Friday, June 1, 2018

Week in Seven Words #407

I'm sometimes surprised at how much fear and anxiety people carry around with them, even people who seem to "have it together." It's relatively rare to meet someone who isn't trembling at the edges or clamping down on an emotion that could sweep away their equilibrium. (I'll add that I'm not making these observations from a remote distance, untouched.)

He's wearing a jacket with the name of a far-right conspiracy website printed on the back. He's plugged into the truth now, is what he thinks.

A town hall, the officials sounding quietly sympathetic, and the constituents sounding completely unconvinced that anyone competent is in charge.

All the restaurants look alike, with the same yogurt parfaits in mini-fridges, pizzas dribbling on waxed paper, and hamburgers the size of a fist.

Talking to them becomes less complicated when I realize they're not interested in a discussion. They want to figure out if I'm on the right side (their side) of a given issue. If I express a doubt or point out an inaccuracy, it means I'm not on their side. Even if I mostly agree with them, they expect me to share all of their sentiments and use their preferred language. I can't do that, but at least I now understand why I'm being set up as their opponent.

Making slime has become a fad among kids. She shows me hypnotic videos of people squeezing, stretching, and poking the viscous substance. Some turn the slime into artistic works of multiple colors and elaborate designs. Most enjoy the gummy, squelchy noises it makes.

It's a soggy evening, like a paper towel that's been soaked in cold water.