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.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
My name is Ryan Timothy Bish. I am exactly twenty-four years and one month old. This is some of the stuff I've learned in that time:
1. "The truth is important, but so are your friends. And if you can have them both, then it's a good life." - Harriet M. Welsch
2. I am a lot smarter than anybody gives me credit for (which, in all fairness, is already a lot).
3. My dad died in a really nasty car accident -- over and over and over into a ditch, miles and miles and miles away from anywhere near home -- when I was seven, AND THAT WAS NOT MY FAULT.
Okay, it wasn't my fault. If that sounds like just a big "duh," you've probably never dealt with depression. To which I can only say, fucking congratulations.
4. Spelling is important.
5. "Fall down seven times, get up eight." - Marco the Animorph
He got that from a fortune cookie.
6. Here's the thing to remember about high school: Unless you are either unusually pathetic or unusually lucky (or, you know, Buffy and Xander and Willow, who were unusually pathetic and unusually lucky -- oh yeah, and I suppose they were also, um, fictional characters), you and your best friends are inevitably going to start drifting apart within two and a half years of graduation.
College is another story.
7. Life is a lot less scary if you have a sister.
8. Never go anywhere without your camera.
9. Give yourself a pat on the back, and not just for "the big things."
10. Lying is wrong.
But people do it.
11. Listen to your instincts.
12. If your boyfriend is able to look you in the eye and say, in full-on Serious Face, "I wish I had Ke$ha's life," that's probably a sign that THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL.
13. Forgiving is easy. Forgetting is hard freaking work.
14. Once upon a time, I flat-out saw the future -- or, rather, felt it (refer to Lesson #11). Despite taking three pictures to try and get myself to see what I was feeling, I didn't put the pieces together in a way that made sense (or, rather, didn't -- seeing the future doesn't make sense) until fourteen months later.
So . . . that happened. Believe it or not, but I got the better deal. I learned things and I took notes and I am stronger now. The other guy? Not so much.
15. Real friends tell you the things you don't want to hear.
16. Subtlety is for other people.
17. Sleep is important, but it's not that important.
18. "Fall in love whenever you can." - Alice Hoffman
19. If you "just can't stand the thought of" gay sex, don't have gay sex.
Why is this so difficult for some people?
20. Winter is awesome. I like being cold because it reminds me that I'll get warm again later. (And yes, I adapted that from Granny Weatherwax's opinion on rain.)
21. Escalators are stupid when you think about it. "Man, the stairs could be so much more convenient if we didn't have to freakin' walk." BITCH, PLEASE.
22. Almost everything is hilarious.
23. Writing is hard. But worth it.
24. "You are not consumed by the darkness because you are full of light." - Robin McKinley
Interpret that as you will.