I have a difficult time writing when things are all going just fine. Nothing in my life is wrong at the moment, and that in itself is enough for me to breathe a giant sigh of relief. I'm not caught up in existential despair at the state of my life, work is going fine with no real issues other than day-to-day little dramas, my friendships are strong and my family is happy and healthy.
I have battled a little bit with the "what in the hell kind of world are we living in?" moments, which have culminated this week. I'm reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" series and it's horribly graphic (to me) and more than a little disturbing. The story is good, so I'm sticking with it (i'm on the second book) but somehow those books are bringing to the surface and spelling out the horrific things humans can do. I was reading in the lunch/break room on our floor the other day during lunch, and the TV was turned as it always is (why, why, why??) to some trashy daytime talk show. So I'm reading out things like murder and sexual assault, and then listening to the show with the headline "I lock my wife in the closet." Yeah. After about twenty minutes of reading one thing and listening to the other, I had to just leave.
It's really no wonder that I simply re-read Harry Potter books over and over most of the time, because I sometimes need some magic and make believe in this strange, horrible world.
I just got back from taking my lunch in a cafe right down the street. The West Wing cafe is awesome and it has shaded windows so that tourists dont really know that its there and that keeps the crowds down in the summers. I've run into a handful of 'famous' people, inasmuch as people are famous in DC, and today was no exception. Although it was by far the strangest encounter.
I ran into Larry Craig. Remember him? The former Senator from...Utah? I dont know. I'm too lazy to look it up right now, but he was the guy in the airport bathroom who assumed a "wide stance" aka -- solicited sex from his fellow bathroom mates. The secrets and scandals I guess, of the sexually repressed. I have no idea why he's in town. He was sitting alone facing a wall, but he spotted me looking at him, trying to place him. He gave me a small, sad smile.
It's so confusing when you see people who have been paraded about as horrible people who do horrible things, caught in a moment of humanity. Do you feel sympathy? Empathy? Indifference? I just nodded my head and walked away.
It was a little like the time I ran into one of those leggy blond reporters on Fox News (I never watch it so I have no idea what their names are; but I am in the same building as Fox and I know the anchors by their makeup), crying in the bathroom. No longer a perma-smile robot giving Ann Coulter a shot at throwing out one-liners, but a dry-heaving vulnerable woman hunched over the sink.
It's been months since I've been on my own bathroom floor, crying and praying for relief from my own tortured thoughts and worries. My main mission of each day? To stay off.