I bought a couple of coloring books. The idea is I can relax coloring and stay off the internet. The internet makes people fight. People who really like each other. People who have crushes on one another. People who like how the other person dances and tells jokes and cooks and decorates- one bad link, one bad status, and a boil of dislike starts to fill up with the pus of judgment. Who knew almost no one sees the world you do? Who knew we feel affronted by the assertion of those visions? Now we know.
Bodies and faces have their own draws, make their own cases. A tremble in the throat, a vein in the neck, a drop in the shoulders, and an opinion takes on a backstory, takes on the shadow of a grief or fear or joy. People end up in weird situations with weird opinions. You ever meet a really nice dog and then find out it’s racist? Then you think, these dog owners are racists! I’ve never met a white person who wasn’t at least a little racist, so that makes sense, and then you find out the dog specifically freaks out around black men holding anything like a broom. Then all there is to do is feel bad for dogs, living in and trying to understand a world people run, doing their best to stay one step ahead of our beatings.
Trying to respond to the feeling when I can only respond with a big old “U R WRONG” to the opinion. Trying to suss out a backstory. People can’t even imagine a person with my backstory, so I’m trying to forgive everybody in advance for that. But it’s hard on the internet, what with all the confidence people give to their opinions, the edge of righteousness that we are so thrilled to get to perform.
But that’s the world of words on glowing screens. Words that are easy to make permanent. Glowing screens that strap us into comfortable identities, with opinions people like us like are supposed to have. We’ve only had this world for 20 years. It feels permanent but sharks chew on the tubes of wires that run under the ocean. It feels permanent but there’s only so much coal and only so much gasoline and we do have to kill people for that gas. I think the lights will go out before I die. Or maybe I’ll just move somewhere with no lights. Only the moon glowing, and that crazy algae that does that. Lots of night to think about, less light to color by.