Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just Wow

So last night I stayed up at least an hour and a half later than I should have so I could finish reading The Evolution of Ethan Poe by Robin Reardon. Today I am stupid tired, but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. Observe:

"Bats are special to you, right?"
"They're supposed to be my power animal."
He nods. "I wondered if you knew that. Who told you?"
"Heidi. Etta's friend."
"Friend?" His voice gives the word an odd inflection I can't interpret. And then he says, "Heidi Wolcott. Of course."
I don't know what this means, either. "Yeah. She's into, you know, energy, and power animals, that sort of thing. But what's the bat got to do with this?"
Shane's laugh is friendly, gentle. "Ethan, your power animal has to do with everything. But that's another topic. I was just trying to find out if you'd heard about the concept. Because the dog is a power animal, too. And the powers it brings have to do with healing emotional wounds, and with unconditional love." He takes a sip of coffee. "I'm going to say that last bit again, because I want it to sink in." He pauses and makes sure my eyes are on his. "Unconditional love. Do you have any concept of what that is?"
It's a term I've heard before, sure, but any deep meaning isn't all that clear to me. "I guess not really."
"It means there is no condition, no situation whatsoever in which that love would go away. There is nothing you could do to lose it. There's nothing you can do to get it, either; it comes to you or it doesn't. And you are one lucky son of a bitch. You had it in that dog. And the fact that that particular dog could just as easily have ripped your throat out is huge. So you were given unconditional love from an animal with healing powers who could have had you for breakfast. Most people never get it anywhere. You were damn lucky to have it, but that makes the loss just about the worst thing in the universe."
He shrugs. "Lots of parents think they give it to their kids, and I'm sure many of them come damn close. Still . . ." He shakes his head and sips again, and in the silence I hear my mother's words: Can't say I'd be happy about it. And I can't even imagine what my dad would say if I told him I'm gay.
I fill my mouth with bitter coffee and swallow hard. "I sure as hell don't get it from Max."
"Oh, you'll never get it from a lover."
This stuns me. "Why not?"
His empty mug makes a loud thud on the wooden table. "You're not giving it to him, either. All he has to do is not sit with you on the bus and you don't love him as much. And when he expresses confusion over why Two's death is so hurtful for you, instead of telling him why, you fly into a rage because he doesn't know you well enough. Lovers make lots of demands on each other. That makes it conditional. And that's the opposite of unconditional love."


". . . love spends so much time between sweetness and pain that sometimes they feel like the same thing."

So, yeah, thoroughly enjoyed. More later. Still digesting.

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