Today’s tea is a simple white tea, sweet and floral and just a little crisp. It works well for a fall afternoon in the forties, with dried leaves blowing into my yard and a sky that’s both blue and gray at the same time.
One of the reasons I like drinking tea is that it gives me a break from my thoughts. This doesn’t mean I can avoid them; it means that I can sit with them and ask them how they’re doing instead of letting them run around like mice released in a strange place.
Today, my thoughts have been all over the place, so I chose a white tea. It’s delicate, enough so that I have to pay attention to pull out the flavors. If I drank it angry, I’d miss it all.
Tea doesn’t make anger go away. It just helps me hone a direction for it. It helps me catalog its dimensions and figure out how to use my anger to do something besides being angry.
Tea is like sunlight: it doesn’t change the room you’re in, but it does make it warmer and brighter, and that helps you figure out what to do.
This has been a heartbreaking run up to Thanksgiving. I’m still processing the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs. I mean, I’m still processing the one in Uvalde, I’m still not over the Pulse shooting or even Sandy Hook. I’m sick to my stomach that people are grateful that “only” five people died—I understand, I really do, I am so glad that more people weren’t injured. But how is it that we live in a world where murdering five and injuring eighteen is something to feel grateful for?
I am sick of people getting shot by radicals. I’m tired of children dying. And I’m so very tired of hearing nothing but thoughts and prayers, and equally useless variants of it.
How is it that scarcely a blink of an eye later, and there’s another college shooting? How is it that we seem to be on a merry-go-round of mass murder and we can’t stop it and we can’t get off?
The only thing that gives me hope is that I know I’m not alone in this. We can’t keep doing this. I know we can’t keep it up; you know we can’t keep it up. People think we’re getting inured to death and used to the shootings, but I’ve never been used to it, not once.
I am grateful for people like you—good people who still believe that murder is wrong—because we are in the vast majority and I believe that we will win.
What lies between me and you
Normally, I don’t talk about books that aren’t released yet, especially when they are not ready for release. (As you can see from the generic tagline in the cover.) But this is a book that has a significant number of words in it, it’s not out, and I’m sorry. I have no idea when it’s coming out. This is probably one of the books I get asked about the most.
Reality got in the way. I started writing this book in 2015. Obergefell was literally decided when I was six months deep in writing about it, and it appeared in the book with joy. I had planned to dedicate the part where it appeared to Anthony Kennedy.
But this is what I wrote in 2015 from Adam Reynold’s perspective. (Content warnings for memory of homophobia.)
Yes, it was just fucking swell that the country was coming along so sweetly, but I didn’t trust that shit. Not one bit. It wasn’t long ago that I was a teenager and the sum of intellectual discourse on LGBT rights was wondering if God sent the virus to wipe us out, or if that was just a fucking bonus. It wasn’t even five years ago that California had smacked the panic button on its own state constitution and voted, in the millions, that same-sex relationships really were the fucking worst and equality sucked.
I hate how accurate this has turned out to be.
The feast of ingratitude
I have decided that the theme of this year’s Thanksgiving is going to be ingratitude. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s important to be grateful for what you have. And I am grateful for quite a few things.
But when you’re given a giant pile of toxic garbage, you don’t have to smile and pretend it’s a fine present and you’ll treasure it. No gratitude. Send it back where it came from.
Technically, it is the second amendment to the Constitution, and technically, the Supreme Court does get to say what it means. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it. It’s time to send this present back.
I’m not grateful.
SEE YOU next week.
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