Thursday, March 09, 2006

Shadow people

Listening to: Bach, The Glenn Gould Edition

Marni and Zeke are wrestling on the floor, giggling and laughing hysterically - it's just a matter of time before someone bumps their head and the festivities will come to a screaming halt. Until then, I'll satisfy myself with the music of their laughter.

Bruised knees and knotted brows aside, everyone in my house safe and warm, not something I can say for countless millions, unfortunately. Honestly, if I could let every lost person run around my living room and wrestle, free to bruise foreheads on my coffee table, and feel secure, fed, warm, and safe, I would. If I had such abundance that I could love and validate every impoverished soul the same way I give that to my children, there would be no limits to my embrace.

We barely got down the block on our tip to school this morning when we came upon crime scene tape and emergency vehicles, TV camera crews and crowds of curious neighbors. The local elementary school is catty-corner from my driveway, I could stand on my porch and break on of its windows with a rock if I chose. Not 50 yards from my front door, the street was blocked, the entire front of the elementary school was taped off. The radio said the school was closed "due to a crime scene."

Details finally came to light later in the day: a meth lab had been discovered in an apartment right across the street from the school. Right. Across. The. Street. From. An. Elementary. School.

The assclown running the lab was 39 years old, far too old, I think, to be living that kind of life. Far too old but obviously, not too stupid. His long stretch at Camp Butt Rape (compounded by his genius of keeping his lab within 1000 feet of a school) will probably not be an educational experience and I seriously doubt he'll spend his time thinking about putting children at risk by exposing them to the toxic crap used in the process of manufacturing meth. Too bad; if child abusers tend to be at the bottom of the twisted prison hierarchy, he needs to be included among the scum.

Yet, doing what I do for a living makes me wonder if our meth-maker would be where he is now had his childhood been different, if his memories include many nights like the one I described at the start of this post. Somehow, I doubt that but I could be wrong; unfortunately, sometimes, no matter how much love and validation we give our children, no matter how involved we are in their emergence, we can't prevent them from joining the legions of the Shadow People.

No matter what happens to the worthless turd, I have no sympathy for him. Even if we come from the worst circumstances, we decide what we will become and where we will go. In my 45 years, I have never met anyone who did not have an inate understanding of right and wrong. It's not our parent's sins that lead us into the shadows but our own choices, in the end.

This may be a shock to those of you who shake your heads at my liberal bleeding heart but I've never claimed to be anything beyond just myself (which probably explains the dearth of readers, here).

Still, I tend to believe that could I embrace the lost and give them what my wee-est ones had this evening, we'd see considerably fewer Shadow People in our midst. The self-centeredness shown by meth-man is symptomatic of the self-centeredness that allows parents to look at their children as burdens rather than gifts. It is that self-centeredness that makes someone reject what they know is right for the sake of some false sense of validation and seek the shadows instead of the light.

1 comment:

Teri said...

the lost need people, I agree. Sometimes all it takes to turn a life around is for someone to show some compassion.