Monday, March 19, 2007

everything I love is broken

When I said it, I was supposed to be making a joke, but it hit the air a little oddly and has been rattling around me ever since. I've been wondering if it's strictly true, and what that means about me.

Some of it is this: given the choice between the teddy bear and the sock monster, I'm on Team Sock Monster. Given the choice between a gorgeous dog from a breeder and a three-legged mutt from a shelter, I'm going with the mutt every time. I have friends who are the people who pick the breeder, and I don't love them less for it. It's just that plenty of people want the perfect puppy, and my heart goes to something frightened and mistreated. This can have some pretty icky implications if you apply it to people, and I know I'm not alone in having a period where I thought I could save someone. So impossible, and ugly, and ultimately kinda condescending too.

I still want to help, which is why I bitch at you to go home and sleep when you're sick, why I worry if you didn't bring lunch, why I have a list of home remedies in my head and painkillers in my locker. For me, that's an acceptable level of fussing. What amazes me these days, what I'm drawn to, is how people cope. All the creative, astonishing things that people come up with to get them through; all the small humane gestures they make toward others. I like swapping survivors' stories.

We have to save ourselves, but we don't have to be all alone in the dark while we do it. What I love is triumph over adversity, the shape of growing whole.

Also? I love to laugh, and perfection is rarely funny.

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