So, we’ve all been pretty up in arms lately. The GOP appears to have lost its collective mind. In Arizona conception now starts on the first day of a womans period, before semen is even introduced to the equation. Public officials are running around saying asinine things like “legitimate” rape and “forceable” rape and in general just collectively pissing off self- respecting women everywhere. And I’ll be frank, I’ve been so frustrated, so completely and utterly aghast that sometimes my only recourse has been TEARS of frustration and anger.
And tonight when I was driving home I was reminded that the picture, while it already looms, is so much bigger and darker.
Im driving down Fairfiled, and there is a woman sitting on the steps of her sidewalk, down from her porch. Shes in her 20’s or 30’s, its hard to tell. She’s wearing an oversized plain white t-shirt. Her hair is pulled back. Her head is in her hands.
Standing in front of her is a thinnish man, maybe a little older Hes standing above her, pointing his finger her direction. There is maybe two feet between them. He’s obviously unhappy, hes obviously verbally berating her.
Standing off to the side, toe in the dirt is a little boy watching the man out of the corner of his eye.
In less than 10 seconds I feel like I can see their whole life.
And all of these arguments and debates and rhetoric that all of the politicians go on and on about. How does any of that affect these people In THIS moment?
There is a cycle to this life. She didn’t grow up in a strong household with loving devoted parents. She probably grew up in a similar environment, of poverty, abuse, neglect and defeat. I would guess that any fight she may have once had in her, is gone.
This man, this man pointing his finger at her, dominating her head and her heart and her soul, probably grew up watching his father intimidate his mother in the same way. Yell, belittle, beat down, demean. Take away. Hurt. It was probably done to him as a child as well, turning what was once a fragile child into an angry little man.
This is not isolated. THIS is our epidemic.
Poverty. Lack of education. Lack of strong role models. Cycles of abuse. Addictions. All strong contributing factors. But what is the solution? Its not trickle down economics. As a society we don’t even CARE about these people. We want them off our tab. Cut their funding. We don’t want to feed them, or clothe them or give them a hand up. We want to drive on by and look the other way and pretend they don’t exist and get our skinny latte and type on our macbook about how the system needs changed damn it and where are MY tax breaks! Maybe buy a family Christmas and write it off as our good deed for the year.
I drove on by. I debated going back. What the hell do you do? Grab that skinny fucker and drag him into the dirt? Shake her and say “wake UP!” don’t you see your son there? Is this all you want for him? To see you slowly decaying and allowing him to suffer as well?
I don’t have any answers. I’m still just frustrated and angry and shaking and wondering how to make some kind of damn difference in a world that feels like its gone mad.