my history, my very own history, sheds a light that I can somewhat apply to others. This thing we do, this mating and meeting, this intermingling and intertwining of the sexes for procreation, pleasure, employment, excitement, enticement, marketing, segregation… It consumes us. It’s societal meaning varies by the nouns and verbs, context and placement, location, position, meaning. The legal meanings are also somewhat unclear, the gray lines pretty thick and fuzzy. There is a lot to know about what not to do, what not to say, how not to act. I have sisters and I talk to them, and have been trained to talk to women like anyone else. That has left me in that whole social arena as a weirdo, because I sometimes tell women the truth as I would my male friends, ask questions that would brand me naive. I was just trained and conditioned to do this, and in looking back I was definitely part of the problem. I now know those times when I was out of line, when I was doing something wrong. I only know some of them, because what my thoughts and intentions were in situations others would call inappropriate may not match what was meant. I do not explain myself well in real life, I am weird, I would say, and in some of those times, maybe I just didn’t know? In other cases though, I thought it was also the way of things, just like I thought I had graduated at life while I sat on a bar stool.

This conversation the broken nation is having at the moment, about harassment, about power and sex as weapons, intimidation and silence. Women and Men have to have a conversation together, this has happened to both sides of the sexquation and far too often one side or the other is not listened to, not taken seriously, made light of, because the injuries either physical or emotional are deemed lesser than. In all of the dialogue the important factor going forward is an equity of compassion and empathy, not an enmity of the other side. Daring to repeat the processes that got us here is what we are in the middle of right now. When mishandled that process leaves us with examples like the current administration. It is a form of apathetic thinking applied to areas of life that make up the foundations, things we cannot afford to ignore. Throwing shade at a sex, at a situation, at an attempt to comprehend the subtle and overt miscues and behaviors is asinine in it’s concept and doomed to repeat bad behaviors. It is very much like the discussions we are having about race and religion in that effect. We are not going to figure out the keys to life, or figure out how to program a happy person. We do need to communicate with one another better, listen instead of just trying to find a response. Nothing changes if we all remain strangers, and that goes even more so with the nature and natures of this thing we do.

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