Accidental Realism by Way of Proxy
Miss Cherry believes that the more you get out into the world and have those difficult conversations, the more the world makes sense. It’s like watching rose colored glasses come into style early in your youth, and then learning that it was a manufacturing problem which resulted in a class action suit. You know, the one time someone was cleaning up near the machine that put drops of tint into the assembly – and you got that one batch with too much pink in the lens. And that pink interacts with some weird part of your eyes that you never knew about – and your world, as you know it, mysteriously is skewed. It’s those conversations when you realize that the reality you used to frame up the world was just a little bit off from the actual. You were off kilter, ever so slightly.
You didn’t understand why someone just dropped off the radar as you entered high school, finding out years later that they were living in a 500 s.f. abandoned shack on a piece of property, illegally, with 10 people – and were trying to go to school and be a normal kid. You never had a clue.
Or, reality and survival stepped in and someone you knew dropped out to support their family and help put a roof over the heads of their brothers and sisters, food in the belly, and all of this without electricity or running water. “I’m sorry – I can’t play football anymore – or go to the dance – or have a girlfriend – or let anyone know about my life. I need to help my family survive.”
Then you find out years later that the same guy who was fighting survival as a kid is now an investment banker married to the girl who loved him from childhood on. They have a wonderful life. They have a wonderful family. They are wonderful people.
Or, you find out that someone’s Dad went to prison for a white collar crime – and your friend had to drop out of High School to lie about their age to drive a semi, to support the family. Big house…gone. Renting a tiny trailer. Survival. Food and shelter first. Everything else, last. He’s a wonderful person. He now has a wonderful life. Earned every single bit of it.
Or, you find out that someone’s parents died, one and then, the other…horribly…and they were on their own from the 9th grade on. Survived, did it all alone. Graduated early – just to get out into the “real” world to start kicking it. Intelligent, wicked humor, amazing…it’s her truth. She’s a wonderful person, has a wonderful family. Deserves the best.
Conversations. Sometimes they happen long after they should have for you to help out a friend. It’s just Accidental Realism by Proxy. Rose colored glasses have been ripped off of your face – and there you have it. Reality. Kind of like waking up one day to a strange Tarantino interpretation of your childhood – and when you walk outside…there is lava. Lava everywhere. Where in the Hell did all of that lava come from?
Once the world settles down, maturity sets in. You realize that inside every person is the dark and the light. The good and the bad. You realize that life was an early struggle for some, and a later struggle for others.
You learn to have the difficult conversations that you don’t walk away from feeling all relevant and peachy. They change you, make you honest about the realities of your life. Your strengths and challenges. The colors deepen. Memories are framed with truth. It’s done.
You realize…I have earned my space in this world. I get it. Life is just like this…all filled with beautiful Technicolor scenes wrapped in memory…and yet, lurking in the back of my mind will always be the sense that I missed something important. Something relevant to the here and now.
There will always be lava on the floor…but that’s just life.